The National Organization for Feminist Human Services
evaluation of human resource practices
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ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM - HUMAN SERVICES
The Human Services Council appreciates the opportunity to provide comment and guidance on the merits and drawbacks of incorporating inclusive and anti-oppressive practices in our human service delivery. As you may already know, in the past, many feminist social service agencies such as ours have faced grave trials in maintaining our commitment to anti-oppression work in the current setting of practice. After interviewing several in our department, it has come to my attention that with practitioners our feminist agencies in New York have revealed the extent to which a changing policy background has affected the power of our organizations to integrate anti-oppressive principles into our company practice. However, in spite of these challenges, however, I think that by identifying drawback and benefits like other feminist agencies in our community, we can continue to maintain an organizational commitment to anti-oppression work setting.
It has come my attention that utilizing the anti-oppressive model of social work practice in our company will help seeks important change in the arrangements of our organization and the society that are continuing to preserve oppression (Hick & Pozzuto, 2005; Mullaly, 2002). I believe that personal issues are redefined as political concerns needing structural answers through a method that delivers instant care to those who are experiencing systemic damage and advancing a bigger change in the direction of social justice (Mullaly, 1997). Here in our organization, we believe that as an tactic informed by an examination of power relations, anti-oppressive social work can strive to enable the political and personnel authorization of groups who are disadvantaged by interconnecting systems of heterosexism racism, classism, ableism, bigotry, and other types of oppression (Mullaly, 2002). To that end, all degrees of communication inside and outside social work practice such as ours will need to be are targeted for change (Dominelli, 1998).
It has been understood that in recent years, there has been a lot lively selection with the model of anti-oppression inside social work theory (Sakamoto, I., & Pitner, R.O. (2005), Simultaneously it is clear to our organization that as anti-oppressive practice are gaining widespread acceptance, and the context of practice is dramatically changing. Right now, the current context of social work practice is branded by financial effectiveness, managerialism (Barnoff, L., George, P., & Coleman, B. 2006), fragmentation, deskilling (Baines, 2004a), and bureaucratization (Moffatt, 1999). We think that the increase of prevalence of residual, market-oriented ideologies has possibly reduced the position of the welfare state (Lo, J., & Halseth, G. 2009). In our company, there has been a snowballing extraction of capitals for social services over time.
At the moment, this tendency continues to have a bad influence on the social service subdivision (Sakamoto, I., & Pitner, R.O., 2005). Even in our organization, it has led to services driven by forces of the market rather than by needs (Barnoff, L., George, P., & Coleman, B. (2006), organizations like ours who have in the past have placed importance on income over people (Barnoff, L., George, P., & Coleman, B. 2006)), and harsh, punitive social programs (Lo, J., & Halseth, G. 2009). We believe that this climate will encourage an approach to social service delivery that will simplify and limit the concerns facing our service users (Brown, H. 2008) and give only suggestive relief to the needs of people (Baines, 2004a).
It is also necessary to address the lack of satisfactory resources in the current setting of practice has a critical negative influence on the skills of feminist agencies such as our in engaging in some critical facets of anti-oppression work. We are learning that when agencies do not have the necessary resources, then agency personnel are sometimes forced to become almost wholly focused upon guaranteeing that the agency simply continues to function. We have found that one of the undesirable influences in relation to the addition of anti-oppression work is that agencies do not have the "bonus " to involve in the long-term tactical planning that is required when an organization is trying an important shift in its organizational trainings.
We at our organization think one of the things that make it hard is that women's organizations are being pursued way too much more by this government and are losing backing. People are being fired, so now we there are more workers now doing twice as much work just to make sure the organization is going perfect. Some are even asking the question. "How can you make us to take this [anti-oppression structural change work] on? Obviously now, it is clearly about survival. (Janice)
In our organization, we understand that the lack of sufficient funding makes a climate in which anti-oppression work can be looked at as unimportant. In some situations, not having enough funding can be expended as a basis by agencies to evade the work of anti-oppression altogether. Many in our organization have shared about how some agencies are taking advantage of the fact that they are famished of resources to evade involving in any anti-oppression work: "I think not having any resources can be used as an excuse not to participate in anti-oppression work. So, of course, it does make a difference. If there is a whole lot of money it absolutely does [but] many are seeing that being used in ways not to do just some work that does not cost a lot, and can be done in a lot of different was" (Jonathan).
These employees made the point to us that, while a lack of subsidy can make certain characteristics of anti-oppression work difficult, it does not make all anti-oppressive exercises impracticable. Further, they make the point that, in spite of the continuing challenges, agencies cannot just set aside exertions to follow integration of anti-oppression practice while expecting the entrance of more funds from the funders.
In our organization, we also understand that integrating anti-oppression organizational change strategies will costs us some money. And we also understand that honestly, that is how many people and organizations have managed to get away with not doing much work at all. However, our organization has run a deficit for three years since we would not give up a feature of our service that will provide admission for women who speak languages that are not English. Of course our organization would not do it. We believe that if you are a feminist, then you should commit to guaranteed principles. An individual should commit to the framework. So of course that might mean that they are going to have a decrease in service in a specific region or it should mean a lot of things, but it is very important that you still have to move ahead and do it. In our organization in the past and maybe going into the future that we may have to take a salary cut when we run our deficit, to come out of that and then again we are aware that is a hard choice.
Resounding this feeling, another employee has put it this way: "We should never use lack of not having enough resources as an excuse for not doing and work at all. I think that it is important that you do the work with fewer resources, but still the work will have to be done somehow. You still find a way to do the anti-oppression work, but you do it in such a way that whatever little you may have, it will allow you to still do it" (Eric).
In our organization, we understand that the position of these employees was that, if an agency does consider anti-oppression to be a part of its essential organizational reason and processes rather than just looking at it as just an "add-on," the influence of inadequate reserves is felt, but it does not totally disrupt the agency's energies. When anti-oppression exercises are seen as "add-ons," nevertheless, they become a target that is easy when resources are cut. Another employee, for example, talked about her experiences in a previous agency where almost all the anti-oppression connected creativities were limited inside the Access and Equity Department. Although some agency associates thought this was a valuable way to assimilate anti-oppression, when the agency underwent a grave funding disaster, the Access and Equity Department was the primary zone to be cut (Buhler, S. 2009). Her involvements in a feminist agency that was much smaller where anti-oppression work was intellectualized as an essential part of all of its procedures gave a difference: when funding cuts took place in this specific agency, pursuing anti-oppression advantages as an "easy" way to save up a lot of money was impracticable because they were basic to the core workings of every facet of the agency and therefore could not be simply removed.
We are also aware in our organization that as in relation to organizational strategic planning, features of anti-oppression work that are requiring long-term savings of time…