Types of SWOT Factors Typically Present in Human Service Agencies

The table SWOT Factors Typically Present in Human Service Agencies provides some examples of the types of factors seen in agencies that may be represented on a Multi-Agency Team. These categories of factors may assist the Team to get started on the SWOT discussion process.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Internal Factors within an organization

Human resources staff, volunteers, board members, youth served, staff competencies and experience
Physical resources location, building, equipment, technology, meeting space, parking
Financial grants, funding, partnerships, other sources of income
Practices and Processes mission statement, programs, services, intake, eligibility, individualized documents, assessment, family engagement
Communication and Collaboration professional development, outreach efforts, communication with stakeholders, partnerships, knowledge of partner agencies
Policies and Procedures person centered, agency neutral, outcome focused
Working Conditions staff competence, internal communication, turnover, satisfaction, consistency, caseloads, leadership, organizational culture

Opportunities and Threats

External factors stemming from community or societal forces.

Future trends nationally in the field, agency or the culture, occupational outlook
Economic Outlook local, national, or international, unemployment rate, jobs outlook
Funding sources foundations, donors, state and national legislatures and budgets
Demographics changes in the age, race, gender, culture, health, income, job status, education of those you serve or in your area
The Community new housing, tax credits for new business, infrastructure, roads, bridges, local government, amenities and services
Legislation pending or anticipated local, state or national legislation or policy rulings
Natural and Man-Made Events severe weather, natural disasters, wild fires, conflicts, military actions, deployments, civil unrest, crime, addiction

The factors listed above provide suggestions of broad areas that could spark your Team’s SWOT discussion. Each Team member looks within their own agency for Strengths and Weaknesses and outside of their agency in the wider community for opportunities and threats. Each person contributes to the SWOT from the perspective of their own agency, resulting in a SWOT list that is robust and rich with potential resources and barriers.

Some of the factors listed in the table may not apply to your agency and your Team’s community. And there may be factors that are not included. The context for the SWOT discussion always goes back to the overarching outcome for the Team’s strategic plan: to build capacity for extending and sustaining multi agency planning practices in your agencies and your locale, resulting in improved community employment outcomes for the youth you serve.

The SWOT discussion closes with a Team review of the individual SWOT lists to identify ‘common ground’ for the Team to use as the basis of a strategic plan to move forward. See ‘Directions for Conducting a SWOT Analysis’ on the next page for more information.