As we saw in the last Chapter, The
primary function of the internal agency eco system is to produce interventions
that achieve outcomes for agency clients. We also saw how to develop a
working model for the delivery of those interventions. By implementing the
working model the agency pursues its primary function. For the present purpose,
lets use a fictional, working model for providing interventions for clients.
The actual working model we develop with our knowledge pool is likely much more
complex, but here we keep it simple for the sake of clarity.
Lets call our fictional agency Social Services, Inc. We
refer to it as SSI. The core function of SSI is to provide an
intervention array for its clients, with the primary outcome being clients cope
better with the issues and difficulties included in SSIs intervention focus.
SSIs potential clients are school-age children who reside within the county
where SSIs office is located and whose behavior and adjustment are seen either
by parents or school officials as seriously problematic. The intervention array
includes assessment, family counseling, and case management. The expected
outcome of intervention is clients being seen by parents and school officials
as behaving appropriately and adjusting adequately.
As the above paragraph explains, SSI provides three interventions
in its intervention array – assessment, family counseling, and case management.
Collectively, these interventions are the Service
Function. The service function is the core function of the internal eco
system. As Figure 5 illustrates, the internal eco system can be represented as
a circle, with the Service Function at its center. All other functions are
around the circle, with the Service Function in the center. Each of the other
functions supports and sustains the Service Function. The Service Function is
primary and all other functions are secondary to it. They are successful only
to the extent the Service Function succeeds. As we focus below on the
representative secondary functions “A” “F” – on the
circle around the Service Function as seen in Figure 5, the relationships are
easier to understand.
The three dots on the internal circle in Figure 5 represent the
services (the intervention array) provided through the service function:
assessment, family counseling, and case management.
Let me note in passing the service function may itself change as a result of
changes in the specific intervention array. The specific services SSI provides
may change from time to time due to changes in internal or external resources,
priorities, focus, or other planned or unplanned factors. Nonetheless, the
services function remains the core function within the internal eco system as
Figure 5 Illustrates.