- Identify one human services organization in your community that interests you. Contact the organization to inquire about scheduling an informational interview with a leader/administrator. (Note that your interview need not take place in person. Telephone or video conferencing options are available to you.)
- Using the Interview Tips document in the Learning Resources, conduct your interview with the organizational leader/administrator. Record and/or take notes so that you will be able to summarize the interview later.
By Day 7
Submit a discussion in which you describe what you learned through your interview about the readiness of human services organizations to adapt to increased community need. Specifically:
- Identify the organization and its purpose.
- Explain how the administrator has seen community needs and service users change over time and the extent to which the organization has adapted. Provide specific examples.
- Describe the root causes/problems in the community that the organization aims to improve and how.
- Describe barriers the organization has faced when attempting to address these problems.
- Provide your own conclusions about human services organizations’ ability to adapt to increased community need.
Make sure to integrate and document ideas and concepts from the Learning Resources, which are included below:
https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mnh&AN=20433116&site=eds-live&scope=site&authtype=shib&custid=s6527200 (Read pages 405-411)
I also uploaded the interview tips if you need to use them.
The interview is optional.
Connecting With an Organizational Leader/Administrator to Interview
Your Week 5 Assignment involves finding and interviewing an administrator of a human services agency/organization in your area. First, you will need to identify a human services organization in your community that interests you. This could be an organization that feeds homeless citizens, provides housing vouchers or food stamps to needy families, provides free or affordable health services, finds foster homes for displaced children, offers support for the elderly, etc. You can find such organizations by searching online and/or driving through your community and noticing what is available.
Below are some tips that may help you to arrange your interview:
1. Start your search early! You will need to give your selected interviewee some choices with regard to days and times to meet with you. So, don’t wait until Week 5 to start making a connection with a human services administrator!
2. Administrators of human services agencies are extremely busy attempting to start new programs, monitoring or writing reports on the efficiency of their existing programs, and finding additional funding sources. Because of this, your initial contact call may land at the desk of an assistant who will ”take a message,” and you may never make the connection. The following suggestions may assist you in persevering:
a. If you are having problems connecting with an agency administrator, ask to speak to their assistant.
b. Explain that you are a Walden University student working towards your BS in the Human Services field, and that you have been charged with interviewing the head of a local agency or organization to get the benefit of their experience and wisdom in this field.
c. Explain that this process will only involve a short, 30-minute interview, and that you will send the interview questions in advance for their convenience. Specify whether you are offering to interview via phone, video conference, or in person. Do not select the in-person option unless public health guidelines allow you to do so.
d. Explain that the administrator’s experience of and opinions about the state of human service agencies would be an invaluable resource to students looking to enter this very critical field.
e. Offer several dates and times that would work for you for the informational interview.
3. If you are not successful, move on to another human services organization in your community that interests you.
4. Once you have scheduled the interview, send an email to the administrator in advance. Below is an email template containing the interview questions and empty spaces for you to complete for the day and time of the interview.
Email Subject: Upcoming Interview
As part of my degree program for a BS in Human Services, I am charged with gathering information concerning the human service agencies in my community. As agreed, when we meet to participate in the interview at _______ on ______________, I will ask you to respond to the following questions with regard to your agency/organization.
1. The name of your agency/organization
2. How long has your agency/organization been serving this community?
3. What is your agency/organization’s mission statement?
4. How is your agency/organization funded?
5. How many people does your agency employ?
1. What community problem(s) does your organization seek to address? Why?
2. Do you feel these problems have increased or decreased with the passing years?
3. To what do you attribute the increase/decrease?
4. Is there a group in the community that is particularly impacted by these problems more than others?
Response to Community Need:
1. How many organizations/agencies are there in the immediate community that also pledge to address these needs?
2. Is this number adequate?
3. How effective do your feel these agencies are/can be?
Organization/Agency Strengths and Challenges:
1. What do you feel are the strengths of your agency?
2. What do you feel are its greatest challenges?
3. Do you have any thoughts about how these challenges might be more adequately addressed?
[Use this area to take notes during the interview so that you are able to summarize what you learn from the administrator.]
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