My agency Blue Water Safe Horizons Homeless Shelter helps the victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, homelessness and elder abuse through providing them shelter and other support services. It is based on the organizational theory of rationale-legal model since the role of every volunteer and employee and the distribution of their authority has been defined formally in a hierarchical manner whereas the impersonal rule leading to the assignments to positions, the rights and obligations of each position and the power distribution are universally accepted (Hasenfeld, 2010).
The case manager, being me, with the support of the coordinator and spiritual care representative, we provide our expertise to help the victims of assault and abuse to recover from their physical, mental and emotional sufferings and rehabilitate themselves in the society as an individual successfully surviving against all the odds. The agency also fulfills the immediate needs for counseling, educational services, information and awareness and for getting acknowledged for all they had gone through. The agency is able to completely fulfill these needs of the survivors through the collaborative efforts of its staff, each one of who work in accordance to their designated authority and obligations to achieve the organizational goals of the human welfare agency, the Blue Water Safe Horizons Homeless Shelter.
If a victim reports an abuse or is suspected of abuse then the staff should help according to the following organizational model:
The case manager should determine what type of assistance need to be provided to the victim and what services program would best suit under the given circumstances. Special measures should be adopted to ensure the safety and security of the survivor through providing the relevant services to them and no victim should be entertained if they don’t accept to take this service.
The police should be informed about the incident by the consent of the victim. The privacy of the victim should be respected and maintained, particularly in the case of a safety concern. Shelter counseling or service should be provided on the basis of the need of the victim. In case of sexual assault, advocacy at the incident, collection of evidence, criminal proceedings should also be provided along with the necessary requirement of the medical treatment. Additional information, resources and individual counseling should be provided as well.
All these obligations are carried out in a systematic manner, determined through the rationale model of the organizational theory, by the corresponding staff members of the agency who have been allocated their respective duties and authorities in the legal model of the agency.
After analyzing the rationale-legal model of my agency, I would recommend that the agency should further enhance it through providing regular training sessions to its new and existing staff members as well as to the volunteers so as to ensure that the best practice is followed in the delivery of better services to the sufferers. The staff and the volunteers both should be trained to how to identify a victim of abuse and how to extract the relevant or important information from him/her. Further training should also be provided on the basis of the need of each employee or volunteer for the purpose of enhancing their knowledge, skills and response to the reported or identified incident.
Hasenfeld, Y. (2010) 2nd ed. Human Services as Complex Organizations. Los Angeles, CA: Sage
Burt, M. et al.(1999). Homelessness: Programs and the people they serve: Findings of the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers and Clients: Technical report prepared for the Interagency Council on Homelessness. Washington, D.C.: The Council.