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Pause to Consider

You are a member of your agency’s Leadership Team. Consider these brief scenarios and how you would handle them?

·       You are a program manager with a neighborhood center providing a variety of services for neighborhood residents. Jerry is an adolescent client who was expelled from your after school tutoring program due to an incident where he was caught passing small green pills to another student. Jerry’s father – who also is an agency Board member – calls to tell you Jerry will not pass this year and may not graduate on time if he does not continue tutoring. Jerry has not been in trouble before and was just doing a favor for a friend, according to his father. He is a good kid and being expelled from your program is too severe. Jerry’s father goes on to say, I don’t want to take advantage of being a Board member but think you should make an exception for Jerry.

·       Your agency provides foster care services for abused and neglected children. Bob and Harold are a gay couple who have been working for many years with children exhibiting difficult behavior issues. They ask to adopt one of the girls they have been fostering for a year or so. The Executive Director of your agency’s primary authorizing entity hears about this and privately asks you to stop the adoption process, since she thinks some of her Board members may be unhappy about it. She tells you, I don’t want you to think I have a problem with this but I have a couple of Board members….

·       David Martinez is a local accountant who has helped your agency from time to time with setting up agency accounting records and with developing procedures for things such as managing agency credit cards and internal cash controls. He always tells you to call him any time and never says anything about his getting paid. It is now time for the agency’s annual audit for which the agency normally pays several thousand dollars. You mention this in passing to David one morning at the Rotary breakfast. Later, David calls you, About that audit. Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it as soon as I can work it in. I’m in a rush but let’s pin this down the first chance we get. You also have a personal friend whose accounting company did the audit last year and knows the audit is coming up soon.

·       You are told confidentially by one of your agency’s therapists an area physician reportedly advised two clients with whom she works to stop coming to your agency. The physician referred them to another agency in the community and encouraged them to switch. According to your staff person, the clients said the physician had some not so nice things to say about your agency but the clients did not give any detail. You had also heard this same report from someone you were talking with at an open house at your child’s school.

·       Mrs. Thomas has been an active agency supporter for many years. She has been a strong agency advocate with your primary authorizer, has helped with fund drives and other agency activities, and has recruited several of her influential friends to support agency initiatives and causes. You call her to ask if she will help organize a clothing drive for the area’s disadvantaged children. She says, Not this time. I’ve been really busy. You’ll need to find someone else to help out. I don’t think I’ll be able to help out much anymore since I’ve gotten so busy with other things. You ask her if there is a problem you can help with but she declines to discuss it more. She is pleasant enough about it but somewhat abruptly ends the conversation.

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