ERIC Number: ED447235
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-May
Battered Agency Syndrome: The Challenge to Agencies Serving Low-Income Communities.
Reed, Diane; Lally, J. Ronald; Quiett, Douglas
Community-based social service agencies working in low-income communities increasingly function with inadequate support and encounter numerous oppressive external and internal conditions that compromise organizational and staff well-being. Working with many such agencies, WestEd identified stressors that included funding problems, unrealistic expectations about programs, racial and class tensions, lack of organizational capacity and support, and problems in program development and collaboration. The term "battered agency syndrome" was coined to explain some of the difficulties observed in struggling social service agencies. These agencies, like the families they work with, need practical and emotional supports that include: (1) assessing organizational and staff wellness before collaborative work begins; (2) encouraging founders to provide resources for an organizational therapist to nurture the development of a healthy infrastructure; (3) assessing and developing cultural competence among collaborating agencies; (4) using funders to provide resources for staff skill development, burnout prevention, and cross training; (5) training supervisory staff in reflective supervision; and (6) participating in strategic planning processes. (Contains 53 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.