Organizational Analysis

Topics: Social justice, Social work, Autism Pages: 6 (3676 words) Published: October 31, 2014


Organizational Analysis Regarding Social Justice
Elizabeth A. Swann
Virginia Commonwealth University

An agency assessment is the breakdown and analysis of a larger complex organization into its smaller components. The purpose of this type of assessment is to identify both the strengths and weaknesses of any given agency. Interactions between goals and problematic areas are often examined in order to formulate solutions and to strengthen areas of excellence. Data Collection Methods

Two staff members of the Autism Society of Central Virginia (ASCV) participated in interviews regarding the agency's practices. Background information was also ascertained from the agency's website. Past personal experience with ASCV, as a member and conference participant, was also relevant in the data collection for this paper. Peer-reviewed journals and other references were utilized in analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of this agency. Agency / Population Description

The Autism Society of Central Virginia (ASCV) is a small local chapter of a larger parent organization dedicated to the well-being of those on the Autism Spectrum and their families. The ASCV has three full time staff members and a database of about 250 volunteers. These volunteers fulfill a variety of roles. Among the duties performed by volunteers are: providing childcare, running the registration table at meetings/events, helping with social events/programs, and various duties during the 5K Run/Walk for Autism. Fund-raising accounts for approximately 75% of ASCV's budget. The primary fundraiser is the Annual 5k. Donations account for another 15% of the agency budget. The last 10% of the budget is made up of grants (B. Boswell, personal communication, October 7, 2014). ASCV serves individuals with autism and their families in Central Virginia. They strive to serve those with autism “at any age and any stage” (ASCV, 2014). ASCV does it's best to provide resources and information to anyone who contacts them, no matter what their geographical location. ASCV events include social clubs, educational programs and conferences, fund raising events and support groups. If their services are not appropriate for the person inquiring, they try to provide alternate resources to them. Most people are referred to ASCV by word of mouth and public meeting notifications. Referrals also come in from educators, physicians, and people who have located the website. Most events are free to members and some events are free to the public in general. ASCV does ask for a $25 membership fee, but scholarships are available to any who need it (B. Boswell, personal communication, October 8, 2014). According to Gresham, Van & Cook (2006), autism is a neurologically based condition marked by developmental delays and disabilities. The disorder is characterized by difficulties with social interactions and communication skills. Narrow interests and repetitive behaviors are trademarks of this condition. These behavioral difficulties lead to problematic transitions into the larger community and limit appropriate social interactions. Recent increases in the diagnoses of Autism have focused significant attention on this population. The increase in the diagnostic rate has led to intensified research efforts and a push to insure adequate health and educational resources (Gresham, et al., 2006). Mission/ Objectives

ASCV's form of social justice could be considered distributive in nature. Distributive justice, according to Van Soest (2003), involves the contract of “what society owes the person” and involves distributing resources to all individuals in a fair manner. The mission statement, and major activities, of the ASCV indicate a drive to achieve fairness and quality of life for a marginalized component of society. “The mission of the Autism Society of Central Virginia is to improve the...

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