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Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is a non-profit organization located in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. This organization is “dedicated to service, quality, and outreach for members of the community, especially those who are poor, devalued, and in need of help” (Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, 2017). Their mission is to help every individual, regardless of their origin, race, or religion. They provide services to people all over to ensure they receive the help needed.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, can be framed as structural and human resource. The structural frame “describes the role of structural architecture in determining roles and relationships and assigning tasks within the organizations” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.190). In this organization, the employees focus on the goals they need to meet, the structure they need to use, and their roles as social workers, clinicians, or counselors. However, they also use the human resources frame, which “examines the relationships among people and how people relate to the organization” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.190). In this case, Catholic Charities endeavors to help those in need. Workers are there to listen to the client, ensuring that their concerns are heard and understood. This can help the worker understand the client’s needs and provide them with the appropriate resources. As stated in the Social Work Macro Practice textbook, “no frame captures everything” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.190). All frames go beyond their definitions. The political and symbolic frames did not match the organization because they focus more on power and competition and on which clients get what, rather than prioritizing what’s best for the client.
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The approach that best describes this organization is the prescriptive approach. This approach “is designed as a how-to guide, and its goal is to help build a better organization” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.190). This approach matches the organization because their mission is to help and improve the community, assisting each individual in various ways and ensuring clients reach their fullest potential. Conversely, the descriptive approach is defined as “theories that assist in analyzing what is happening within the communities but do not provide the practitioner with methods to change a situation once it has been analyzed” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.399). This implies that the organization will not seek to improve the problem once they’ve made a decision, even if the decision could benefit from improvements. Catholic Charities’ mission and values do not follow the descriptive approach.
The theoretical approach that best fits the Catholic Charities agency is the open-systems approach. This approach focuses on the interaction with the environment, on how the organization interacts with the community, as opposed to closed systems, which focus more on internal structures and processes, paying no attention to interaction with the environment (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.192). This organization works with the client to find the best resources they need. They work with the communities to help and guide the clients along the correct path. As stated in the textbook, “An open systems approach views organization as cybernetic systems, meaning they gather information from their environments and use it to decide on their actions” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.222).
The Open System theory by Katz and Kahn (1966) was the one that I found most outstanding for this organization. The key concept of this theory is systems theory inputs, throughputs, and outputs (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.200). These are extremely important to the Catholic Charities agency. The book defines input as “clients who request services, values, expectations, and opinions,” throughput as “the service provided by the agency,” and output as “the organization’s products” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.201). The Catholic Charities agency goes through all of these to help a client and obtain successful outcomes. These are extremely important to the organization in order to meet their values, mission, and vision.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is an empowerment organization. This organization focuses on addressing various needs, serving all kinds of people, and ensuring that their workers are dedicated to helping, guiding, and protecting everyone who seeks help. Workers are committed to providing service to individuals that no one else will serve, practicing justice and compassion, achieving success through partnership, and always operating with integrity and honesty (Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, 2017). In the textbook, Jeffrey Pfeffer (1981) described power as “the ability to influence actions, and politics as the process through which it is influenced” (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.121). He also stated how power and organizational structure are closely tied (Netting, Kettner, McMurtry, Thomas, 2017, p.121). This means that the structure of the organization is extremely important for the agency to be successful and to empower others.
Overall, the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, is an organization that works with the community to help the client in all ways. They go above and beyond to provide them with the best resources, adhering to their mission and values. They empower each individual to become a better version of themselves. This chapter allowed me to understand the different kinds of theories, how they work, and the different frames, approaches, and filters each can have. I was able to understand the organization and identify which theory best fits this organization.
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