Dr. Drexel is the Head of Social Work for CareSafe Foster Systems. Dr. Drexel has begun working for CareSafe; a non-profit organization that specializes in foster care that helps connect needy children with caring and compassionate homes. CareSafe provides four main services: individual counseling, group therapy, parent counseling, and home assessments. Although Dr. Drexel has 10 years of experience working in foster care, she has very little financial experience and needs someone to develop the current budget for CareSafe. The current budget will allow Dr. Drexel to determine where CareSafe stands financially and how the future for CareSafe may look. Workable Budget Now more than ever before many people have to evaluate their spending and saving habits in order to make ends meet. The world economic crisis is hitting people hard. Jobs are less secure, property can’t be sold as easily as it used to be, and in some countries austerity measures have meant cuts in wages and pensions. And this means that knowing how to create a workable budget can make things easier to survive (Cummings, 2011).
A workable budget is the key to any business success. If you want to keep your doors open and be prepared for the worst that may happen then a workable budget is where it all begins. Especially now with the way the economics are. There are no spare monies and every organization is competing for funding. A workable budget needs to be written down in order to see where you are at with the finances. When having a budget you know exactly where your money needs to go and how much needs to be paid out. In return you also know how much may be coming in.
With having a workable budget you also know if you have any extra monies for those. With the budget that was put together there are a few ideas that can help. If the client is doing well then I would cut back on the individual counseling sessions by half. With that being said there will be less people in group as well so you may be able to condense smaller groups together. The other area to watch closely would be the supply. Make sure you need the same supplies for each visit and if not there is also another cut back in the budget.
Increasing Surplus Based on the information provided by CareSafe in regards to their services and their budget a few things can be done to help increase the size of their surplus. Since CareSafe is a nonprofit organization the recommended methods are important to help keep their business successful in order to help the community, the children and their families. In review of the budget there were a few things that needed improvement such as, the total revenue per visit and the amount of staff members needed per visit to help support.
Other things that needed to be reviewed were the supplies provided and fees that were charged and the overall cost of what it cost to keep the organization thriving. The first recommendation is CareSafe to perform a cost analysis to help find out the programs total cost. This will help provide more insight into how the funds are being spent and where the opportunities are. The second recommendation would be forecasting for the next fiscal year this is very important to help determine how the budget should be set for the next year and leave room for any new funding that may be available for that time.
According to Martin (2001), one of the interesting discoveries that researchers have made about forecasting is that simple techniques perform (produce estimates) that are frequently just as accurate as complex forecasting techniques. The con to this option would be if the organization forecast a grant or any funding that they do not receive or budget for a larger client base that does not participate then that may cause major issues to their budget. The third recommendation would be setting fees for the services provided at the center.
Fee setting can be operationally defined as the process of determining how much an agency will charge for its products and services (Martin, 2001). Although fee setting can help with the lowering the out of pocket cost in some way there are some issues with fee setting such as, direct and indirect costs , depreciation and use allowance, unallowable costs, profit margins just to name a few. Lastly other options to help increase surplus would be government contracts and grants.
All human services organization utilize government contracts and grants, and it is important to remember that some of the grants are given for a specific need and when it has been met the grant may not be available. All of these are great options to help increase CareSafe’s surplus based on the options listed a cost analysis would be the more feasible option to implement first. It is important that they recognize where their money is being spent and how so that they can create a better budget and other great plans to improve on those opportunities.
Financial Future After review the budget from CareSafe Foster System, there were no financial problems that could be identified in CareSafe’s budget statement. The organization has a surplus in the amount of 66,800, which means that the business is doing fairly well with the budgeting expenses. Based off this surplus it can be evaluated that the organization has no financial debts or dues that are owed. Because the budget has a comfortable surplus, Dr. Drexel can invest this surplus back into the organization and expand services and programs. Or Dr. Drexel can give wage increases to employees, she may have to increase the amount the organization charges for each individual visit, depending on what kind of merit raise is given to the employees. In determining CareSafe’s financial future it can be predicted that numbers will increase and surplus will go up because Dr. Drexel has maintained a proper budget for all expenses. As with any organization it is always important to prepare for future occurrences that may put a financial strain on the business.
To prevent problems from arising within the organization Dr. Drexel could use the surplus that was gained for emergencies situations such as if a natural disaster where to occur. Dr. Dexel could use the funding to find alternate assistance to help employees and individuals in need as well as unexpected building repairs. Dr. Drexel has to continue to accuracy calculate and record all data associated with the business operation so that she does not go over the budget expenses. Dr. Dexel has to evaluate the monthly expenses to figure out what is needed and what is not necessary to have, which can be eliminated from the expenses to maintain a balance.
The evaluation will also help the business formulate an appropriate budget and look at actual operation cost. CareSafe is a financially healthy non-profit organization with the mission to place needy children in loving and caring homes as well provide services such as: individual counseling, group therapy, parent counseling, and home assessments. Because CareSafe is financially healthy CareSafe can continue to provide such helpful services and continue to help needy children. CareSafe as well has the benefit of having a tenured and experienced Social Worker, Dr. Drexel to lead CareSafe to even more success in the future.