Social Work Practice with Organizations: Engagement, Assessment, and Planning
I NFLUENCING ORGANIZATIONS CAN RESULT IN IMPROVED services for clients. You may think of organizations as small, supportive structures that help to organize the maze of work, or as large bureaucracies that are unresponsive to client
needs or individual efforts to improve them. Organizations are “formally structured arrangements of people, tools, and resources brought together to achieve predetermined objectives through institutionalized strategies” (Barker, 2003, p. 308). Social workers work in many types and sizes of organizations, and use their knowledge of organizations to promote the best interest of their client systems. Knowledge of organizations is imperative to professional practice, because most social workers practice within organizations. Although there has been considerable growth in the number of social workers choosing independent practice settings, the majority today work in agency settings (Whitaker & Wilson, 2010).