Kent Social Services Kent, Ohio
KentSocial Services Kent, Ohio
History of Family &Community Social Service
There are many social servicesagencies in Kent, Ohio, dedicated to the service of the people inneed. These organizations deliver their mandate to the people basedon various grounds and ensure in their line of duty touch as manyindividuals as possible. I visited the Kent Social, Inc., which isone to the biggest nonprofit organizations in Ohio. The organizationhas been in operation for the last 75 years serving people from allage brackets through the provision of life’s basic needs. The basichuman wants – food, shelter, and clothing – are accompanied bycounseling and mentoring services. The agency has made extensivenetworks that support in donations of food and other necessities thatwould be helpful to the people. Through the vast network andvolunteers, the organization manages to reach at least 100,000 peopleannually. Further, the agency’s database indicates that at least3500 volunteers dedicate their service annually to make it possibleto arrive at the ever-increasing number of individuals and familiesin need of its service.
Kent Social Services, Inc. hasspread its wings, not only in Kent, Ohio but also in other states inthe United States and 21 other nations across the globe. The agencyoffers at least 71 programs in these countries, which include theservices rendered both in Ohio and in Michigan. The support serviceand the employment of technology enhance service delivery through theidentification of places of need and devising ways to meet the need.The agency seeks to respond adequately to the needs of thecommunities within its reach through advocating for the socialawareness as well as social actions in four crucial areas as follows:
Engage and empower thecommunities
Strengthen and supportpersons and families
Focus on the future of thechildren, the dependents and the youth at large
Provide tools for healthyliving.
The Kent Social Services, Inc.pursues the path of strengthening, empowering, and enriching thelives of individuals and families within its reach through a widerange of services. The agency looks forward to a time when allpersons and families struggle no more for food, shelter, andclothing.
Advocacy, Lobbying, andDonations
The company seeks to havehomeless individuals and families have at least a meal a day, fivedays a week. It spreads the word to well-wishers and volunteers whocan offer the service in many ways as they can to ensure the missionof the organization succeeds. The agency is a member of theAkron-Canton Regional Food Bank, which gives the member the capacityto acquire foodstuffs at a one-third of the total cost of the fooditem. The agency also lobbies for support from other organizations tohelp regarding donations, policy management, and other forms ofpublic service delivery. Kent Social Services appreciatesnon-perishable food materials since the Akron-Canton Regional FoodBank has limited inventory and the donation does help to ensure thefood donation maintains the right nutrition in the meals. KSS alsotrains her employees to give talks to various communities andspecific personnel about hunger, and indigenous poverty. The talksinvolve information about the situation and enlightening the targetaudience about the possible ways of tackling the situation in case oftheir emergence. Therefore, KSS organizes several meeting with thelocal populace in the weekends and evenings during the weekdays,where they try to brainstorm and inform their audience about theemerging issues.
Further, KSS has madeapplications to various restaurants, grocery stores, church potlucks,catering services, and wedding receptions for donations of perishablefoodstuffs. The perishable foods are incorporated into the hot mealserved daily. Besides food supplies, the agency recognizes thathomeless families require an amount of other items. For instance,winter hats, hygiene products, socks, scarves, gloves, baby foods,diapers, as we as other feminine products. The organization alsosupplies food for their pets during the time of providing thefoodstuff to the people. Their children are taken care of, and someschooling materials are provided according to their availability. Theagency collaborated with the Center of Hope to supply theschool-going children with the necessary study materials, from thefirst to the 12 grade. The Center of Hope and KSS collaborate furtherto issue Thanksgiving during Christmas and supply huge portions offood to the homeless families and individuals as well. KSS acceptsall forms of volunteering volunteers must attain the age of 16years, and above to participate in various programs the agencyundertakes.
Leadership Team and Board ofDirectors
KSS incorporates seven competentpersonnel in its leadership team. These leaders of variousdepartments are as follows:
Mark Frisone -Executive Director
Greg Musci- ChiefOperations Officer
Adam Schweikert – ChiefFinancial Officer
Keith Fletcher – ChiefHuman Resources Officer
Jody Klase – Chief ofBehavioral Health
Stephanie Berry -Marketing Director
Don Fenstermaker – ITDirector
Besides the team of trustees, theKSS also has sixteen members in the board of directors:
Jim Aylward, President
Jackie Parsons, Vice President
Alice Hurd, Secretary
Paul Huckok, Treasurer
Shay Little, Ph.D.
KSS through the Family & Community Inc., website offer at least 72 programs ranging from serving hot meals to homeless people to the education sector. The agency also mediates adoption services for children without parents, facilitates the Place of Peace where supervised visitations and exchanges for families downtrodden by domestic violence, Veteran’s Haven for emergency shelter for veterans from low-income families. The agency collaborates with other institutions to provide the Scope Senior Services for recreational services for the senior members of the society. Further, KSS offers Early Intervention Service to children with peculiar development as well as their families. It also offers Behavioral Health Programs as part of the health-related services. Registered health practitioners volunteer their services and ensure the services above reach the people promptly.
As far as education is concerned, the St. Joseph’s Early Learning Center, is a facility targeting little children, six weeks to five years, belonging to the homeless families. Other programs offered by the KSS, Ohio, include the Next Step, P.A.T.H., Safe Path, Senior Companion Program, Safer Futures, Skeels-Matthew Community Center, Valor Home Lorain, Valley Counseling Services, and Supportive Service for Veteran Families. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Miller Community House, Miss Liberty House, and Medication Access Programs and Miller Community House for people with the housing crisis in Kent, Ohio, are other programs among the 71 that KSS offer. Therefore, the agency is very active in the service delivery to the poor and especially the homeless people in Kent, Ohio.
Criteria for Service Delivery
The Kent Social Services, Ohio, collaborates with the administration of the city to determine the number of homeless individuals and families. The Administration keeps a database of the people and retrieving the same upon request from such an agency is easy since the KSS will use the database for the good of the citizens. Additionally, the KSS also keeps its database of the number of people it has managed to reach thus far and the kind of assistance they offered. The database also serves as a reminder of the responsibility awaiting the agency. It serves in helping plan and ensures the right services are rendered to the right people. Therefore, through the database, the company does manage its available resources to ensure efficiency in service delivery. On the same note, the volunteers help in monitoring the situations and determining the number of needy people as well as the type of assistance they need so urgently. The leadership team in various departments can mobilize and lobby for support from other stakeholders to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery.
It is apparent that the homeless individuals and families suffered from the social, economic classification and they did not qualify to be included in the upper and middle-class people. The effect of transpersonal status in the community ensured that the individuals remained with the same mentality that they could not achieve anything substantial in life until someone else comes to their rescue. A testimony by one of the beneficiaries implied that he could not make a difference in his life were it not for the Kent Social Services and their programs. The system programmed their minds that they could not achieve greater heights without stepping on the shoulders of others. Therefore, this mentality was one of the issues the KSS purposed to tackle with a strong intention to change for the better. Many beneficiaries from the KSS programs confess that they managed to change their attitude and now fare well in their hustles to make their lives better. However, a good number of them still depend on the free hot meal since they still face the same challenges that qualified them to become candidates for the meals (Munford et al., 2005). Therefore, the services are very relevant to many homeless people in Kent since it helps others have a meal that they would rather not have gotten on their own.
The field exercise was an eye opening and taught me the real picture of the society. Many people suffer, and one will notice them only when you are concerned about their well-being. Additionally, poverty gets worse when the environment does nothing about its escalating norm. Whenever poverty increases, everyone is affected directly or indirectly. This call for measures to ensure the problem finds a solution as soon as it is noted. I realized that I have a role to play in the society to help the needy people. For a long time, I have held on to the belief that helping people is through giving out cash assistance and other material items. However, the field exercise opened the door for volunteering and not having to give out cash, which was and is an active obstacle to many people in the society (Hardcastle et al., 2005). In the future, I look forward to having a system where all the homeless and candidates of receiving some given assistance and an App would be essential for that purpose.
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Hardcastle, D. A., Powers, P. R., & Wenocur, S. (2011). Community practice: Theories and skills for social workers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Munford, R., Nash, M., & O`Donoghue, K. (2005). Social work theories in action. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
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