This is the process that consists of planning, controlling, coordinating, directing etc. of social services.
Types of social services
Social services are activities aimed at bringing about social transformation and may include but limited to; Advocacy services, Case management services, Counseling services, Education services, Health services, Human management services, Community management and Anti-social activities management.
Means and ways of managing social services
Planning – is making of decisions on what is to be done, when to do it, how to do it etc.
Organizing – is the arrangement of resources, both human and material in a productive manner. It includes identifying and defining work to be done.
Staffing – is the process of selecting people to work and giving them responsibilities according to their competence.
Documentation – is the keeping of records of the experiences encountered during social process.
Decentralization of power and authority – social workers do this to ensure power is shared n the community where they work. Here, planning and implementation of social services is generally decentralized.
Capacity building – social workers manage social services by providing skills and knowledge to members of the community.
Promoting gender equality – social workers in managing their social services ensure there is no discrimination on the basis of sex among some people with whom they work.
Promoting local institutions – social services can be managed by strengthening the capacity of local communities e.g. groups, women and local leadership.
Importance of managing social services
- Facilitates the process of decision making e.g. in terms of what, when, who to it as determined during planning
- Through planning of social services activities, a community is more capable of achieving a set of goals and objectives.
- It helps in identifying and assigning work trough out the processes
- It helps the social worker in selecting people to take up responsibilities according to their competencies
- It facilitates learning to the social worker, organizations and groups of people in the community through documentation of experiences during the social process.
- It enables the social worker to keep records of experiences encountered during the social work process for future references
- It promotes equality in decision making, planning and implementing of social services.
- It promotes power sharing amongst the community as a result of decentralization of power
- It promotes capacity building in social services activities through training which provides new skills and knowledge
- It promotes gender equality among members of a community
- It promotes local institutions e.g. family, group leadership
- It promotes effective management of resources especially if they are used in a productive manner
Indigenous methods of managing social services
- Moral lessons were taught by the elder to young girls
- Village elders held and chaired meetings at the village level
- There was apprenticeship where young people were taught by experts in various fields
- Initiates were taught morality and cultural activities during initiation
- There was division of labour with boys performing different from those of girls
Modern methods of managing social services
- There are training institutions where social workers are trained
- There have been pilot welfare schemes where social work is done on an intensive scale
- Groups are being formed among the youth, women etc. as avenues for social work
- There are ministries in the government charged with social work activities
- The government provides funds for social work activities
Challenges in managing social services
- Poor leadership or incompetence among some other leaders
- Lack of financial resources
- Poor community participation leading to low sense of ownership
- Some cultural activities or practices do not approve social services
- Illiteracy among some members of community makes them take long to adopt new ideas or innovation provided by social worker
- Poor coordination between development agencies e.g. government, NGOs and the beneficiaries
- Some members of the community hold different opinion about new social services. This causes disunity amongst them hence hampering the provision of social services.
- Unfavourable political environment may derail proposed social services
- Government policies are sometimes unfavourable
Management of challenges in managing social services
- Scarcity of social services can be overcome through soliciting people’s local contributions, fundraising and aid from NGOs and other agencies
- Community participation can be improved through mobilization of members to gain power and resources so as to participate meaningfully in managing social services activities
- Illiteracy among community members can be eliminated through relevant training to equip community members with new skills and knowledge.
- Those concerned with social service activities should be trained in documentation skills so as to facilitate proper record keeping
- Where the political environment is unfavourable the social service provider can mediate or arbitrate between conflicting groups in the community
- Negative cultural practices in the community can be eliminated by stressing the dangers of negative effects to the society
- Social workers can formulate projects to strengthen social bonds to bring social cohesion and reduce suspicion among members when they have conflicting views about social services.