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Human service integration - Essay Example

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The need for public human service agencies to integrate services is well established. A large number of human service agencies be aware of that in order to achieve positive results for vulnerable families and children, they must focus holistically on the customer…
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Download file to see previous pages scale." Historically, pilot programs and studies of best practices have not been widely replicated, not because they were "bad" strategies, but rather a critical component was missing: high-performance leadership. (Atkinson, 1999)
Although we traditionally associate "leadership" with the work of the chief executive, the missing component in successfully integrating services is leadership work performed throughout the agency. An agency with sufficient leadership capacity to integrate services is made up of employees who all perform components of leadership work, management work, task/technical work, and team skills. (McLennan, Caza, 2003)
Why Has Service Integration Been So Elusive
We know why we need to integrate services, we know what we've learned from our successes and failures, and we know that we must build leadership capacity throughout the organization. Why, then, have we been unable to make service integration a reality In a nutshell, we are trying to get integrated performance from a hierarchical system that was designed for standardized production. There is no "standard" customer; each needs different things in different combinations at different times for different reasons. Nor are we doing production work.
The hierarchical organizations we work in were designed 100 years ago for standardized production under drastically different economic, technological, social, and political conditions. The rate of change during that time was relatively slow. Service integration has been elusive because it requires that we create flexible, performance-based, integrated organizations despite our hierarchical history and structure. In a survey of APHSA members, today however, 86 percent of the respondents said they envision their agencies integrating or consolidating its...
The need for public human service agencies to integrate services is well established. A large number of human service agencies be aware of that in order to achieve positive results for vulnerable families and children, they must focus holistically on the customer.Although service integration is well established in theory, making it an operational reality has remained elusive over the last 20 years, but not for lack of effort or creativity some agencies have made phenomenal progress toward service integration, despite complex and ever-changing political, economic, demographic, and technological conditions. Service integration is the ultimate transformational change for public human services. It will become a broadly exhibited reality only when the leadership work is done at all levels. We will not wake up tomorrow morning to find that service integration has "happened." Creating human service agencies that fit this description relies upon our ability to build and sustain the capacity to do leadership work throughout our organizations. Unfortunately, leadership development has historically been done "in the margins" as an add-on to our already busy schedules. As we have learned in 20 years of attempting to integrate services, we cannot fundamentally change the way we do business in the margins. We must view leadership development as the critical component it is because leadership for high performance is the bottom line to making service integration a reality. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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