Every month, Horizons has an agency wide staff meeting at the main office. Case management staff, staff from the supportive housing program, the outpatient socialization program, educational programs, employment programs and peer support programs, entitlement and financial support programs, referral services for substance abuse, child and adolescent programs, advocacy services, and clinical service programs are in attendance.
Prior to the meeting the executive director, who leads the meetings, sent out a request for agenda items. It became clear that the prevalence of community violence is a priority to address for many workers.
Workers from different departments shared their concerns. Case managers from the supportive housing program report that clients are refusing to live in certain subsidized housing now due to threats of violence. Social workers providing in-home clinical services have started to feel afraid to do their home visits because of increased violence in certain neighborhoods. There is an increase in calls to the substance abuse referral line by parents calling for services for young adult children who are struggling with substance use and many of the callers are afraid of their children’s involvement in gang activity or that they will be the victim of community violence. The mental health clinic is seeing an increased number of clients who have been impacted by violent events and are experiencing trauma symptoms. In the employment services program, workers are reporting that there seems to be fewer job openings because community businesses are leaving the area due to threats of violence.
A theme that emerges from the meeting is that although the staff feel that they are still being productive with their clients, the problem of community violence really needs to be addressed through direct services, but also with a broader intervention. As the discussion continues, it is decided that the next step should be to create a task group with members from each of the programs in the organization to consider how to collaborate and more broadly address this issue.
One week later, a member from each of the programs convene a meeting to discuss how the agency can more holistically address the community violence and the impact it’s having on individuals and families.
Your supervisor asks you to be the representative from the outpatient mental health program at this meeting.
You read chapters from your Netting textbook the night before the meeting that focused on community and organizational problems. As the group starts working together, you explain that to begin the process you will all need to truly understand the problem that’s occurring, the population that is being impacted, and the arena where the problem is occurring.
Draft a clear, one-sentence statement of the problem as you see it at this point defining (a) the problem, (b) the target population, and (c) the geographical boundaries. Explain why you wrote this particular statement the way that you did. (183 Words)