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Pause to Consider

This is a complex exercise. You are developing the working intervention model for a human services agency you are establishing. Envision an agency you would like to establish and use that agency in this exercise. The exercise requires a stakeholder panel. When actually establishing an agency, this panel would be developed by including participants from points “A,” “1,” “B,” and possibly points “2,” and “3” on the Helping Triangle for the agency. For purposes of the exercise, select at least three associates to serve as your stakeholder panel. They will represent Potential Clients, Initiators, Authorizers, and perhaps Implementers and Providers. The exercise also refers to a focus group and a knowledge pool. Who should be in these groups is explained in the chapter. Recruit at least three of your associates to participate in each group for the purposes of this exercise. People may need to serve in more than one group, i.e., your stakeholder panel, your knowledge pool, and your focus group. Once you have established the three groups above, you are ready to answer the questions below.

  • Who should the agency’s clients be? – Develop a list of criteria people must satisfy to be eligible for client status. Once you have the criteria list, validate it with your stakeholder panel.
  • What specific difficulties do people who are eligible to be agency clients experience coping with the range of needs, problems, and vulnerabilities they experience in their day-to-day lives? – Develop at least two brief sketches or profiles of people who meet the eligibility criteria and are experiencing these difficulties. These profiles are narratives or stories, with the client as the main character. The stories are told from the client’s point of view. Once you have your profiles, validate them with your stakeholder panel.
  • With which of the difficulties the people in the profiles are experiencing does the agency expect to help? – This gives you a list of specific difficulties or issues with which the agency expects to help: the agency’s Intervention Focus. Once you have developed the Intervention Focus, validate it with the stakeholder panel.
  • How do people experiencing the difficulties included in the Intervention Focus cope with those difficulties when they are able to cope on an independent, self-directed basis, using their private opportunities and resources? – With a focus group selected by you, Share the profiles and the preliminary Intervention Focus, inviting the group to share its thoughts and perspectives on the question.
  • How will you know when the services the agency provides are successful? – Ask the focus group to suggest criteria the agency should use to assess whether or not its services are successful. Your goal is to add a happy ending to the profiles developed earlier.
  • What are your service scenarios developed through the preceding steps? – Who is the client; what are the specific issues or difficulties he or she experienced; What agency resources or opportunities did he access to help with those difficulties or issues; and how is he coping better, how is he better off for having received agency services? Once you have finished the service scenarios, validate them with your stakeholder panel.
  • What will the specific components of the agency’s intervention array be; what services will the agency provide; and how will the agency provide those services to its clients? – Once you have answered these questions, validate your answers with your stakeholder panel.
  • Who will you invite to join your knowledge pool? – Along with a list of possible participants, also draft the letter you will send to potential participants inviting them to join the process.
  • Once you have formed the knowledge pool and have received their advice and guidance, what is on the list of services and activities the people in the knowledge pool think are essential for achieving the outcomes you want to achieve? – After you have met with the knowledge pool, compare their list to the intervention focus developed earlier. Merge their list and the intervention focus and share it with your stakeholder panel. Based on that step, finalize the adjusted intervention array you will use for the agency.
  • What is the intervention model most of the members of the knowledge pool believe represents a state-of-the-art approach to providing the services and activities suggested by the group? – Make any modifications to that model needed for it to work with your adjusted intervention array. The result is the working model for your agency. Re-visit the knowledge pool to solicit comments and recommendations about your working model. Make any appropriate adjustments to the model you think are appropriate. You now have the working intervention model for the agency you are establishing.

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