CHAPTER 15 INFLUENCING THE PRACTITIONER’S ORGANIZATION T he Life Model of Social Work Practice broadens the conception of professional function to include influencing the worker’s own organization to improve services, correct maladaptive transac- tions between staff and between staff and clients, and increase responsiveness to the needs of the population it serves or is expected to serve. Summary of Content 1. Sources of Maladaptive Transactions between Employing Organizations and Clients That They Serve Public funding for services, particularly when these services respond to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized clients, reflects the distinction between worthy and unworthy poor and public misperceptions about the presumed tax burden that such services represent. Moreover, social service organizations are confronted by an increasing emphasis on accountability can undermine workers’ ability to respond to the unique needs of their clients. Decisions regarding the type and length of services reflect third-party payers’ reimbursement require- ments rather than professional judgments about what clients need. Organizations depend upon a chain of command or levels of authority to coordinate the various subunits and personnel, specify responsibility and accountability, and provide leadership in decision-making. Different positions
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