Management Practice

BANANAS: Providing Child Care Services to a Multi-Ethnic Community

Vu, C.
Austin, M.J.

BANANAS, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has provided child care resource and referral services for over 35 years. BANANAS emerged as a grassroots effort initiated by a group of female volunteers who sought to build a network of women with children who needed childcare. As the organization developed, its leaders recognized and responded to additional needs, including resource and information sharing, workshops and classes, and political advocacy. Beginning as a collective, BANANAS has grown into a multifaceted service delivery and advocacy nonprofit operating with an annual budget of...

Asian Community Mental Health Services at 35: A Pioneering Ethnic Organization (1973–2008)

Vu, C.
Schwartz, S.L.
Austin, M.J.

Asian Community Mental Health Services is a nonprofit organization that delivers mental health services to primarily Asian and Pacific Islander communities. From its early beginnings and over its 35-year history, the agency has had to overcome numerous challenges, including gaining legitimacy as a culturally specific nonprofit, combating stigma surrounding mental health issues within the Asian Pacific Islander community, building resources to fund service delivery, and developing an educated and culturally sensitive workforce. The history of the organization highlights the multiple...

Building a Comprehensive Agency-University Partnership

Austin, M.J.
Martin, M.
Carnochan, S.
Goldberg, S.
Berrick, J.D.
Weiss, B.
Kelley, J.

University-community partnerships are receiving increased attention in an era of rapid change and fragmented resources. This case study of a multi-county consortium of social service agencies in collaboration with four graduate social work programs and two foundations represents an innovative approach to building a partnership through the use of a consortium as a mediating structure. With a focus on training, research, policy development, and a think tank, specific implications for developing agency-university partnership are identified. The case is embedded in the expanding literature on...

Managing Mergers of Human Service Agencies: People, Programs, and Procedures.

Taylor, J.
Austin, M.J.
Caputo, R.K.

The article sets forth detailed guidelines for mergers of human service agencies deduced from the literature and the findings of a survey of 16 large and small mergers. A merger of organizations into a new corporate unit can be one of the more drastic alterations that occur in the workplace. Employees perceive these changes as a threat to personal job security and job satisfaction. A survey was conducted in 1987, in which a 20-page questionnaire was sent to 32 human service agencies in the U.S. that were partners in a merger during the years 1973 to 1986. The survey focused on how a merger...

The Culturally Responsive Social Service Agency: The Application of an Evolving Definition to a Case Study

Chow, J.C.
Austin, M.J.

Most of the attention in the last few decades in the human services field has been on the development of culturally competent practice with little attention to the context of this practice. This analysis and case study focuses on the organizational context of social service practitioners seeking to respond effectively to an increasingly diverse client population. Specific attention is given to the development of a working definition of a culturally responsive social service agency. This definition is used to assess a case study of a public sector county social service agency that has...

Launching a Family-Centered, Neighborhood-Based Human Services System: Lessons from Working the Hallways and Street Corners

Armstrong, K.

The author describes Contra Costa County's efforts to implement Healthy Families 2000, the County's vision of neighborhood-based, family-centered, comprehensive integrated services in two of the county's unincorporated areas, North Richmond and Bay Point. Contra Costa County is one of six bay area counties, northeast of San Francisco. It has nearly 800,000 residents and is home to some of the wealthiest communities in the state as well as some of the poorest neighborhoods. This article provides a systematic review of the process and a discussion of the operating practices and principles...

Managing Nonprofit Mergers: The Challenges Facing Human Service Organizations

Benton, A.
Austin, M.J.

A growing number of nonprofit organizations are considering strategic restructuring opportunities in the form of mergers due to the current social services environment of increasing competition and decreasing resources. Mergers can be viewed negatively with the loss of an organization's identity or positively as an opportunity to survive and enhance services. Drawing on the literature from both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors, this article examines the elements of successful mergers related to the nature of the merger process and the role of the human element in all aspects of the...

Exploring the Transfer of Learning from an Executive Development Program for Human Services Managers

Austin, M.J.
Weisner, S.
Schrandt, E.
Glezos-Bell, S.
Murtaza, N.

Given the limited staff development resources in human service agencies and the estimate that only 10% of learning gained through training is transferred to on-the-job performance, the transfer of learning has become a critical issue. This article examines the transfer of learning process related to a human services executive development program. It is based on a program evaluation and case study that identified three important mechanisms for the transfer of learning: (1) supervisor support of participants before, during, and after the program, (2) opportunities to share program learning...