Needs in the community are increasing; social problems
are becoming complicated; expectation for service quality
is getting higher; demand on accountability is growing
stronger; competition among service providers is more
acute than ever; resource has become extremely restricted.
For a social welfare agency to operate successfully
under the circumstances described above, what kind of
leadership is needed?
Traditionally, it is a basic requirement and a preference
for social service agencies chief executives to have
backgrounds of social work credentials. Now facing a
changing environment; however, it has become increasingly
common for agencies to demand that their chief executives
and senior staff possess certain level of managerial
competencies in addition to their social work qualifications.
Recently one agency even goes so far as to specifically
state that the candidates who apply for its chief executive
position must present a strong management background
while there is no mentioning of any social work credentials.
Certainly, managerial competency is an essential quality
among senior management in social welfare agencies in
order to effectively handle new challenges. Notwithstanding
the significance of being proficient in strategic planning,
management in human resources, finance and alike, more
importantly; however, leaders of social welfare agencies
must have visions for social development, compassion
toward human sufferings, courage to advocate social
justice and commitment to stand along with the minority
An able manager is undoubtedly an asset to an agency;
yet a leader with vision is what it takes to achieve
its mission even in a volatile environment.