Creating a Social Program
It takes the collaboration of many different agencies and organizations to ensure that all U.S. citizens enjoy healthy and fruitful lives. Through these planned, ongoing collaborative efforts, available resources can be maximized to provide the greatest benefit and support for all of our communities. Disaster programs are particularly important in bringing stability back to families and allowing the affected communities to continue to thrive after the chaos of the initial trauma. The phrase ‘it takes a community to raise a child’ has been used to indicate that we all have to work together to raise productive, healthy children. The same proves true for our country as a whole. Every day personal and community crises happen that require help from the larger community to overcome. The provision of basic needs, such as shelter, food and medical care, during natural and economic disasters is essential to families being able to regain their stability. Among the human services agencies that offer assistance during disaster are the American Red Cross, the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) and the Salvation Army of the U.S.A. These are all good models to review when designing a new human services organization that will be geared toward effective, nationwide disaster relief services. Those affected by disasters will often need help for a prolonged period of time. Disaster relief programs have to be able to provide adequate assistance and know ahead of time what services they can provide and how they will work in concert with other agencies. They have to define just what they wish to accomplish in a situation and for how long they can provide relief. Temporary shelters have to be provided immediately. These shelters either have to have a long life or have to be replaced by interim shelter once the area has been stabilized, as it will take a considerable amount of time to repair or replace all of the permanent shelters damaged or lost during a disaster. Families without insurance may be displaced for a longer time than those who have insurance in place. If those without insurance cannot find adequate compensation or grant funding, then they may face homelessness. Families, especially those with young children, are at great risk of permanent displacement from a disaster. Responding agencies must have the means to decide when and where to intervene so that those without resources are helped as soon as possible. This assistance must take the form of both material goods and counseling for mental health. Our organization wishes to emulate the services that the Salvation Army provides. This includes the collection and distribution of donated cleaning and repair supplies to assist families in returning to their homes as soon as possible. Coordination of services among government and private agencies allows for temporary relocation into existing structures that are sound. Each of the response teams that come to offer aid during U.S. disasters have a protocol that they follow regarding who is the first responder and how each team member will work with the other agencies involved. Our efforts will be geared toward assisting families to return to permanent shelter within one month. The reality of meeting this goal will depend, in large part, on the extent of the disaster. In extreme cases, all local resources are lost. This loss results in all families within the affected area lacking the means to fed, clothe and house their family members. They may not have sufficient funds available to recover from this disaster on their own. These families can benefit from nationwide assistance in the event of such an extreme disaster. The volunteers and organization members benefit as well, because they can take a sense of satisfaction away from helping those in need. Those who lose family members...