University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Interoperability Paper: Child and Family Services
The Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County provides many different services and resources. In this paper I will be talking about the Child and Family Services. The program that I will be focusing on is a program that supports and focuses on children and families. CSSW recognizes the impact that family life has on a child’s ability to grow and develop. We have established programs that recognize and address the needs of children to ensure they are in a stable, safe and loving environment. In addition, CSSW offers caregivers the necessary outlet or training needed to mentally and emotionally tend to and their parent/caregiver, connect caregivers to community resources and promote a family’s ability to stay together. (“Catholic Social Services Of Washtenaw County”, 2013) I will be focus on the three models Loosely Linked Network, Network Model and Top-Down Model. I will talk about the advantages and disadvantages that all three models have when referring to the origination Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. Loosely Linked Network Model
This model is the least impact and would give the agency more control over their creativity and what they can afford. The child and family program that I am taking about could easily have a model like this implemented and it also could be very affective for this organization. Having in house resources and other organizations in the area can also help. The Loosely Linked Model can help with resources that they can use on the internet to find services directly related to them, it can resource the overall cost of technology that they use in the Child and Family program, and it can also it has the flexibility with in the Catholic Social Service as a whole. There are some advantages to this modal for this particular organization, cost being a big factor, and training for the staff that is working in the program and for the agency.
This model would be the easiest but maybe not the best for this agency and their needs. There however are several disadvantages to this particular model. A few are there is no quality control, who is watching out for potential lack of standards and the overhead cost could be high because inefficiencies and monopolies that may occur. Also with this particular model it makes work for some organizations but for this one it would be a bad idea, because they have so many other components to their agency. If technology failed in this model it would not be hard to keep the programs running smoothly. These models resources are still local and would not require networking using a computer. Having paper information of all the support and resources that are being used would need to been done so the clients are still supported no matter what. Network Model
This model is more of a formal model that has guideline and standards that have to be met and set up before establishing it for the agency. For this particular organization this type of model may be something that they really need to look and to see if this is something that would benefit the whole agency. At Catholic Social Services there is more area of focuses besides the child and family, they also have programs like adoption, counseling, housing, parenting, and pregnancy. By having a systems that networks their clients information and situation would already be in the system for the other areas of support to find resources for them and or give them other types of support that they did not know was even out there for them. There are a lot of advantages to this model like the overall networking piece, and making sure that the clients get the resources and support they need because of the network being used at the agency, there is always some disadvantages too.
One major disadvantage is funding, making sure that all the agencies, services and resources are linked together has a cost to it. Another huge disadvantage is some of the jobs preformed can be taken away because the networking is being done automatically, which them the individuals that had those jobs would have to move to more complex jobs which then you may have the cost of training and or hiring individuals that are more educated for the jobs at hand. For this agency having more of a networking model would be beneficial and would also support the individual and or families more. Having access to more services is always a bonus. This model may have a hard time functioning if technology fails. This best thing for this model is to make sure there is always paper trails and backup. It may seem like a lot of extra work but you need to remember it is for the clients that you are helping. Top-Down Model
The Top-Down model is a model that has several components and ways to share the information that is needed. Keeping the Catholic Social Services Child and Family programs the three components of the IGHI would be the (a) the Child and Family Services, (b) Washtenaw County Catholic Social Services and (c) Catholic Social Services. By having these three components they are an informational infrastructure not just an organizational agency. Having these three components working together there can have some pro and cons to it. Some pros are that is a client needs information, resources or services outside Washtenaw County their information is available to others with in the Catholic Social Service origination. Also by having multiply agencies using the same system some of the task can just become routine for the system so the human service professional can focus on other task, like having more time to meet with clients. There are also some cons to this type of model.
There has to be goals that are set by everyone, system wide goals. Without system wide goals there is no monitoring and control by the origination. Over all lack of support by everyone involved can be a major issue for the organization and their clients. This model would work if all parts of the origination were on board and was able to understand the benefits to this model. If they do not understand the model they may feel that they do not have the freedom to help their clients the way they see fit when in reality it is the opposite. The more information and support right at your figure tips the better for the human service professional and most importantly the clients. This model could get a little tricky if technology failed. Having everyone on the same system could and or would take down the whole agency, which them no one could help their clients until it was fixed.
Even if only done for a short time it could really matter in some of your clients cases. Making sure that there is back up information on all clients would need to be done, so supporting clients could still happen even without technology. All three of these models have several pros and cons to them. I think that to help this particular agency, The Washtenaw Catholic Social Services: Child and Family that the Networking model would be the best to support their overall need for the organizations and their clients. They already have a Facebook, twitter and a very interactive web page. This organization no matter of their model is here to support their community. “As a member of our community, we believe our work attains the greatest benefit when we join with our neighbors and colleagues to create a responsive, compassionate society where all are valued, honored and have the opportunity to thrive.” (“Catholic Social Services Of Washtenaw County”, 2013)
Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. (2013). Retrieved from http://csswashtenaw.org/
Schoech, D. (2010). Interoperability and the Future of Human Services. Journal Of Technology In Human Services, 28(1/2), 7-22. doi:10.1080/15228831003759539