Methods: The study utilized a qualitative descriptive design. Social service agencies receiving low grades as a result of evaluation are required to receive education and be connected to consulting agencies for one year to learn management skills and how to develop high-quality programs. Social workers from both high-performing agencies and low-performing agencies who participated in the consulting program were selected for this study. A total of 20 social work professionals were interviewed for 60 minutes using semi-structured interview guides. Nvivo 12 was utilized for thematic analysis to identify implicit and explicit ideas within the data.
Results & Implications: The study found that social workers in high-performing agencies felt pressure to maintain their agencies’ good reputations and high quality of services for residents in their community. Social service agencies which received good results on government evaluations were given higher incentives from the local government for social workers and agencies, which led to more opportunities to obtain high-quality training. Those positive incentives and the evaluation system prevented social workers from freely sharing their skills and knowledge with social workers in other agencies and diminished interorganizational relationships in their community. Social workers in low-performing agencies were usually located in rural areas and had limited resources to improve their social work skills. They strongly preferred to have educational opportunities and build networks with diverse agencies in their community, but they had limited skills and resources to establish networks. These results suggest that education is needed to increase the awareness of network building among nonprofit social service agencies. Also, modification of the government-driven evaluation and consulting system is suggested to improve interorganizational relationships to provide better quality of services.