The issue of high number of high school drop outs has been rampant in the past decade. Young people drop out of school for various reasons such as peer pressure, drugs, other crime-related issues, violence, teenage pregnancy, poverty, and disability among other factors. Statistics show that the rate of high school dropouts was 16% in 2007 with the ages of the dropouts declining to as young as 14 year olds (Milliken, 2007).
Statistics further show that approximately 80% of new jobs specifically require education of at least up to post-secondary levels. Human service organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies step in to address this issue in various ways, for instance, by offering job training skills for the dropouts. This is done in collaboration with the community. It is worth noting that the sustainability and effective management of such human service organizations require quite high amounts of resources as well as cooperation from the parties involved. This paper provides details of how such an organization can address the problem of high school dropouts. The statement of opportunity of the organization, the impact of organizational structure, aspects of community and environmental factors and issues of human resource and budgeting are covered in the paper.
Statement of Opportunity
Human service organizations are charged with the responsibility of tackling issues that affect the overall wellbeing of people. A human service organization that has the objective of offering job skills to high school dropouts has to show the purpose of its existence in terms of what opportunity lies in the society for it to address and solve the problem. It is not enough for human service organizations focusing on offering job skills to high school dropouts to address the causes of the problem. Rather, the organization needs to raise awareness of the risks facing this vulnerable population. This entails showing the uniqueness of the high school dropouts by addressing their special problems and the consequences they face such as poverty, unemployment, limited labor force participation and limited access to educational facilities (Weidman & Friedmann, 1984).
The statement of opportunity relates the problems of the high school dropouts to the community. It is important for the organization to have values and beliefs that are based on the scope of services provided and the obligations that relate to the organization. Additionally, since the maintenance of high school dropouts programs by human service organizations is usually very expensive, the organization has to address the aspects of accountability, effective governance and good leadership to the stakeholders involved in the programs. Further, the human service organization needs to address the issues of reliability and actual needs of the high school dropouts to encourage funding for the sustainability of the program (Milliken, 2007).
Impact of Organizational structure
The organizational structure of human service organization reveals how it operates. The impact of the organizational structure of a human service organization that is focused on offering job skills to high school dropouts affects the impact the organization has on the people involved (Milliken, 2007). This means that since the overall aims and objectives of the human service organization are focused on service provision rather than profit making, the organizational structure reveals how well this is perceived by the beneficiaries, the programs undertaken, the evaluation of the program, the benefits reaped by the target group and the support given to the organization.
The organizational structure of the human service organization focused on offering job skills to high school dropouts is faced with challenges of leadership and management, values, sustainability, governance, program and central administration among others (Milliken, 2007). The organizational structure illustrates the leadership and management of the organization. This is done through the manner in which the organization is run and managed. For example, the types of job skills offered to the youth, the methods used to identify and admit the high school dropouts into the program, the responsibilities assigned to each stakeholder as well as the overall measures of accountability are all affected by the organizational structure (Weidman & Friedmann, 1984). The impact of the organizational structure is also felt in the willingness and level of collaboration between the organization, the community, government and the donors for the funding of the organization.
The objective of the human service organization is to provide job skills to the high school dropouts. As a result, the impact of the organizational structure is addressed in terms of the ability of the organization to remain relevant and focused on its major objectives. This can be achieved through the input and outcome of the program. For example, the number of high school dropouts admitted to the program, the mode of admission, the skills taught, the method of evaluation, the relevance of the program to the youth, the number of youth that graduate from the program, the preparedness of the organization to follow up and help the graduates settle in their jobs as well as the ability of the organization to create employment opportunities for them. The human service organization further operates in a community environment. The effect of its organizational structure is illustrated through the impact it has on the community, the ability to involve members of the community, the number of volunteers and employees in the organization from the community, and the organization’s accountability through financial analysis and budgeting (Milliken, 2007).
Community and Environmental factors
The human service organization focused on providing job skills to high school dropouts has to contend with community and environmental issues. The organization should scan and analyze the environment to establish the need for the program. This can be gauged by the prevalence of high school dropouts in the community (Weidman & Friedmann, 1984). Most of the high school dropouts are influenced to leave school by factors such as peer pressure, drugs and crime-related issues, violence, teenage pregnancies, poverty, and disability among others. Therefore, the human service organization should enable the youths to overcome the challenges facing them and the risks they are exposed to. This means providing additional services other than job skills such as counseling, rehabilitation, teaching of life skills and other necessary support services (Milliken, 2007). This would require more effort to address the risks of the young people by launching campaigns such as campaigns against drug abuse and campaigns that encourage positive behavioral change so as to reduce their risks.
Weidman and Friedmann (1984) argue that problems that arise because of the socio-economic status of the youths and community have to be addressed by the organization in order to make the program cost-effective and transformative to the high school dropouts. As Milliken (2007) asserts, human service organizations are likely to be faced with resistance from the community which can be averted through encouraging collaboration and community involvement. A significant number of high school dropouts are involved in activities such as drug abuse, criminal gangs and other forms of violence or behaviors that are considered unethical by the community. A human service organization has to deal with the attitude of the community towards the high school dropouts. The aim of this is to encourage their collaboration and support (Milliken, 2007). Further, the skills taught to the young people have to be relevant and acceptable to the community. Weidman and Friedmann (1984) argue that skills for positive living have to be acceptable rather than controversial and should have a strong impact on helping the young people earn a living and become independent. The other community and environmental factors that the organization has to deal with include political climate, economic issues and the involvement of schools to reduce the rate of high school dropouts by identifying the at-risk individuals and helping them by addressing the root cause of the problem (Milliken, 2007).
Human Resources and Budget
Human service organizations aimed at offering job skills to the high school dropouts require much collaboration and cooperation from all stakeholders for them to be effective. This is illustrated by the need for employees to handle the various matters that affect the smooth running and operation of the organization. The choice of human resources is determined by the resources available to cater for them in terms of finances, the number of trainees admitted in the program, the skills of the employees, their passion for the work they are engaged in as well as the duration of the program (Milliken, 2007).
Further, the human resources available have to involve the community by ensuring equality and transparency. The use of volunteer programs would provide more services to the beneficiaries at a considerably low cost (Weidman & Friedmann, 1984). The aspect of budgeting is very important due to the fact that the effective management of such an organization is quite costly. Budgeting is also important for accountability purposes and helps to set the cost of the program to make it cost-effective through effective classification of expenses for sustainability purposes (Weidman & Friedmann, 1984).
- Executive Director’s Salary $100,000.00
- Training Supervisor’s Salary $80,000.00
- Trainer’s Salary 10 in no @ $50,000 each $500,000.00
- Administrative Coordinator’s Salary $45,000.00
- Administrative staff salary (3 @ $25,000) $75,000.00
- Total Salary $800,000
- Employee related benefits $200,000
- Total personnel expenses $1,000,000
Total Functional and Program Budget for 1,000 students
- Employee salaries $800,000.00
- Employee related benefits $200,000.00
- Rent $125,000.00
- Utilities $100,000.00
- Office supplies $25,000.00
- Equipment/lease $50,000.00
- Transportation/travel $100,000.00
- Outside consultants $100,000.00
- Overhead costs $100,000.00
- Total agency budget $1,600,000.00
- Total cost per student = $1,600,000.00/ 1000
- Cost per student = $1,600
This paper has evaluated in detail how a human service organization focused on offering job skills to high school dropouts can address its statement of opportunity, the impact of the organizational structure on the service provided, aspects of community and environmental factors and human resource and budgeting. Further, the paper has provided the budget of a human service agency together with the computation of the costs per eligible student for the program.
Milliken, B. (2007). The last dropout, stop the epidemic. New York, NY: Hay House Inc.
Weidman, J., & Friedmann, R. (1984). The school-to-work transition for high school dropouts. Journal of the Urban Review, 16(1), 25-42.