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Delivering Human Services: Consumers, Agencies and Communities

M1 Assignment – Analyzing a Human Services Delivery System

Katrina survivors at Red Cross shelter

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. While the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Maria still rightly have our nation’s attention, it will be some time before we understand the span of its impact and how federal, state, and local governments and other public and private agencies met Harvey’s and Maria’s challenges. In this assignment we take a look back at Hurricane Katrina and the American Red Cross (ARC) Response. Like any agency providing services that meet human needs, the ARC has a formal mission statement and uses the same core tasks of case management, linking to the external environment and systems thinking that we have discussed in reference to your focal agencies. For this assignment, your task is to analyze the Red Cross, not to describe what they did. Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the city of New Orleans on the morning of August 29, 2005. When the levees broke and almost 80 percent of the city flooded, at least 400,000 residents were displaced. Of those evacuated, many relocated to states near family or friends, while others only learned of their destination once their evacuation and relocation was underway.

  1. Using the following links provided and any other sources you find, provide a brief overview of the events before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. You are encouraged to do some research along with using the links below:
  2. Lessons Learned: Hurricane Katrina Critical Challengesopens in a new window – The White House 10 Years After Katrina, Many New Orleans Residents Permanently Displacedopens in a new window, 2015 articlePopulation Displacement and Post-Katrina Politics: The New Orleans Mayoral Raceopens in a new window, 2006, by John R. Logan at Brown University (PDFopens in a new window)

    A Failure of Initiative, Final Report to Investigate the Preparation and Response to Hurricane Katrinaopens in a new window, 2006 (PDFopens in a new window). You will be routed to the US Coast Guard site. Once there please use the Search option to search Hurricane Katrina. You’ll see a number of articles including one on the Federal Response – Lessons Learned. This is a solid source.

  3. ou can also search Failure of the Initiative.
  4. Specific to shelter, housing, and relocation, in what ways did the Red Cross use the 6 Core Tasks of Case Management with clients during the Katrina Emergency? In what ways – if any – did they fail to follow those guidelines?
  5. In what ways did the American Red Cross use a “systems thinking” perspective both in its efforts to provide immediate shelter and in its evacuation and relocation efforts? In what ways was “systems thinking” neglected?
  6. In what ways did the target agency link effectively to external systems? In what ways was their linkage ineffective?
  7. What changes would you suggest to improve the response of the American Red Cross in order to more effectively serve the needs of displaced residents?
  8. 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 in regard to shelter, housing and relocation. The paper should be at least 7 pages in length and be sure to cite all sources from your research, the texts and the mini-lecture. Use APA style.

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