Prepare a description of the agency, the population it serves, and the services it provides.

Human service providers must develop networking skills so that they can effectively select and access additional, specialized services for their clients. Networking involves researching services and providers in the area and developing an understanding of the kind of assistance offered by them. This assignment is designed to give you the ability to gather information in a systematic manner, particularly for those agencies of the most interest to you.

In M1: Assignment 3, you created an information bank of community resources for at-risk populations. Now, you will select one of the agencies or organizations from this list to use for your course project which you will submit in Module 5.

Choose an agency or organization from your information bank of community resources that interests you and provides the best chance of completing your course project. Before making a final decision, telephone the agency to confirm that they are agreeable to you using them for your course project.

Make a telephone or in-person appointment with an individual in the agency to learn more about the agency services, staff, and population it servers. Try to make this appointment before the end of Module 3 so that you have enough time to complete this project.

Based on your research, do the following:

  • Prepare a description of the agency, the population it serves, and the services it provides.
  • Identify the person you are going to interview by title and provide a brief description of this person’s duties and/or role in the agency or organization.
  • Create a list of at least ten interview questions to use when interviewing this person for your course project. Include questions to solicit information about the agency, staff, services, and population served. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
    • Use complete sentences and work to make most of your questions open-ended (rather than yes/no questions) so that you are able to solicit sufficient information to understand the agency and the population it serves.
    • Do not use these questions to solicit information (for example, the location of the agency) that you can find elsewhere, for example on their Web site. Rather, design questions to help you gain an “insider” or expert view of the agency and the population(s) it serves.
    • Remember to include some interview “opener” questions or statements to help establish rapport.

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