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Human Resource Management


CASE STUDIES Your response should be detail and give a resolution or recommendation. Your answer must be through and based on facts and specifics from the textbook to receive full credit. Case Study 1: Cherry County Blues: A Problem of Low Morale and High Turnover About the Agency Cherry County Human Services Department (CCHS) is a state agency responsible for a wide range of so¬cial intervention services. The Children’s Services Program handles caseloads of protective services, foster care, delinquency, and prevention. This program is noted for its high caseloads, overwhelming paper¬work, and stressful, sometimes dangerous, field work. David Klenk is the Cherry County Human Services Department (CCHS) director. Betty Jones is the CCHS program manager who was recently hired to fill the vacancy left for several months. She has supervisory experience in children’s services but is not a native of Cherry County. She oversees the Children’s Services supervisors. Klenk is her boss. Bob Strong, a supervisor in the Children’s Services Program, was recently turned down for promotion to CCHS program manager. Ann Smith, a supervisor in the Children’s Services Program, is so overwhelmed that she is asking to be transferred to a position in another department. Mary Carter is a caseworker within CCHS who appears to be able to write her own rules. She has a reputation for handling tough cases and has developed a high profile in the community. Judge Kathleen Owen, the family court judge of Cherry County, finds herself having to rely on evidence and information that CCHS provides workers and is frustrated with their lack of professionalism and inability to work together. OVERVIEW OF THE PROBLEM The Cherry County Human Services agency (CCHS) employs sixteen child welfare social workers. They handle children’s protective services, foster care, delinquency services, and child abuse prevention cases. Two supervisors—Bob Strong and Ann Smith—supervise these workers. The supervisors report to a program manager, who in turn reports to David Klenk, the CCHS director. CCHS has had a great deal of staff turnover in the past ten years, and the staff who have remained have a reputation for being burned out. They are perceived by their peers and the community as unwilling to pursue legal and social work intervention on child abuse and neglect referrals, unless the allegations are so obvious that they cannot avoid raking action or unless law enforcement has intervened. Three of the five protective ser¬vices workers have more than fifteen years in protective services, but each has been repri¬manded numerous times for failure to complete paperwork in a timely manner. Aside from these reprimands, there have been other instances of misconduct throughout the organiza¬tion. One worker was fired six months ago for gross negligence of duty. Several workers are known for their tendency to leave work early. And many employees conduct non-work¬ related activities on county time. The agency has responded to these problems by creating more stringent reporting requirements for the caseworkers in the field. The responsible workers find these new requirements more time consuming and a demonstration of man¬agement’s lack of confidence and trust in them. Low morale has resulted. Those employees trying their best find the stringent reporting requirements to be added paperwork that takes away from their client contact time. As with most social service agencies, stress levels are high. This can be partly attrib¬uted to a change in public attitudes toward the cost of assisting others and the negativity in general toward welfare programs. Those who enter the field with the hope of helping peo¬ple who are less fortunate often find themselves overworked, underpaid, and the object of public scorn. A TROUBLED AGENCY, TROUBLED WORKERS There are currently four Foster care workers. There has been a 100 percent turno


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