Analyzing a Human Services Delivery System

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M1 Assignment – Analyzing a Human Services Delivery System

This assignment asks you to analyze the response of an agency to the needs of residents of a target community (New Orleans) rather than to an individual. This assignment will consist of some basic research that you will then apply to the course concepts requested below. Your task is to analyze the Red Cross, not to describe what they did. Read through this entire introduction to see what your paper should contain.

Complete the following:

  1. Investigate the response of the American Red Cross to the Hurricane Katrina emergency concentrating on the New Orleans area.  Briefly summarize your findings (2 pages maximum). Do not include all of your research.
  2. Use this summary and your other findings as a basis of a 5 to 7 page essay that addresses and discusses the following:
  3. In what ways did the American Red Cross use the 6 core tasks of Case Management in managing clients during the Katrina emergency?  In what ways (if any) did they fail to follow these guidelines? (Note: The core tasks were discussed in the mini-lecture for this module.)
  4. In what ways did the American Red Cross use a “systems thinking” perspective both in its preparations for the disaster and in its response to the disaster?  In what ways was “systems thinking” neglected?
  5. In what ways did the target agency link effectively to external systems?  In what ways was their linkage ineffective?
  6. What changes would you suggest to improve American Red Cross disaster response?

Step 1 Complete the Reading Assignment for this week, especially Plionos chapter 9, the mini-lecture and the CMSA Standards of Case Management.

Step 2 Research the Response of the Red Cross to Hurricane Katrina 

[img src=”” alt=”American Red Cross” height=”113″ width=”341″> 

A Failure of Initiative, Final Report to Investigate the Preparation and Response to Hurricane Katrina, 2006 or via PDF. may be a useful website for all kinds of information on Hurricane Katrina.  

You can also look for newspaper reports from the time period created during and after Hurricane Katrina. These are located at the Empire State College library ( under “research databases”.

The links in the table to the right provide some basic information on the American Red Cross. Most of the information you will need is in the government report (first link). The American Red Cross is a very large non-profit organization that is generally considered a major “first responder” for disasters of all kinds. It was heavily criticized for its mishandling of donations of money and blood in the 9/11 crisis and the “jury is out” on its handling of Hurricane Katrina.

Identify the mission of the American Red Cross, especially in the area of disaster relief.

Identify the components of the American Red Cross organization that are particularly devoted to hurricane relief and/or to disaster response in the southern coastal regions (i.e. Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, etc.).

Describe how the various components of Red Cross disaster response fit together.

Develop a general timeline of the American Red Cross response to Katrina from the time they were aware that a major storm was predicted to six months after the storm.

From your investigation, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the American Red Cross as they generally respond to disasters and their response to Hurricane Katrina.

Begin to consider policy and program changes within the American Red Cross that might be needed to improve performance in natural disasters of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina.

You will find information for your analysis in a variety of online locations including the links above and the American Red Cross web-site itself, the web a wide variety of media sites, the archives of media organizations, and in the ESC online library.

Summarize your research in two pages or less.

Step 3 Analyze the Red Cross’ Response to Hurricane Katrina 

This section of your paper should be 5-7 pages in length (double spaced). Be sure to provide a definition of each concept and then provide examples of how the Red Cross successfully or unsuccessfully completed each of the core case management tasks, systems thinking and linkages to the external environment. Add a summary that includes suggestions for improving the Red Cross response to disasters.

Be sure to cite all sources from your research, the texts and the mini-lecture. Use APA style.

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