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Navigating Human Service Organizations, Third Edition

Essential Information for Thriving and Surviving in Agencies

Third Edition

Rich Furman and Margaret Gibelman

Publication Date - July 2013

ISBN: 9780190615314

270 pages
6 x 8.8 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.95


Since its very inception, social work has been considered an organizationally based profession, with the majority of its workforce employed within formal organizations. Whether in nonprofit, for-profit, or governmental agencies, the practical realities of human service organizations are a central element of professional social work. This book explores the climate and culture of these agencies and provides essential information for surviving and thriving in this setting. It prepares students for their future careers so that they will feel empowered in their work and be able to fulfill their responsibilities toward organizational, community, and social change. Using real-life examples, the authors examine the internal structures of management, financing, and supervision and discuss common conflicts between agencies and professionals. The book's straightforward tone and practical advice make it an asset to anyone entering human service organizations.

This new edition contains updated examples, case studies, and references. It also contains valuable information on the effects of the recent financial crisis on human service organizations. Agencies now face increased caseloads and more complex social problems with fewer resources and less money. Understanding how these events have changed the nature of human service organizations will allow students to be better prepared for the work ahead of them.


  • Expanded content on the practical aspects of organizational theory and suggestions for developing leadership skills
  • Updated examples, case studies, and references throughout the book
  • Key points and discussion questions following each chapter
  • Updated instructor's manual available online as a PDF or Word document

About the Author(s)

Rich Furman (MSW, University of Pennyslvania; PhD, Yeshiva University) is professor of social work at the University of Washington, Tacoma, with more than ten years' experience in both direct practice and administration. Professor Furman has published over 100 scholarly articles, books, and chapters and in 2011 was awarded the University of Washington, Tacoma's distinguished researcher award.

Margaret Gibelman (MSW, Rutgers University; DSW, Adelphi University; d. 2005) was executive director of the Lupus Foundation of America and the National Association of School Psychologists and was the associate executive director of the Council on Social Work Education. Professor Gibelman was the director of the doctoral program at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University and worked in the human services as a clinician, supervisor, educator, and manager.

Table of Contents

    Preface to the Third Edition
    Preface to the Original Edition
    Chapter 1 Getting to Know the Human Service Organization
    Chapter 2 Distinguishing Features of Organizations
    Chapter 3 How Organizations Are Financed
    Chapter 4 Who Has the Power? Roles in Human Service Organizations
    Chapter 5 Supervision within the Organizational Setting
    Chapter 6 The Work Environment
    Chapter 7 Social Work Practice in Host Settings
    Chapter 8 Conditions of Work
    Chapter 9 The Changing Environment of Organizations
    Chapter 10 Internal Sources of Organizational Change
    Chapter 11 Coping with Change
    Chapter 12 Lending a Helping Hand: Making Your Organization Better

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