As an exercise, develop a brief sketch showing the key elements of the Helping Triangle you might use to create a human services agency. For this exercise, answer the questions below, limiting your answer to each question to a paragraph. Here, a brief sketch will suffice.
What is the name of Your-New-Agency?
Who are the Potential Clients for Your-New-Agency; why do they need human services?
Who will you recruit to join you as Initiators for Your-New-Agency; who will help you get and keep authorization for the agency and why do you think they will help?
What entity will be Your-New-Agency’s primary Authorizer; what entity or organization do you expect to provide primary authorization, auspices, and resources for the creation and operation of the agency and why do you think it will support your initiative?
Who will be the Implementers for Your-New-Agency; which people and organizations will be actively involved in the implementation phase following authorization?
Once Your-New-Agency is opened, who will be the Providers; who will deliver the agency’s services and what other personnel resources will be needed to operate the agency?
How will you assure Your-New-Agency successfully connects with Potential Clients; what strategies will you use to make sure the people needing help actually receive the help they need?
What’s with that? Do I think you are out of control or something? You are consistent and predictable and are certainly attractive and fun to be around. You give your relationship your best shot as well. Now what am I talking about with this being attentive and self-disciplined stuff?
I assume you are responsible, considerate, reliable, thoughtful, and all of those kinds of things. There is a potential glitch though. In quality, serious relationships, your comfort zone increases, you are very familiar with your significant other, and there is little need to consciously attend to the relationship. It is not something you think about much and there is minimal need to “stay sharp.” You assuredly are in a safe place. Nonetheless, you need to beware of what I call “attention drift.”
Here is the problem. In a serious relationship, you and your significant other gradually adjust and accommodate to each other. You are each attractive to the other and pay little to no attention to quirks, habits, and behavior that is slightly annoying or irritating. You get used to each other.
All would be fine were it not that you both change over time. Each of you behaves a little differently here and has a slightly shifted attitude there. For a while, you just accommodate with no conscious awareness of doing so. At some point, you become aware but do not make an issue of it. More time passes and annoyance and irritation appear with no specific focus. This grows and begins to take on more importance than your attraction to each other. You have drifted apart.
What happened? One or both of you were not attentive enough to your changing behavior and attitudes. You experienced attention drift. The result is that your relationship is in jeopardy.
What is my suggested strategy for preventing attention drift? Here it is, simple and straight up. Have the self-discipline needed to continuously be attentive to subtle changes and shifts and to deal with them immediately.
It is important for you to actively and thoughtfully Participate on the management team. An important element of your participation is to assure that you Work within the scope of your responsibilities and authority.
The Great Mouse Hunt continues. In this episode it goes to Zombieland. The hunt is tense and still thrilling. Did the hunters capture The Great Mouse or did it once again out-clever the hunters. Listen to the end and draw your conclusion.
Your children’s development starts with their physical, doing dimension. It incorporates their physical bodies, their potentials and capacities to do and behave, and most of what is visible in terms of their actions and activities.
Part of your role is to help your children grow to respect and appreciate their physical abilities and skills, to know how to behave in a variety of situations, and to recognize and utilize their physical capacities and potentials. This physical, doing dimension starts at infancy and is central to your children’ adjustment throughout their journey to adulthood.
The emotional dimension is equally important. Here are found feelings, fears and frustrations, sadness and joy, disappointment and excitement, love and hate, fun and futility. Your growing children experience all of these emotions and must learn how to interpret them, how to express them, and how to manage them. …
We have intercepted this broadcast on its way out to you and are compelled to include this disclaimer before permitting it to pass into the broadcast arena. We are hereby asserting that the broadcast is an Editorial and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the leadership back on our home planet. With that disclaimer duly entered, we are letting the broadcast continue on its way to you.
Editorial: We don’t want to just rush thoughtlessly into this broadcast but we were able to tap into a broadcast by a famous political broadcasting Earth human who demonstrated what we thought was very peculiar logic. He was asked if he believed a survey that reported that eighty percent of America humans think that the dreamers should be permitted to stay in the America pod. We are sure that he is not one to rush to conclusions but he did share his reasoning process. …
All management is based on guiding principles; and the effectiveness of management derives from those principles. This is true whether the principles are appropriate or inappropriate, reasonable or unreasonable, consistent or inconsistent. Similarly, the derivative nature of management holds whether the guiding principles are vague or well-defined, followed faithfully or haphazardly, applied day-to-day by managers who are highly skilled or fundamentally incompetent. Effective management, then, is a product of:
- Guiding principles that are appropriate, reasonable, and consistent;
- Managers who clearly understand the guiding principles, faithfully adhere to them, and who are fundamentally competent.
It follows from this that the effectiveness of an organization’s management is a product of the Principle/People equation:
- Principles + People = Outcomes. …
You want your children to become effective, successful adults. Reaching this goal begins with having clear notions about what qualities and characteristics effective and successful adults share. You then encourage them in your children. Alternatively, those qualities and characteristics not found in effective and successful adults should be discouraged.
Most all adult characteristics, good or bad, are seen in children at some stage in their development. Small children, for example, take things that do not belong to them. With adults, this is called stealing. Three- and four-year-old children have temper tantrums as a normal part of their emotional development. If they still have tantrums when they are twenty-five or thirty years old, it is clearly unacceptable. Small children frequently misrepresent what has happened and do not tell parents how things really are. In adults, this is called lying.
Small children are loving and affectionate. Hopefully, they are still that way when they are grown. Small children are spontaneous and enthusiastic. If all goes well, they are still that way when they are adults. Qualities and characteristics desirable or undesirable in adults should be encouraged and discouraged as your children grow and mature.
As a project transforms from an ad hoc initiative by a concerned group of people to a mature human services agency, there are many points at which things can and often do go astray. These range from the relatively minor and inconsequential to points where the process shifts significantly off the intended track. What the Initiators intend is only more or less realized. At times, the result has little but a vague relationship to the original intent. Let’s explore the creation process for human services agencies and see how things go right and how they go wrong. …
The Helping Triangle developed in this chapter is what
Legerton and Castelloe 1999 call an organic model, “…one developed primarily through active participation in social life e.g., primarily through practice rather than independence from social life e.g., primarily through academic reflection.” In the Introduction, we saw how people helping people represents human services at their most basic level. You see someone in distress and decide to do what you can to help. Perhaps you recruit a few of your friends to pitch in and help too. Usually this ad hoc human services provision works fine and you and your friends move on with your lives. Sometimes though, this generous level of help is insufficient. There are more people needing help than you and your friends can manage, you have other priorities, you do not have the resources needed to provide the help people need. Instead of just walking away, you decide to create a human services agency with sufficient resources to provide the needed help on an ongoing basis. Help will be there for the people who need it, when they need it, for as long as they need it.
Perhaps this does not seem like anything you will do or can do. If asked If not you, then who? You answer They will. This clearly puts you with the majority. Most people do not notice the distress of others and most of those who do simply walk away. The good news is a few people do notice and a few of those who notice choose not to walk away. If you are among those who choose not to walk away, understanding the Helping Triangle as explained in the iterations below and in later chapters enables you to create a human services agency that can and will provide the help the people in distress need. The model is a product of many years of trial and error; it is an organic model known to work in real world situations. It will not help you decide if you will stick around and help; but if you do, understanding the Helping Triangle makes it likely you can do what needs done. With this assurance in mind, let’s consider how human services agencies are created. For alternative perspectives and approaches, see Brueggemann, 2006 and Netting, Kettner, & McMurtry, 2008. These authors focus on macro social work which is generally inclusive of the concepts and processes incorporated into this organic model. Additionally, Fauri, Wernet, & Netting, 2008, provide a thoughtful collection of case examples highlighting macro practice within a variety of situations and contexts.