Management and Organizational Development Chapter Term Paper

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[. . .] The data supported the hypothesis.

Objective Two: To increase the number of employed ILSP participants by ten

Percent. The target is to reach this goal within one year of the implementation of the proposed alternative. This objective will be measured by tracking and reviewing employment data on the youth.

Hypothesis 2.1. Twenty percent of teenaged foster youth would agree they need jobs in order to successfully transition from the foster care system into adult life. The survey questions related to this hypothesis tried to identify if the youth felt he or she had the motivation and self-confidence needed to search for a job. All the participants agreed with the statement that they needed a job. The data supported the hypothesis.

Hypothesis 2.2. Twenty percent of the teenage foster youth perceive their lack of preparation for work placement, and need assistance in learning basic tasks of resume preparation, filing out job applications and job interviewing skills. Eighty percent of the foster teenagers did not take advantage of the Independent Living Skills Classes offered to them. However, twenty percent of the youth did take advantage of classes which specifically taught the above needed skills. The data supported the hypothesis.

Hypothesis 2.3. Twenty percent of teenage foster youth would participate in an on-the-job training program. Thirty-three percent of the foster youth surveyed were aware of the EOC Teen Connection Program. This is a paper on-the-job training program that gives priority to foster children. This training program lasts for thirteen weeks and includes workshops and allows the youth to gain work experience which can be added to their resume. The data supported the hypothesis.

Objective Three. To increase participation of teenaged foster youth in Fresno

County's Independent Living Skills Classes by twenty-five percent as measured by statistical information from the Independent Living Skills Coordinator.

Hypothesis 3.1.

Twenty percent of Fresno's teenaged foster youth would agree that they need more basic living skills training before they are emancipated. The survey question asked the youth if, as a foster child facing emancipation, he or she was frightened and/or felt the need for more basic living skills training. Twenty percent of the youth did not feel they had a need for more training, but eighty percent agreed with the question. The data supported the hypothesis.

Hypothesis 3.2. Twenty percent of Fresno's teenaged foster youth would agree to participate in a virtual living experience such as a transitional housing program before and after emancipation. One hundred percent of the youth that were surveyed were interested in placement in a transitional living program, but they were not ready to participate in an aftercare program. Therefore, the data did not support the hypothesis. Hypothesis 3.3. Twenty percent of foster youth would agree that the formal schedule of day and time for the Independent Living Skill classes prevents teenagers from participating. Thirty-three percent of the youth surveyed agreed with the question: that they don't participate in the ILSP because of the day and time. The data supported the hypothesis.

Summary

In review, each of the three hypotheses were demonstrated to have accurately identified needs, and desires of foster care youth for the first and the second named objectives. The youths acknowledged their need for the services which are available. They recognized that they felt unprepared for the life that lay ahead of them outside the foster care program. But in many cases, they did not participate in these same programs. The third objective was supported by two out of the hypotheses.

CHAPTER SIX

Conclusions and Recommendations

Making written policy changes to enact these goals and objectives is the easier piece of the change process. There are forces at work in the dynamics of human habits, and resistance to change that was not measured in the data sampling which has been collected so far.

The diagram below investigates the forces at work in the field in regard to initiating these changes. By ranking some of these intangible desires, and taking into consideration that these changes will involve no added training, or personnel, there still is a force field factor of -7 working against the success of this program. So much of the success of this program will lie with further study within 3 arenas: the three groups of people involved in this process. Success also will come from developing a deeper pool of resources within a fourth group: a pool of mentors.

The following recommendations will consider policy changes and steps needed to attain those changes for the following 4 groups of people:

Foster parents / guardians

Children in the foster care system

Workers within various agencies (ILSP, EOC Teen connection program, G.E.D. completion)

Tutors, Mentors

Each of these groups have their own tendencies, fears, and limitations which work against the changing the status quo. Only with the concerted efforts of all four of these groups can we expect to effect change against the force field identified in the diagram below.

The recommendations that follow address these factors, and suggest how to enact change.

FIGURE 6.1 - FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS OF THE STATUS QUO

Restraining Forces

Substandard

No Adequate Substandard

Customer Job Satisfaction

Orientation Production

Service

Lost

Equilibrium

Easy No

No Training

Administration Investment Personnel costs

Driving Forces

The sum of the difference is 9 + (-16) = -7

Objective One: To increase participation in Tutoring and Mentoring Programs by foster youth by twenty percent as measured by statistical information in one year after implementation of the proposed alternative.

Recommendations:

To enact a pilot program, which focuses on providing the foster care youth with a tutoring / mentoring relationship. From the data collected, this is the single issue answered buy participants which was unanimously agreed to, and can have the larger long-term affect on the progress of the youth in the foster care system. Toward this end, these specific recommendations come out of this study:

That a pilot mentoring program, involving a minimum of an additional 100 of the children in the system, is to be launched between a foster care youth and a mentor who serves as a big brother / big sister / role model for the foster care youth.

The children in the mentoring relationship become a control group, for observation and measurement of their progress toward overcoming the deleterious performance identified in the previous chapter. We will summarize these behaviors as "a lack of readiness for emancipation."

By measuring the progress of this control group, further policy change can / will be recommended as to system wide changes that can be considered.

Specific Policy Changes

The foster care system can no longer be viewed as a social agency dispensing public funds, and meeting financial constraints. The number one goal of the Fresno County foster care system must be refocused on the successful integration of emancipated young adults into the main stream adult world. Enacting policy to change a system wide culture is difficult, but this paradigm shift is necessary if real change can be expected in the lives of the children for which the system is responsible.

Steps

Select 20 experienced and dedicated case workers / ask for volunteer case workers who are interested in participating in this pilot program.

Each staff member will take on the responsibility for enrolling five children who are in the system into an ongoing mentoring program.

These staff will participate in additional paid training, to learn more about successful mentoring programs which operate in other parts of the country which are both public, and privately operated. The strengths of each should openly be discussed, and evaluated.

These staff will be asked to make recommendations from the pool of their own community's resources of whom / how / where additional mentors can be selected. No one knows the communities better than the workers who serve them.

Volunteer mentors / tutors will be recruited, brought through an orientation organized by the foster care agency to orient them to the special needs contained within the community of foster care children. Mentors / tutors must agree to a minimum involvement of 18 months in order to provide the child with a sense of security in this new relationship.

A connection event will be held in each of the 10 workers communities between kids currently in the system, a representative of their foster care provider family, and the recruited mentors / tutors. These events can be of a variety of formats, from attending sporting events, to a casual party atmosphere created at a local school, church, or community center. This added relationship for the child will be presented as an addition to his world, not another change in his caregiver. The importance in this process is building lasting and reliable relationships for this child who typically has suffered extensive emotional stress during his of her time in the foster care system.

Once a mutually agreed upon relationship is begun, these mentor / child participants will meet a minimum of twice… [END OF PREVIEW]

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