I was a program coordinator of a multiservice agency providing mental health services to children September 2023

I was a program coordinator of a multiservice agency providing mental health services to children 2023


I was a program coordinator of a  multiservice agency providing mental health services to children,  adolescents, teens, and older adults. I supervised five programs as well  as a staff of 45.

I had been home sick for 2 days when I received a phone call  reporting that one of my therapists, Carla, had not shown up for work  the previous day and had not yet arrived that morning. There was a  client in the waiting room who had an appointment with her. The  receptionist said she had not called in sick, which was unusual because  Carla was a hard working and reliable staff member. I asked the  receptionist to look at Carla’s master schedule, which she reported was  full that day. I told the receptionist that I would call Carla at home  to see if maybe she was ill or had requested time off, and I apologized  for a possible oversight on my part. There was no answer at Carla’s  home, however, so I left a message. I then called the agency back and  told the receptionist to wait another 15 minutes, after which she should  apologize to the client, see if they would like to see someone else (if  in crisis), and tell them that Carla would call to reschedule the  appointment.

After an hour passed, I called the agency again and was told that  Carla had not come in, and another client had shown up to see her. I  again told the receptionist to see if the client needed to see someone  that day, apologize for the inconvenience, and tell them that Carla  would call to reschedule an appointment. Because this was unusual  behavior for Carla, I contacted the local police to do a welfare check  to ensure that she was okay. Carla was found dead in her home. The  sheriff stated that her death was being investigated as a homicide, and  he would contact me soon to gather information.

I immediately contacted my supervisor, the mental health director, to  notify him of Carla’s tragedy and to plan how to address this issue  with both the staff and, more important, her clients. I contacted a  local organization that dealt with crisis situations, Centre for Living  With Dying, and asked if its staff would come to the agency the next day  to help notify our staff of Carla’s death. I contacted my receptionist  to send out both a voice mail and an e-mail to all staff requesting that  they come to the agency the next day at lunchtime for a mandatory  meeting.

The next day, the majority of staff gathered at the agency, and I  notified them of Carla’s death. Carla was well liked and each staff  member was overwhelmed with this tragic news. The director and staff  from the Centre for Living With Dying provided crisis and grief  counseling. Staff were also given information related to the  organization’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services in case they  desired continued support to address their emotions and feelings of  grief.

I then needed to decide how to notify each of Carla’s clients and how  much to share about her death. The local newspaper had covered this  tragedy, but I did not know if her clients had seen the article. Her  clients were divided up among the staff, and a team of two (a social  worker and psychiatrist) set up appointments to share the news with each  client. We decided to tell the clients only that Carla had died  suddenly and that in order to maintain confidentiality, we could not  share details. Fortunately, each of the clients handled the news as well  as possible, and no one decompensated as a result.

The local police reported that Carla was shot multiple times. They  suspected her neighbor with whom it was reported she had an ongoing  argument related to land rights. The police had to check out other  possible leads and asked for the names of her clients to rule them out  as possible suspects. I mentioned confidentiality and explained that  Carla saw primarily women and children who, following ethical standards,  did not know where she lived. The police, however, insisted on Carla’s  clients’ information, so I told them I would consult with the agency’s  lawyer. That consultation resulted in the decision not to give the  information to the police, and I requested a subpoena for any  information related to Carla and her clinical work. Fortunately, this  was not needed; evidence was found in the neighbor’s home, including a  gun and bullets matching Carla’s injuries, paperwork related to a  lawsuit Carla planned to file against this neighbor, and a computer  stolen from Carla’s home. Carla’s neighbor was arrested, charged, and  ultimately convicted of her murder.

Three months after Carla’s death, the staff, her family, and her  clients gathered for a memorial at the agency. A tree was placed at the  center of the room, and each person made an ornament that represented  what Carla meant to them and how she had helped them. The tree was  eventually planted in the agency parking lot in memory of Carla.

explanation of the types of skills the social  work administrator demonstrated as she addressed the problem of Carla’s  absence at work and the trauma-related events that followed. Be sure to  include an analysis of the administrator’s use of conflict resolution  skills. Finally, identify one aspect of the case study that would be most challenging to you if you were the administrator, and explain why.

Support your post with specific references to the resources. 

Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.


Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.
Review Chapter 10, “Listening to Out-Group Members” (pp. 217-237)
Chapter 11, “Managing Conflict” (pp. 239-271)
Chapter 13, “Overcoming Obstacles” (pp. 301-319)

Plummer, S.-B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014b). Social work case studies: Concentration year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing [Vital Source e-reader].
“Social Work Supervision: Trauma Within Agencies” (pp. 7–9)


Zelnick, J. R., Slayter, E., Flanzbaum, B., Butler, N., Domingo, B., Perlstein, J., & Trust, C. (2013). Part of the job? Workplace violence in Massachusetts Social Service Agencies. Health & Social Work, 38(2), 75–85.


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