Administration of Public Welfare

By R. Clyde White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
PERSONNEL PROGRAMS

Competent personnel and skillful management of personnel are the most important factors in good administration. Sufficient funds to carry out the purpose of the law are, of course, a primary necessity, but, given a certain sum of money to do a job, the measure of success attained is largely determined by matters relating to personnel. To the old-fashioned spoils politician, election to office demonstrates the possession of power, and he uses his power for the material benefit of his supporters; it is assumed that the job will automatically get done if the members of the right party hold the positions. Some political appointees are better administrators than others, and their superiority is usually due to their ability to select the better qualified of their followers and to organize and manage employees. But if we start with the assumption that the only reason for having public offices and public positions is to perform useful services, the technical qualifications of the employees are the first consideration, and their political affiliation is relatively unimportant. However well selected employees may be for the positions they hold, personnel management remains the next most important administrative task. The selection and management of personnel are more important in government agencies requiring professional services than in others. Public welfare administration is one of the services which require a high proportion of professional employees representing a number of different professions besides what we usually think of as strictly social work. Because public welfare deals in a unique way with the lives and happiness of people, competent personnel and skillful personnel management are indispensable.


CLASSES OF PERSONNEL

The classes of personnel required for public welfare administration may be indicated by reference to the training and experience of

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