Human Services

This assignment involves: 1. As you did in Module I, I am asking you, again, to prepare a reading journal, that is, summarize and record your thoughts, in this case, about the Chambers and Bonk text. Whereas the Maloney and Harris text provided an overview of the human services and human services policy, this text is focused on the analysis of social policy and/or social programs. This text is a little more “manageable” and focused than the Maloney text. The first three chapters really lay out what a social policy analyst or human services professional need to perform a practical analysis of a program/ policy/system or need to know to be a better professional in the field. And the last chapter (chapter 9) gives an example of the application of the practical approach laid out in the text to actual human services policy. The chapters in between (chapters 4 to 8) provide greater detail than the initial chapters on how each analytical step should be approached. Your journal does not have to include all the chapters!! Please place your greatest emphasis in the first few chapters. My purpose in this module is for you to understand the “occasion” for policy setting in the first place by understanding these several elements: the background of the issue the severity of the issue causes and consequences of the issue identification of who gains/loses from addressing/not addressing it the values that underpin previous and the current approach to the issue the steps involved in a practical approach to policy or program analysis Please follow these guidelines in preparing your journal: Provide a summary of your reading (see instructions below) Provide your reactions to the reading (see instructions below) and please make sure that you distinguish your reaction from the reading summary use an outline format, if you like No more than two pages per chapter There are no rigid rules that govern the style of your journal. However, your journal should contain the following elements: 1. a summary of your reading assignment. The summary should include the key points in the reading or in your activities. A summary, to be useful, should not be too long. If the summary contains too many words, it may not be very valuable to you either in the process of identifying key elements in your reading or activities or in later reviews of the journal. On the other hand, the summary should not be so short that it is meaningless when you read it the next day or the next month. Obviously, style enters the picture here and your summary, in terms of length, will be different from the summaries of others. 2. your thoughts about and reactions to the reading. The reaction may involve: a question that you have about the material or activities you have summarized (the simple process of writing a question you have will help to answer that question – although the answer may not come right away); doubts which you have about the validity of an author’s point-of-view and the reasons for your doubts; an insight which you have about the reading; an observation about a point or theory that you think is particularly useful; an application of the reading to some real world event or to the activities in which you are currently engaged, an article you have read, a movie you have seen. Most importantly, what do the readings mean to you as a professional. Of course, you cannot possibly react to everything!! When a reaction occurs to you write it down and include it in your journal. Instructions for “Dropping” the Assignment: Please click “Attachments” to upload your files. I would prefer that you attach your written assignments, as opposed to pasting them into the dialogue box, since attaching the assignment gives me greater flexibility in accessing and saving your assignment. Basic Reading for this module: Social Policy and Social Programs: A Method for the Practical Public Policy Analyst by Donald Chambers and Jane Frances Bonk This module has several learning goals: 1. Understanding of the context for social problem analysis. First and foremost, not all problems are social problems. Individuals may have problems but they do not necessarily rise to the level of social problem unless they are recognized and defined as such. And the approach to social problems will not serve the interests of all individuals. Put another way, social problems are very much socially constructed and depend on who has power, the magnitude of the problem and the damage that it does. 2. Understanding that social problem analysis and the analysis of policy to address social problems must be done within the context of a framework consisting of the following elements: The definition of the problem; The identification of the causes of the problem; The values that lead to the conclusion that an event is a social problem. The Identification who gains and loses because of the existence of a problem and who gains and loses from addressing the problem. 3. Using the six elements that define a social program or social policy system to form the framework for the evaluation of the policy, program or system: Goals and objectives Forms of services or benefits to be delivered Entitlement or eligibility criteria The administrative and/or organizational structure required for delivery of service or benefits Financing method Interactions between and among all of these elements Each of these elements has sub-categories. For example, goals may be long-term or short term goals. Forms of services/benefits may include cash, in-kind benefits, or protective regulation. And each category or sub-category must have criteria by which it is evaluated. Evaluative criteria overlay for each element of program, policy or system should include: Degree of fit with problem Degree of adequacy, equity, efficiency that the element lends to the overall policy, program or system Special criteria for a particular element (for example, will it lead to stigmatizing member of the client population?) 4. Appropriateness of a value-critical approach as opposed to a value committed approach. All policy should be rooted in values but the value-orientation of policy makers should not eclipse contradictory values or approaches aligned more with other values. That is, the process should begin with a receptivity to different values and approaches.

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