Case Study

TEP 1 Read: Case Fifteen: Whose Values: The Politics of Planning.

Read below:

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Step 2: Submit a 2-4-page paper that analyzes ethics and values. Answer the questions at the end of Case 15 (pages 97 and 98) in essay form. Utilize a minimum of two scholarly sources and two ethical standards from the Ethical Standards for Human Services Professionals ethical code to support your response.

Summary

Jennifer aspired to become Executive Director of her mental health center where she worked. She had recently been asked to staff a committee charged with planning for community based services and was excited to incorporate more advocacy, empowerment, and prevention programs. They appointed a board to help with these new services which was much more conservative than Jennifer had hoped. The chair of the board completely ignored her proposals and stated that the role of the paid staff was not to push their philosophy, but to help the new board implement whatever programs the board developed. As the meeting progressed it became clear that the board wanted to hire an Executive Director with project management skills, not a human services degree. Now that her professional philosophy and goals have been discounted she does not know what to do.

You must decide what she should do next and determine whether the role of paid committee staff is to push the philosophy they feel is best or to carry out the wishes of the committee, even if they do not agree philosophically with those wishes.

Learning Goals

Determine the role of paid committee staff
Practice making decisions that are ethical, emotion, and professional
Analyze how human services values and attitudes apply in practice
Learning Objective

By the end of this case study lesson, through analyzing the board – paid committee member dynamic, you will be better prepared to deal with difficult situations in their careers.

Discussion 1: After learning about Jennifers situation in this case, what are the characteristics of an effective ethical leader? Discuss your strengths and growth areas as it relates to these components and to Jennifers experience. Report on your plan to strengthen your growth areas. Integrate an understanding of how ethical leadership supports interdisciplinary problem solving and how the absence of this concept can limit organizational productivity.

Respond to two peers with scholarly support.

This is the Case Study:

Jennifer was upset. Just two months before, she thought she wouldbe promoted to Executive Director. Now, her only choice seemed tobe to quit her job.
It all started 6 months before when she was asked to staff acommittee charged with planning for community based services forthe mental health center where she worked. She had been pushingthe center’s executive director to set up community programs, whichshe felt educated and empowered clients, and focused on preventionrather than treatment. The agency, she felt, was traditionally ori-ented with an individualistic model of mental health treatment.While this traditional model fit the conservative, middle-class com-munity it served, Jennifer felt that it was inappropriate for address-ing the problems of the disadvantaged and of youth. Jenniferwas chosen to staff the planning committee because of her ideasabout community support services. She had researched advocacy,empowerment, and prevention in graduate school, and finally hadthe opportunity to implement her ideas.Jennifer had selected a 12-member planning committee basedon their willingness to work and their potential to attract funds. Thecommittee was composed of several service providers and concernedcitizens. The committee worked well together, and easily agreed onthe mission statement and guiding principles. Based on their needsassessment, they had developed an implementation strategy, andwrote a grant to obtain funding for the top priority needs. The grantwas to fund an agency that used youth and elderly volunteers to95Whose Values: The Politics of Planning

MLA (Modern Language Assoc.)
Mayers, Raymond Sanchez, et al. Dilemmas in Human Services Management: Illustrative Case Studies. Springer Publishing Company, 1994.

APA (American Psychological Assoc.)
Mayers, R. S., Schoech, D., & Soufle, F. (1994). Dilemmas in Human Services Management: Illustrative Case Studies. Springer Publishing Company.

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