Researching a Community Based Agency
New York City College of Technology
Human Service 1101
Name: Cheryl Santos
Professor: Dr. Ford
Cover page 1
Introduction: Mission Statement and job titles/ Job responsibilities 4
Body Part 1: Recipients of services 5
Body Part 2: Motivation for choosing this work & typical day at work 6 Educational background
Body Part 3: Trend and challenges, Funding, Conclusion 7
Code of Ethics (5) Ethical Standards for Human Services Professional 8 Statement 1, 5, & 17
Code of Ethics (5) Ethical Standards for Human Services Professional 9 Statement 32& 37
Ethical Standards for Human Service Professional 11
Agency: New York City Administration for Children Services
Address: 1274 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn New York
Name: Melissa Paige
The local community based agency I researched was the New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS), which is located at 1274 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn NY. The Professional worker I chose to speak with about the agency was Melissa Paige. She said their main mission at New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS) consisted of many goals. I believe their main goal is “Every team member at children services and each of our partner agencies can expect guidance, respect, and emotional support to achieve our goals. Every child, family, community member, and foster parent we come into contact with will be treated with concern and respect” (“Mission and Organization”, 1996). In other words this agency is willing to help all their clients without discrimination and also help their consumers to the best of their ability.
Many people believe that ACS is only about the protection of children from neglect or abuse but it is also about the household because a child is not capable to care for themselves. I believe all children need to be nourished, sheltered, protected, and should receive emotional support. If the guardian cannot provide the child with these needs the whole family should be evaluated.
After interviewing the agency I discovered the chain of command within the ACS agency. In the textbook it stated “For some agencies, the chain of command is hierarchal with defined responsibilities and accountability from top to bottom. Each person is accountable for those under his or her supervision” (Woodside & McClam, 230). According to Woodside & McClam the chain of command is hierarchal; well the New York City Administration of Children Services has four different levels. The first level is the borough of commissioner this person is appointed and has extraordinary expertise. The current borough of commissioner is Ronald E. Richter. Richter handles the extreme cases that deal with children that are severely neglected or abused within the city. The deputy director is Linda T. Gibbs she oversees all cases and reports difficult cases to Richter. Followed by the deputy director is the manager. The manager is at the agency site and is responsible to supervise both levels of specialist which are the child protective specialist supervisor (CPSS) and Child Protective Specialist (CPS). Like the textbook stated each level of the hierarchy works from the bottom to the top to be evaluated.
Although ACS is mostly concerned for the city children wellbeing the population is family oriented. The reason for ACS existence is to keep every child with a family that can provide care and commitment. Melissa Paige said that there is a program called Family Preservation. Family Preservation’s goal is to keep families together without moving the children from the home. I feel this program is very useful because it advocates safe families and provides family counseling and support services to avoid the removal of children into foster care. She also said that many of her clients are mandated by police doctors or courts. For mandated clients they will call 800 653-1522 which is listed on the NYC Administration for Children Services. The clients that are picked randomly because an anonymous person will call 800-342-3720 if there seems to be something wrong with the children in the household. The population is mostly diverse because the children are being picked mandated or randomly within the community.
Children have the ability to grow and learn throughout life. So I believe no one has the right to take this from them. Melissa and I both love to help people in need not only to guide or assist them for the service they need, but to let them be independent. I can say her biggest weakness is children because she feels that they are innocent and vulnerable. I on the other hand have a weakness for the elderly. I love to help the elderly because they should receive the best medical insurance and nursing homes.
Melissa Paige received her bachelor in Human Services. She explained that there are requirements to becoming fully employed at ACS. There are five Civil Service Statuses that are classified by New York City which are Permanent Employees, Provisional Employees, Noncompetitive Employees, Exempt Employees, and Labor Class employees. Permanent Employees are employees that have taken the civil service exam and completed the probation period. Provisional Employees are selected based on competitive titles but they have not taken the exam. Noncompetitive Employees do not have a permanent position. Exempt Employees are selected by the agency or mayor, so they are excluded. The Labor Class Employees are for an employee that has no skills or titles, so they have no required exams. She highly recommended to take the exam because it will be a permanent position.
Melissa Paige gave me an outline of her typical day at work. Monday and Wednesday is her field day, she talks with the family, makes reports about if the children are safe and if the family home is stabilized. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are the days she stays in the office and begins to document, makes referrals, and returning phone calls. She explained that this field is not easy. She said sometimes she sees children that been abused very severely. She also said that one child’s punishment was being burned by a lighter. I was very surprise to hear these types of abuses. I do not understand why someone would want to hurt a child. There are other ways to punish a child, like to take away things they love to do. Taking away their toys, limit television, or even curfew are ways to punish a child.
There have been many challenges throughout the years since Melissa has been employed by The Administration of Children Services. The agency Professional workers encountered many clients because of budget cuts, so there are an increasing amount of clients with limited CPSS and CPC. So when the governor announces cuts within the New York State, he means the proposal will state whether or not city jobs will be cut from funds. Another challenge would be that most of her clients are mandated by courts, doctors, schools, or police officials. So the more people that are mandated the more overload of work that has to be done. This can lead to a burnout of the professional worker.
After interviewing the agency I’ve learned that there are many advantages and disadvantages of becoming an ACS Human Service Professional. The main advantage will be helping children that has been abused or neglected by their guardian. Another advantage is you can move up on the chain of command by you take the Civil Service Exam. The disadvantage of working at ACS is seeing the child be abused, the overloaded work, limited resources and the burn out.
Ethical Standards For Human Service Professional
STATEMENT 1 Human service professionals negotiate with clients the purpose, goals, and nature of the helping relationship prior to its onset as well as inform clients of the limitations of the proposed relationship.
Clients are either requested or mandated to speak with an ACS worker. Melissa Paige said there is a contract that client must sign about the services that are requested. Her Purpose is to guide all her clients to self-sufficiency. She talked about confidentiality and boundaries that are shared between the client and the case worker. Case workers are not allowed to date the client or receive gifts because the case worker is considered as an authority figure.
STATEMENT 5 Human service professionals protect the integrity, safety, and security of client records. All written client information that is shared with other professionals, except in the course of professional supervision, must have the client’s prior written consent.
According to the contract any consumer that signs must be protected by law. Melissa Paige said when visiting the home on Monday and Wednesday she documents and then Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday she takes all the information she received and transfers to her computer. The information that is discussed with the client and even when the client does not respond it is recorded. When referring the client to a different agency for other services such as counseling, public assistance or even rehabilitation the participant must have a written consent. I believe this statement protects the client’s confidentiality.
STATEMENT 17 Human service professionals provide services without discrimination or preference based on age, ethnicity, culture, race, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
As a Human service professional no one is allowed to be discriminated when receiving services. It is against the law to discriminate and also against the policies of the agency. When discussing the agency she said that most of the agency clients are selected by zones. For instance Melissa zone is 14, 15, and 16which is Sheepsheadbay, East Flatbush, and Brownsville. These neighborhoods have different cultures, races, religion etc.; so her clients will not be the same. The population of the agency is very diverse.
STATEMENT 32 Human service professionals adhere to commitments made to their employers.
Every employer has their own policies that employees must adhere. As a professional you are to act professional, be honest, and protect your clients from malpractice. Melissa Paige said their main commitment is to protect children from abuse and help families in need for services to keep their child healthy. There is a contract that employees sign with employers that review the job requirements and policies.
STATEMENT 37 Human service professionals recognize a commitment to lifelong learning and continually upgrade knowledge and skills to serve the populations better.
All Human service professionals are always going to learn more about the field. This field requires an update on the technology, and community. When I was at the agency Melissa was trying to find the key commitments for the agency but she could not find them. That’s to show that technology is always changing. The database is always changing she told me. So you cannot be computer illiterate I think every Human Service Professional is supposed to have some knowledge of a computer.
Ethical standards for human service professional . (1996). Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-standards-for-hs- professionals
“Mission and organization”. (1996, January 10). Retrieved from http://home2.nyc.gov/html/acs/html/about/mission.shtml
Woodside, M. W., & McClam, T. M. (2011). An introduction to human services. (7TH ed., pp. 230-231)