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Running Head: Organizational Analysis

Organizational Analysis
Karlie Muxlow
SW 4020

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Organizational Analysis

Introduction
The agency chosen for this paper is Ennis Center Inc. located in Port Huron. This agency
is a foster and adoption agency. This paper will discuss the organization of Ennis center
including services, organization of the employees, diversity, budget, goals, strengths and
weaknesses. This paper will include theories from the textbook and explain why this intern feels
these theories relate to Ennis.
Organization and Services
The Ennis Enter for Children is a foster and adoption agency in the state of Michigan.
Ennis has worked with abused and neglected children and their families for over 35 years. Ennis
services have reached over 3,500 each year. Ennis works with over 300 children in their foster
care system alone (enniscenter.org). Ennis Center has locations in four counties including
Genesee, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne County. In these counties, Ennis Center is a leading
agency in finding adoptive families for children.
The Ennis Center is a nonprofit corporation and is accredited by the Council on
Accreditation for Children and Families and licensed by the State of Michigan. An intern works
directly alongside foster care workers at the St. Clair County location in Port Huron. Some of the
things experienced so far are being able to attend court hearings including review hearings,
termination of parental rights hearings, adoption hearings and hearings to reunify parents with
their children. Interns attend home visits to the foster homes to see the children and to the birth
parent homes to see how they are doing. Interns attend announced and unannounced visits at
these homes to check up on the children and parents. Interns also supervise parenting time at the
office for children who are temporary court wards. It is helpful for interns to attend staff

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Organizational Analysis

meetings and family team meetings where the family members or foster parents come together
with the workers to discuss how the case is going and what still needs to be accomplished for the
end goal of either reunification or adoption. This writer has also recently been learning how to
input records into the online system ran by the state of Michigan.
Mission and Goals
Ennis Centers mission is that With the support of the community, we preserve families
when possible and create new families when necessary (enniscenter.org). Ennis achieves their
goals to the best of their abilities by dedicating time to train their staff to help families create a
better future. The first goal is keeping children safe from abusive or neglect situations. The
ultimate goal however is reunification of the family but when that is not possible, Ennis
dedicates time to find the right adoptive family for each child. Goal displacement has not
occurred at Ennis Center Port Huron where this intern is located. This is because of the
extraordinary supervising that is available to the workers. The supervisors make sure to check in
on their employees daily and help solve problems when necessary. The employees work well
together and help out when needed. Everyone seems to have the same mentality that teamwork is
key to an organization running smoothly. The atmosphere is positive even when some of the
work can be negative and overwhelming. These organizational influences positively affect
organizational functioning by helping Ennis to run as smoothly as possible in such an emotional
environment. Ennis has the ability to follow their mission statement and deliver services to their
target population as best as they can. With the support of the supervising staff along with support
of each employee, the children who are being served have the best possible chance to a
successful future.

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Organizational Analysis

Organizational Structure and Staffing


Ennis Centers staffing structure is relatable to a ladder. According to the organizational
chart provided, at the top of the ladder is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) that holds the most
power. Beneath the COO is both the Foster Care Program Director and the Adoption Program
Director. The adoption Program Director does not work out of the Port Huron office so the
structure is mainly Foster Care. Underneath the Foster Care Program Director is the Foster Care
Certification Officer which happens to be the same person as the Program director. Underneath
her are the foster care case managers and the certification and licensing specialist. Also in the
building is an office manager and two administrative assistants. This ladder structure distributes
the power from the top down. The case workers are at the bottom of the latter with the least
amount of power or voice in decisions made. However, team meetings are held every Tuesday
morning to bring together all of the workers to voice opinions on different situations and to make
sure everyone is on the same page. The control is in the supervisors but they use that power to
help the organization run smoothly without taking too much power or control.
This organization takes an universalistic management approach to management.
According to the text Social Work Macro Practice universalistic management includes
principles of a pyramidal shape, single supervisor, autonomy in routine performance,
specialization by task, and differentiation of Line and Support Functions (Ellen Netting, 2012). A
pyramidal shape refers to a hierarchical management as discussed earlier with the most important
decision maker at the top and the members at the bottom with the least amount of decision
making. According to the Organizational Chart given to this intern, Ennis Center has one
supervisor that the foster care workers report to and that supervisor only has five to six case
workers to oversee. These are also traits of an universalistic management approach. Autonomy in

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routine performance refers to the lower levels of the hierarchy having a routine covered by
standard rules. Foster care workers have specific guidelines and rules they must follow from
policies made by the Department of Human Services. The supervisor makes sure these policies
are carried out in the agency. For example, Department of Human Services has a policy for foster
care workers to do an unannounced visit every reporting period of 90 days. The supervisor keeps
track of each workers unannounced visits and provides a handout of when each workers
unannounced visits are due. This helps keep the case workers on track so they do not fall behind
policy.
At Ennis Center Port Huron every worker including the supervising staff are women.
This is partly because the field of Social Work has traditionally been viewed as a female
occupation. This could be because of the lower wages and men traditionally were the head of the
households and needed to make a higher yearly salary. On top of all the employees being female,
they are also all white women. This means that there is no gender or racial diversity in the
organization. Having all white women run the agency compared with the diverse populations the
organization serves could potentially cause some problems. The population the organization
serves is very diverse with many races, ages, men and women, disabilities and sexual identities.
This fit of the employees and the clients could be off because of the drastic differences in
diversity. The organization does a good job at making sure their lack of diversity does not hinder
their work with clients however, some clients may feel otherwise. For example, an African
American child whose parents rights had been terminated was placed with an African American
foster family who decided to adopt her. After this process was almost final, the paternal
grandparents who were Caucasian stepped forward to take placement of the little girl. The courts
ruled that the child stay with her current foster family and the grandparents were extremely upset

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and stated it was because they were not black. This had nothing to do with the organizations
lack of diversity but clients still may have problems with it. The staff have been trained to be
culturally competent while doing their job and apply this to the best of their abilities.
Internal and External Environment
Ennis Center receives legitimization from the state of Michigan. The state gives a
certain amount of money to the organization for every child they serve. The supervisor at Ennis
expressed that Ennis receives 37 dollars per day for every child on their case load. It is hard to
get money from the state. There is a lot of paperwork involved in keeping track of everything the
state needs to allow funding. Auditing is a way for the state to check and make sure the
organization is doing their job. There are a lot of policies that Ennis is required to follow from
the Department of Human Services (DHS) and auditing is a way to check and make sure all of
the policies are being met. In order to receive grants, a grant application has to be written up and
it can be difficult to show why the grant is important for the organization. Ennis Center receives
government funding but the supervisor did not allow this intern to see the annual report or budget
so specific questions cannot be answered.
Clients are given to Ennis from DHS. Some cases are ongoing and are transferred to
Ennis while others come right from Child Protective Services (CPS) to the workers at Ennis.
Other cases are handed to Ennis when they reach the adoption phase of a case. DHS does not
handle adoptions so they outsource their cases to an adoption agency once the case is ready to
move forward with adoption. Ennis is both a foster and adoption agency so they work with both
cases.

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Ennis has a positive relationship with other organizations in its environment. While
working a case there are multiple organizations working together. There are foster care workers,
foster parents, doctors, therapists, life skills workers, and many more. For example, if a child has
mental health needs, the worker will have to work with Community Mental Health (CMH) to
help the childs needs get met. Workers also have to work with the schools that children are
enrolled in making sure that their Individual Education Plan (IEP) is followed so the educational
needs of the child are met. If a worker has a strained relationship with an organization it can
hinder the case and cause unneeded tensions between the team. Fortunately, Ennis has a good
reputation with other organizations so every team member can work towards the best interest of
the child. The childs well-being is the ultimate goal and if everyone is on the same page and
putting that child first the case runs as smoothly as possible.
While completing the SWOT assessment, this intern looked at the organization in a
different light. Strengths of this organization help it to run smoothly and continue to work
positively in the community. Some strengths discussed in the SWOT analysis are that the
supervising staff at Ennis Center Port Huron is exceptional. The supervisor really works to help
employees and to make them better social workers. A supervisor can keep everyone in line and
make sure the agency runs smoothly. Workers at this agency always put their clients first which
is very important. Because of this strength, clients are well taken care of and the workers really
have their best interest at heart. Workers have a positive rapport with foster parents which helps
the process run smoothly. If there is an issue the workers explain it to the best of their abilities
and find out answers if they do not know them. The workers value the foster parents which helps
give Ennis a good reputation. This in return helps licensing by attracting more potential foster
parents to the agency because of how smoothly it is ran. Ennis Center Port Huron also gets very

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positive reviews on their state audits. This is extremely important because it means that the
workers are doing their job and following policies put in place by DHS. This also helps increase
funding for the organization.
While there are numerous strengths about Ennis Center there are also some downfalls. All
of the employees at Ennis Center Port Huron are Caucasian females. There is virtually no
diversity within the office which can hinder their reputation to potential clients or foster parents.
Another downfall for this agency mentioned in the SWOT analysis is while checking files for
auditing this intern found that the workers have a hard time obtaining signatures from their
clients doctors. This is important for auditing and something the workers needs to work to
improve. The workers in this organization could also improve their communication. There are
instances where the supervisor should have known something right away and the worker fails to
mention it. Communication is key to any relationship running smoothly and therefore needs to be
improved within this agency.
This agency has opportunities that can positively impact its success. Auditing is
approaching quickly and if the audit goes well, the organization can receive more funding for its
programs. DHS is not able to do adoptions so they always outsource their cases at that time.
Ennis has a good reputation with adoptions which helps them receive more adoption cases from
DHS. The agency is also growing and hiring more people in the Port Huron office which means
that more children will be served and better opportunities for the community.
There are also threats facing the agency as with any agency. The agency having to be
funded by the state means if their audit does not go as planned, the agency can lose money which
will negatively affect how well they serve the community. There are other private adoption and

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foster agencies in the area which means competition for Ennis Center. If their reputation does not
hold up to what it is at, these other agencies could take over and receive more cases. The
computer systems at Ennis are fairly old which slows down information input. Along with the
old computer systems, the state wide information data system is very hard to use and has a lot of
technological problems. This slows down the process of the case which means less children are
served. In regards to Ennis Center Port Huron, the supervisor is temporarily supervising another
office which leaves the Port Huron office without a proper supervisor. If people in this agency do
not keep up on their jobs the agency as a whole can be negatively affected. One of the strengths
of this agency is the supervising staff and with them out of the office, workers could slack off
and not do their jobs properly. Lastly, if paperwork is not properly documented, auditing could
potentially put the organization on a provisional license or worse shut it down. Hopefully with
such good supervising staff and workers on top of their paperwork this would not happen to this
agency but it is always an option.
Theoretical Construct
The organizational theory chosen to represent this agency is the Organizational Culture.
According to the text Social Work Macro Practice, Organizational Culture is described as the
way we do things around here(Ellen Netting, 2012). Organizational Culture is important when
attempting to understanding an organization. Every organization has their own unique culture.
When someone begins working in the organization they will quickly pick up on the culture
present at that organization. Some organizations have unwritten rules associated with their
organizations that this culture represents. In the time volunteering at this agency, this intern has
picked up on some aspects of the organizational culture for this agency. One instance of
organizational culture comes from the split between the supervisor and case managers. The

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supervisors office is located on the main floor of the building while the case managers are
located on the second floor and are separated by cubicles. There are unwritten rules while on
each of the levels. The main floor where the supervisor is tends to be quiet and there is not a lot
of socialization. The upstairs environment is the opposite. All of the case managers tend to
discuss their days or different dilemmas with each other. They laugh and joke with each other
which creates a more relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Another unwritten rule revolves around
the seniority of employees. Although everyone has the same job title, the newer employees are
the ones who are asked to cover parenting times or other things that the more seasoned
employees need covered. It isnt mandatory for the newer employees to help out but it is
expected by the norms of the organization. This could get frustrating because as a new worker
there is already so much work to do and to be able to become familiar and comfortable with the
agency and adding more work that another employee expects to be done may be overwhelming.
On the other hand, everyone starts out at the bottom and works their way up.
The Organizational Theory would help an outsider better understand this agency by
becoming more familiar with the norms and unwritten rules of the agency. As an outsider it
would be nice to come into the agency already having an idea of how the employees are and
different things to do or not to do to help their reputation. All organizations run differently and
that is what is so important about this theory. Being able to understand what makes the
organization run smoothly or the opposite can give the outsider the upper hand when first
entering the organization.

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Recommendations
Specific problems identified that interfere with the organizations ability to meet its
mission and goals effectively noted are the lack of diversity within the office, the supervisor
being temporarily placed at a different office, and the communication errors between coworkers.
In order to address the lack of diversity within the office, one would have to look at if there are
enough resources to hire more staff and add diversity to the office. This recommendation
however is not very realistic. The office is already full with no space to add more employees and
funding is already scarce. If more employees are hired for the sole purpose to adding diversity to
the office, funding will have to be taken from somewhere else to compensate. Organizational
resistance might occur to prevent this change in diversity to happen. The employees might stand
up and show unacceptance to solely hiring more workers to increase diversity within the staff.
There are enough workers to handle the cases and as mentioned earlier, there is not enough room
to add more space for new employees at this time. In order to deal with the resistance, the
supervisor could potentially look at expanding the building to make room for more employees.
The supervisor could also use more employees to an advantage by accepting more cases.
Regarding the problem of the supervisor being temporarily moved to another office, a
recommendation for this problem is to hire a temporary supervisor to replace her. As reported in
this interns journal, as of now the office just has a worker filling in who really does not have the
qualifications to supervise. This worker is getting frustrated and overwhelmed with the
responsibilities placed on her. In order to alleviate these frustrations the best solution would be to
hire a temporary supervisor to keep the agency running smoothly while the current supervisor is
working in a different office. This solution could be realistic but the funding would probably not

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go through. Organizational resistance might occur but overall this solution would be beneficial
for the organization.
The problem of not communicating between employees could be addressed by having a
workshop to explain the importance of communication in the organization. Weekly team
meetings do occur but if they were taken more seriously miscommunication may not occur as
often. This recommendation is realistic and could help the overall work environment of the
agency. There could be organizational resistance of having to do a workshop and taking team
meetings more seriously but if the supervisor explains the importance and makes it mandatory,
the issue of communication hopefully would be resolved.
Conclusion
The organization of Ennis includes a variety of areas. While looking at organization, one
must look at how employees are structured. At Ennis, the employees take on a ladder structure
with those having the most power on top while those with the least amount of power on the
bottom. Diversity of employees compared to diversity of the client population also needs to be
addressed. If the employee population does not match the client population, problems could
occur. This intern kept a journal of experiences while at Ennis. One of the memorable things
from the journal was on January 25th, 2016. The intern noted that the supervisor advised that she
would be temporarily out of the office and placed in a different office. This was important to this
intern because as a student, supervising is important to make sure the student is gaining
everything they can at their internship. While researching the organization of Ennis, this intern
learned that the agency runs fairly well. Good supervising staff has helped Ennis run smoothly
and stay on top of paperwork and cases. Although the supervisor refused to give this intern the

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budget and annual report, useful information was exchanged that helped this intern discuss the
organization of the agency.

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Appendix
Appendix A: Journal of Karlie Muxlow at Ennis Center, January 19, 2016 to February 23, 2016.
Appendix B: No annual report provided per agency.
Appendix C: Organizational Chart.
Appendix D: SWOT Analysis

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Appendix A
January 19
Today while at internship things ran pretty smooth. I was able to go with a foster care worker to
court and on a home visit. I also spent a while entering contacts into the database online.
January 25
Today while in team meeting my supervisor told us that after she comes back from vacation next
week she will be taking a temporary supervising position at a different office and will only be at
our office one or two days a week. I was nervous this would impact my internship but she
insured that it wouldnt. While my supervisor is at the other office one of the foster care workers
who has high seniority will be stepping in. I am a little nervous but hope everything goes
smoothly.
January 26
My supervisor left for her vacation today. Things over all went smoothly. The offices audit is
coming up in a couple months so my supervisor left a list of files that needed to be checked for
signatures. Basically I spent the entire day in the filing room but I understand that this side of
things is important also.
February 1
My supervisor is officially at the other office so now the temporary supervisor is the one
discussing the daily plans. I was in the filing room all day again today which was a little
annoying but its ok.

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February 2
I spent the day in the filing room again. I did attend court which I was so grateful for because
that filing room is so tiny.
February 8
I think the temporary supervisor is getting really stressed out. I can tell by the way she is talking
and acting. She is probably overwhelmed because of all the added work she has to do.
February 9
Today I was a little offended at internship. My actual supervisor was in the office and asked me
some questions regarding signing in and out. I didnt know I had to sign in and out every time I
did something but always signed in and out when I come and leave. She then basically told me I
was a know it all because when I asked for the budget and annual report for this paper and she
said no I told her I could have my teacher or Anwar email her and reassure here the reasons for
needing them are solely for the paper. She said she has done this for years now and was a student
and has never been asked for this information before. I was caught off guard and very offended.
This is a huge part of my education and want it to go smoothly. I am just hoping these last weeks
go by fast now.

February 16
Today I spent most of my day out of the office. I was able to attend court, 2 home visits and
watched parent visits. Being able to do things like this has helped me to learn what foster care

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workers do and what the job includes. I think the thing that worries me the most about working
in this area of social work is going to court and having to write up reports to read to the judge.

February 22
Today was a busy day. I went to 3 court hearings, a home visit and entered case notes in the
computer system. I enjoy days like today because the time goes faster and I feel I am getting the
most out of the internship. Spending such a long time in court is eventful because I get to
observe court hearings not just by our workers but from all different workers.
February 23
Today a parent visit was canceled. The worker thinks it is because she told the parent she would
be requesting termination at the review hearing next week. This upsets me because the parent
should be utilizing their last amount of time with their child but they instead just cancel their
visit.

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Appendix B
No annual report given to intern per agency

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Appendix C

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Appendix D

Assessing Organizations Using a SWOT Analysis


Agency: Ennis Center Port Huron
Date: 2/15/16

Student: Karlene Muxlow

Internal Environment (what organization itself control systems, staff, procedures,


process, policies, practice standards, etc)
Strengths

What are the organizations


advantages

What does it do well

What are its strengths


Supervising that really works to help
employees
Always put client first
Have good rapport with foster
parents
Pass audits with flying colors

Weaknesses

What could the organization improve

What is not done very well

What should the organization avoid or


change
All employees are white women, no
diversity
Could improve getting DR signatures on
documents
Could improve on communication
between workers

External Environment (what is outside the organizations direct control economy,


demographics, community trends & needs, funding sources, other organizations,
etc)

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Opportunities

What are good opportunities facing


the organization (new collaborations,
funding, etc.)

What are some external trends that


could positively impact the
organization or its programs
Auditing is approaching and can
receive funding if it goes well
DHS does not do adoptions so cases
get sent over for adoptions
Agency is growing and hiring more
people

Threats

What obstacles exist that will make it


difficult to reach goals (ex: changing
regulations or policies, cash flow
problems, new technology, etc.)

What is competition doing


Having to be granted by the state
Funding gets cut
Other private foster and adoption
agencies are opening around the area
Computer systems are old
The state wide information system is
very hard to use/always problems with
it
Supervisor is temporarily sent to a
different office
If people in the agency are not doing
their job the agency as a whole can be
negatively effected
If paperwork is not properly
documented, auditing could potentially
shut down or put the agency on a
provisional license

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Reference Page
Ennis Center. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2016.
Netting, F. E. (2012). Social work macro practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.