Researching Human Service Agencies

1 January 2017

Researching Human Service Agencies Michelle Pacheco HSM/210 June 20, 2012 Morgan Gamble The Family Outreach, Inc. serves over 400 families and individuals that live within the 12 counties of Southwestern Montana by providing services to families and individuals with developmental disabilities or “at risk” of developmental disabilities. The client base is from birth to adulthood. The main goal for this program is to keep children and families together, to educate families on how to live together, and educate on the disability. The needs being met are for both children, adults with special needs, and families.

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The article states the needs being met include: “primarily educational – we teach families and friends how to teach skills to children and adults with special needs. We teach families and individuals how to become advocates. We encourage the development of skills that move people towards greater independence and inclusion in their communities. Supportive based on a family’s or individual’s chosen goals and expressed needs – we provide other support services and help families find appropriate services. We assist families and individuals in building their own resource and support systems.

We help provide services that wrap around children and adults in their natural environments. ” Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids-PLUK- PLUK is a non-profit organization that serves children with special needs in the state of Montana for the purpose of information, support, training and assistance. It was founded by parents who felt strongly that parents of children with disabilities need to band together to give each other information and support. The two groups are focused on the same thing and that is assisting individuals and families that are dealing with developmental disabilities.

The Family Outreach attempts to meet the human needs of not separating families. They try and keep the families together and for families and adults to be nurtured and loved. They attempt to give the basic needs to families and individuals with education, shelter, and assistance on how to live as a family unit while dealing with the disability. The PLUK is focused on assisting children and adults with disabilities at school, work, and in the community. Support for families so that they can nurture their children in the home.

The differences observed between the two agencies are that the Family Outreach only serves parts of Montana, while the PLUK serves families all over the state of Montana. They both have the focus of being non-profit and assisting families through education and support. The PLUK is based on the needs of children with disabilities and the Family Outreach is based on children and adults with disabilities. The PLUK is more focused on outsourcing for assistance such as doctors and psychologists, etc. While the Family Outreach is more focused on keeping the services “in house” so to speak.

They both want the best for families and individuals dealing with disabilities and assisting in any way to help the individual maintain a “normal” life. The Family Outreach started in 1977 with 64 families and has grown to assisting over 400 families and individuals. The PLUK is much larger and has over 30,000 families that receive assistance. There are no statistics on their website and no one was available to speak over the phone regarding statistics when I called either place. The challenges that may be preventing the agencies from meeting certain goals are funding (donations).

The Family Outreach runs off of donations and government funding with certain programs. The PLUK is parents and community members that volunteer their time. If the Family Outreach were to lose funding or if people were to stop donating, they could lose the agency as a whole. Many of their clients are on Social Security and on Medicaid. If either one of those programs were to go away, the clients would turn more to the program for assistance and without the funding, grants, and donations the agencies receive they would have nowhere for their clients to turn.

They would have to turn down many clients. Volunteers are another challenge. Many people do not want to volunteer their time and if the people that are volunteering stop, the clients would be affected the most. The PLUK serves over 30,000 families. Without the families, doctors, psychologist, and friends donating their time, there Sources for this Assignment: Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids- PLUK. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. pluk. org Family Outreach Inc.. (2005). Retrieved from http://www. familyoutreach. org

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