INTERORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES: NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND VOLUNTARY AGENCIES SERVING FOSTER BOARDING HOME CHILDREN

DAVID LOPEZ, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of the linkage system that exists between personnel from New York City's voluntary child care agencies and public school system who are most directly responsible for securing and maintaining appropriate educational services to foster boarding home children. The forty participants in the study were a representative cross-section of administrative and operational personnel in both systems. Since the research literature indicates that communication, decision-making and definition of roles are significant variables in the study of interorganizational linkages, an interview guide was developed and questions centered on these variables. The responses provided data on the nature of the linkage system that currently exists.^ The major conclusions based on the findings of this research were: (1) Communication occurred primarily between agency caseworkers and school guidance counselors, with the foster parent utilized as the main conduit on routine matters. Schools and agencies utilized a problem-centered, as-needed approach to communication, lacking formal guidelines for these processes. Agencies cited inconsistent feedback, inaccessbility to key personnel, confusion over responsibilities, and hesitance and delay in sharing information as problems in communication with the schools. School personnel stressed the paucity of agency-initiated contact and agency unwillingness to share information. (2) While intra-organizational authority structures and decision-making processes of agencies and schools were well-defined, interventions toward joint solutions were variable and idiosyncratic. There were no joint programs, interorganizational authority structures or specific mechanics in place for reaching joint decisions beyond each agency's or school's capacity to negotiate for specific children. (3) The central posture of the public school system--to treat all children the same (with attention to individual needs) and to collaborate with parents--inhibits its attention to the special situation of foster children and its recognition of an interrelationship with foster care agencies. Agencies reported that their parental and advocacy roles mandate collaboration and a responsibility to monitor and support schools. Stigma to the child was an important consideration in utilization of resources. Though mutually interested in the foster child's needs, schools and agencies were confused about their own, each other's, and the foster parents' roles and responsibilities. ^

Subject Area

Education, Social Sciences

Recommended Citation

DAVID LOPEZ, "INTERORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES: NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND VOLUNTARY AGENCIES SERVING FOSTER BOARDING HOME CHILDREN" (January 1, 1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8326179.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8326179

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