ECOLOGICAL HUMAN SERVICES MANAGEMENT


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Ecological
Human Services Management:



An Organic Model for Practice



Introduction
and Tour






Those of us who work in the
human services community are familiar with agencies and service initiatives
that are remarkably successful and with
those that are not. Some human services
endeavors run
smoothly and others are in perpetual crisis. Some are clearly focused and
others seem never to quite live up to the expectations of stakeholders. The
wide variations in operation and performance are unrelated to agency size,
funding sources, location, services provided, or clients served. They are also
unrelated to whether the incorporating agency is newly formed or has a long
history of service, whether it is a governmental entity or a nonprofit
organization. Some human services endeavors are remarkably successful while
others are failing. The challenge is to understand what accounts for these wide
variations and then to assure the services and agencies we establish align with
those that are effective, run smoothly, are clearly mission focused and
opportunity seeking, and live up to the expectations of stakeholders.


This book has a limited and focused purpose:
to initiate, implement, and manage human services. The practice model is
explicated through the establishment of a new human services agency; but the
approach, strategies, and techniques also apply to initiating new programs and
services within an existing agency structure. The model shows how to transition
from an identified, unmet human services need to clients benefiting from an
array of helpful services provided by a successfully functioning human services
agency. The processes leading to the establishment of the functioning agency
may be understood as a subset of what is generally referred to as community organizing. (For example, see
Hardina, 2002; Brown, 2006; Erlich, 1996; and Rubin, 2001.) Before we move to
the model itself, however,
let’s first explore what is meant
by human services and by human services agencies.








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