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Accountability in Social Services: The Culture of the Paper Program (Haworth Health and Social Policy)

Accountability in Social Services: The Culture of the Paper Program (Haworth Health and Social Policy)

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Find out how—and why—social service programs can exist only on paper

Accountability in Social Services examines how—and why—social and human services programs can function even though they are monitored by written communication instead of face-to-face interaction. Author Jill Florence Lackey draws on her experience as a consultant for more than 50 social programs and as director of two nonprofit organizations to demonstrate the strong need for accountability mechanisms and more ethics-based leadership when running social service programs. This unique book walks you through the process of how "paper programs" emerge and operate, the monitoring mechanisms that are—and aren't—in place during program operations, and recommendations to increase accountability in the social service delivery system.

The surprise is not that social service programs exist only on paper, but that these programs—some, very effective, others, out-and-out frauds—are able to serve consumers again and again without any accountability. While demands for responsibility have actually increased through private and government mandates, virtually none of the monitoring in this system is done in person, so that paper reports, in essence, become the program—a "program in a box." Accountability in Social Services uses case studies to better understand the failures of the four main sources of accountability for individual programs (potential service consumers, funding sources, program evaluators, and sponsoring or "parent" organizations) and how entire networks of organizations and groups are removed from accountability.

Accountability in Social Services examines programs focusing on:

youth aftercare

adolescent health

drug prevention

rural community development

crime prevention

violence intervention

services to the homeless

and more Accountability in Social Services concludes with recommendations for organized action by consumer groups to increase responsibility in the social service delivery system. This book is invaluable as a resource for students, teachers, and practitioners working in social work and welfare, evaluation, organizational leadership, public policy, applied anthropology, and consumer science, including local organizations such as PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups).