What is Human Services? May M. Miller What is Human Services? “Human services is a broad term covering a number of careers, but all have one thing in common-the helping of people meet their basic physical and emotional needs for whatever reason cannot be met without assistance” (Martin, pg. 4, 2011). To understand how humans function in society, a person needs to understand basic human needs. These needs vary from person to person, however, all persons in society have a need and human services can help provide that. The Goal of Human Services Human service goals can be different for different workers within the field.
One common goal is to help people. It has been said that human services is a broad term and that human service is going on whenever one person is employed to be of service to another (Zins, 2001). Expertise and skills of all human service workers will help identify and establish goals for individuals. Individuality is very important to learn key aspects of a person’s life. Gaining respect and trust is imperative to an individual who is venerable and is of need of help. Establishing key necessities for an individual will allow a human service worker to achieve the goal or goals. The History of Human Services
Dating back to the Feudal System of the Middle ages to Jane Addams and the Settlement House, human services has come a long way, yet not much has changed in certain aspects. Racial and economic discrimination were in the Middle Ages where the Lord’s had controlled over serfs who were also known as peasants. Lord’s could buy and sell them whenever they deemed fit (Martin, 2011). Today, in the United States, people are subject to this type of behavior just on a different level. Jane Addams, the “mother” of social work began the United States settlement house movement in the 1800s.
Social inequality and poverty alleviation were her main focus. Working closely with immigrant families, she developed the Hull-House Settlement. She offered services from childcare to educational classes. She looked at the unfair labor practices, exploitation of immigrants, and the child labor issues going on in the area of Chicago (Martin, 2011). The importance of an “effective social welfare system of all Americans,” more poverty is seen in the United States (Martin, 2011). This time in the United States is being compared to the Great Depression, with foreclosed homes on the rise in addition to unemployment rates (Martin, 2011).
Common Intervention Strategies Human Services professionals are the front runners when concerning interventions. Accessibility to simple items such as food and water, human services professional can help a person in need obtain these basic human needs. For an individual to ask for help of a human services professional, he or she has to respect them and gain trust. With this character comes into the equation. The definition of character defined by Merriam-Webster, “the good qualities of a person that usually includes moral or emotional strength, honesty, and fairness. Human Service professionals have specific characteristic that makes them unique. Able to focus on an individual without passing judgment or critiquing is a quality that as a human service professional will need to develop as they grow within the field. Interventions done will help an individual grow and teach him or her to be self sufficient and reach self-actualization. The character that they develop into from interventions will help teach them so they are not dependent on human services for the rest of their lives. Ethical Considerations When considering ethical issues in human services, one has to consider good and bad behavior.
Most people learn right and wrong at a very young age. What a person does when faced with a potentially wrong or difficult situation, determines how the outcome will be. Martin says, “individuals who are motivated primarily by emotions are wrong, but because their values and principles are not well enough defined and/or developed to contain or regulate their emotions, often times leading to the inability to control their impulses. ” Impulses can be very dangerous and lead to a wrong decision that can be detrimental to a person or persons. There are many situations to consider when dealing with ethics.
For example, a human service worker may have to excuse him/herself from a client if there is a conflict of interest. They may have some sort of connection to part of the family or may know the opposite party involved. Another example would be deciding to keep a client’s case confidential. What if this person stated that they wish to harm themselves or someone else? Does the human services professional break confidentiality? Protection of human life is utmost important. A duty to warn is what should occur and the professional has an obligation to contact the proper authorities.
Conclusion In conclusion, human services can be a very challenging field, however the rewards can be substantial. Achieving a common goal is what drives human service professionals. When dealing with clients, a human services professional much maintain privacy as well as respect and compassion. Knowing their client and understanding the specific situation they are in is very important when seeking proper interventions. Non-negotiable items such as water, food, safety, and health are the raw materials that an individual must have in order to function.
Staying focused on the wellbeing of their client is the main priority and is why most human service professionals chose this particular field. To help fellow humans has been going on since the beginning of time and to help ease the burden of others is what humanity had in mind when the world was created. References Martin, M. E. (2011). Introduction to Human Services, Through the Eyes of Practice Settings (2nd ed. ). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.. Zins, C. (2001). Defining Human Services. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XXVIII, EBSCOhost.