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Sociology
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What kind of actual changes within the environment can a Human Service Professional make?

Jan 29th, 2015

The vast majority of social workers are employed in organizations.The organizational base of social work practice is rooted in the history of the profession. Social policies, in the form of legislation at the federal, state, and local levels, funding patterns, and societal sanctions help explain why so much of the practice of social work is carried out through organizations. Each organization is different. Differences relate to varying missions, demographics, location, physical environment, management style, levels of funding and financial conditions, staff size, informal culture, and whether the organization is public, nonprofit, or for-profit, among other factors. This first chapter introduces the organization as a work setting for social workers and other human service professionals.There are many types and sources of information that can help you get to know an organization and determine whether you want to work there and, once there, how you can work effectively within it. Applicable sections of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (1999) are highlighted as they pertain to practice within the organizational setting.

Most work in our society is carried out through organizations.There are many different types of organizations, ranging from big-business concerns that produce products and goods we need and want to service-oriented organizations that offer specialty services to meet individual, community, and societal needs. Newspapers contain numerous reports of the work of organizations. In recent years, Microsoft, a publicly held corporation, has been prominently featured in the press, both for its enormous success and for the antitrust activity to which it has been subjected because of its monopoly within the computer industry. Government-initiated litigation against Microsoft caused ripple effects throughout the stock market and thus the American economy. The 2001 collapse of Enron, another giant corporation, highlights the potent force organizations have on American society not only from an economic standpoint but also in regard to consumer trust (or distrust) and public sentiments about how big business operates.

Organizations affect every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Human service organizations are one type of organization; their specific focus is the broad arena of human well-being. The NASW Code of Ethics acknowledges the reciprocal relationship between the social worker and the organization. The mission statement, program goals, objectives, and operating modes define the nature of professional practice within the organization. Since its inception, social work has been considered an organizationally based profession, with the majority of its workforce employed within formal organizations. Conflicts between organizations and their professional workforce are rooted in differing orientations, including those of work style, priorities, and loyalties. Despite the emphasis on conflict between organizations and professionals, there are points of congruence, including objectivity, neutrality, and humanitarian values. Today‚Äôs organization is seen as an open system, dynamic, evolving, and changing in interaction with its employees, key stakeholders, interest groups, and the larger community. The organizational context has both positive and negative influences on professional practice. 

Jan 29th, 2015

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Jan 29th, 2015
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