EDCO 705


This is an investigative paper analyzing and assessing the effectiveness and impact of a mental health organization in your community. You will set up an appointment with an executive or director and conduct a face-to-face interview with him/her. Recording the interview is

recommended. While much of your paper will be based on information gleaned from the

interview, the substance should come from critical assessment and evaluation based on

secondary research and best practices articulated in scholarly research. You must incorporate the June & Black and the Scott & Wolfe texts in substantial and meaningful ways and draw on
recent journal articles. A minority of your sources may consist of professional web sources such as local news and the organization’s own materials. This must be a 12-15 page paper in current APA format with 12 sources, not counting the interview. Include the following content, using appropriate headings:

1   Demographic information about the organization: Disclose the name of the

organization; its location(s) and current address, phone number, website URL, etc. Name the person you interviewed, and explain his/her title and function within the organization.

2   History and funding: How did the organization develop? What is the story behind the
work? How has it changed over time?

3   Present status: What is the organization’s purpose/mission statement? Who does it
serve? How is it funded? (Private, public, fundraising, special interest groups, etc.)
Describe the staffing. How many counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, behavioral
specialist, etc. work with the organization?

4   Community collaboration: Who does this organization work with, collaborate with, or
network with to accomplish its goals? (Some organizations began a couple of decades
ago and worked from a “one stop shop” kind of model. Today, many of these same
organizations work with various mental health providers to provide the same services that
once were provided in-house.) Is collaboration a central focus of this organization?

5   Community impact: Describe the organization’s community impact and/or effectiveness
in serving its clients, both from the interviewees own perspective and from secondary
sources. Has public policy been impacted by this organization?

6  Evaluation: From your research and analysis, assess the organization’s strengths and
weaknesses. What does this organization do well and not so well? What do you see as
possible action plans to improve what this organization does and how they carry out its
mission and purpose?