Homework Writing Help on Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis

Introduction

A social policy is defined as a series of strategies that have been created for addressing social problems. An analysis of the policy is an intricate affair that constitutes looking at the development of the policy from the ideological stage, the development stage, the implementation stage, and finally the analytical stage. All these stages have subsets that are used to analyze them more intricately and with finesse. In this context, an analysis of a social policy for this assignment will be performed using the Jansson social policy analysis. Additionally, the First Steps program will be the social policy that will suffer scrutiny and assessment based on Jansson model.

Six Step Policy Analysis Frameworks

Agenda Setting

The source of the problem that needed to be addressed was traced by a gap in existing aid operations and level of suffering of children born with mental conditions that could have an adverse effect to their rate of development. Therefore, the agenda for the policy was the creation of an agency to serve this purpose. Sources for funding, type of patients to be included, type and level of care to be provided, populations and locations that are most afflicted by the problem, and the structures to be used to govern the program or agency are some of the agendas that would guide the set up of the First Step Program.

Problem Analysis

The scope of the problem is wide and dynamic. It is estimated that approximately 5% of children born in the United States have some form of mental or physical condition that could delay their early child development stage, and integration into the normal school system. Additionally, experts have advised and discovered that these children’s ability to be assimilated into the society and coexist with their peers would require early intervention on the growth of the child (Heaphy, 2007). Therefore, the problem arises on the time, which this intervention should be executed, the type and level of care that needs to be provided, the number of clinicians and other health officials qualified to handle such cases, the financial constraints that could arise during treatment of any child, and the effectiveness of such a program on the child. There is also the risk of the government or agency becoming involved in a program whose solutions could be in the offing, in the e form of a medical breakthrough that would render the whole agency as useless.

Writing the Proposal

Based on the contents of the problem analysis, it is then feasible to write up a proposal of the solutions to the problems stated. According to the policy agenda, there shall be an agency that will be created as an arm of government located within the department of health. This agency’s primary objective will be to provide medical, psychological, social, and financial care for children aged below three years and suffering from some physical or mental condition that could delay their development later in life. This strategy is crucial since it would ensure that future costs and problems that could occur on the child are addressed at an early stage. For better accessibility and spread of services to be offered, the agency will have branches across different states, its counties, sub counties, and district levels.

This system will be crafted with one national authority that sets up the laws, rules and regulation that will guide the program will be implemented. The federal authority, and finally the county authority will follow this central authority. Each level will have their own unique set of modus operandi that is representative of the demographical and environmental conditions present within those regions. This means that the different levels will have their own officials operating under the guidelines of the program.

Eligibility for the program will be based on an assessment by one of the medical practitioners working in the agency, who will determine the viability of a child to receive medical care or be assimilated into the program. Aside from these services, prenatal assessment of a child can also be performed on the pregnant mother, whose care will begin immediately to ensure that the child receives the necessary and most useful care to enhance their development. However, due to the cost issues associated with providing such an intensive and strenuous level of care for a child from being a toddler, as well as the limited funds, and number of potential patients, the program will only cater to children less than three years. Once this period has passed, the parents of the child take over and begin their own level of care without the state’s assistance, but rather financing the child medical needs using insurance.

Enacting, Implementing and Assessing the Policy

As stated, the policy will be enacted at different levels of government to enhance its accessibility and reach to the victims, mothers, and patients. This decentralization of services will also be crucial to create autonomy in the provision of care based on the needs of a particular region, rather than forceful application of the mandate of the program without assessment of all parameters related to enhancing the success of the program. Additionally, the criteria for selection of children and/or mothers in prenatal care will be based on a strict code of conduct and guidelines to protect the program from providing services outside their mandate.

There will also be an education program for victims or parents of such kids to teach them on the type of care best for the child, as well as offer counseling services for them. The education program will also focus on the general population on providing them with knowledge of the existence of this program, the services offered, its usefulness, its successes and failures, and its financial sources and utility and/or transparency. Additionally, the program will set up guidelines for fundraising drives outside the normal parameters to enhance its care delivery to more patients free of charge. The assessment of the success or failure of the program will be measured by the level of knowledge by the general population of the program’s existence, number of children cared for, productive utility of available resources and funds, and accessibility of the program in all areas.

Development Recommendations for the Policy

Several areas of concern for the policy seem not to serve the needs of the present societal problem. This is as a result of poor draft proposals that did not all the pertinent parameters necessary for the provision of quality care delivery. Foremost, the hierarchical structure of the program is too extensive resulting in increased labor costs due to the large number of staff across all regions. Additionally, due to the large number of staff, large number of branches, and different levels of authority, the decision making organ of the organization is faced with an arduous task of spreading its agenda across the program. This makes poor and ineffective forms of provision of information to different levels of the program.   

Second, it is vital that the number and type of patients under the care of the program be increased to not only include special needs children with a certain level of specificity. The number of patients under the care of this program is derived from children at risk of developing developmental problems later on in their life. This lack of proper definitions of the level of care is poorly thought since it does not define whether the developmental problem is due to disability, underdeveloped brain, type of disability, and stage of occurrence of the developmental problem. This poor system and definitions of key aspects of the program creates a logjam for some patients accessing the program since they are unaware of their eligibility to the program (Dahrendorf, 2012).

However, this issue can be repaired by producing better policy outlines that have intricate, accurate, and articulate definitions of the policy’s roles, responsibilities, and types of services being delivered. Additionally, the lack of clear definitions is confusing since it does not cater to children who may suffer postnatal injuries that could affect their development and cognitive abilities. Therefore, the program should seek to address this issue by creating loopholes to the current policy to allow children at risk of poor cognitive development due to injuries sustained before attainment of the three-year limit, are catered to and accepted to the program. This means that the level of service delivery for the program should be expanded to accommodate patients with different levels of care.

These proposed changes require a revamp of the entire model of operations for the program. These changes would have to be effected using a top down approach, and hence their presentation and implementation should start at the top. In this context, and based on the hierarchical structure of the program model, the national government would have to be consulted (Kornblum, 2011). The department of health contained under this paradigm holds a number of senior government officials whose committee is tasked with management of organizations under the jurisdiction of the ministry or health department. Therefore, the committee would have to approve all the recommendations and discuss on their viability or incapacity to serve the needs and requirements of the program. Additionally, other pertinent departments and people would also have to be involved in this process, especially those involved in financing the operations and existence of the program.

Conclusion

Social policies are an essential in enhancing the improvement of structures and issues that adversely face the society. These policies are essential in developing plans of action against some of these problems, engaging stakeholders to support the suggested programs, and engaging community education on the viability and usefulness of the required program. Using the Jansson six model policy analyses, an analysis was performed on the First Steps program that is used to cater to the needs of children under the age of three years who are faced with the problem of stunted growth or development. The success of the adaption of the policy has been profound owing to its spread across the region, as well as proof of the number under its care presently and previously.

References

Dahrendorf, R. (2012). The Modern Social Conflict: The Politics of Liberty. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

Heaphy, B. (2007). Late Modernity and Social Change. New York, US: Routledge.

Kornblum, W. (2011). Sociology in a Changing World. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.