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Bshs/302-Introduction to Human Services

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What is Human Services?
Manuel (Matthew) Custodio
BSHS/302-Introduction To Human Services
1/21/13
Instructor: Joseph Spalding

What is Human Services
An explanation of Human Services exploring the nature, history and purpose will demonstrate the importance of this field for individuals, which goal is based on assisting individual in meeting their own basic needs.
Human Services is a profession that serves the public and was design to promote improvement in society for those individuals that cannot meet their own basic physical and emotional needs (Martin, 2011). A good example of understanding an individual needs is Maslow’s Hierarchy, which is based on five different stages of development (Feldman, 2009). The lowest stage of this hierarchy is basic needs such as: water, food and the highest stage is self-actualization where the person reaches his or her highest potential (Feldman, 2009). According to the Maslow’s Hierarchy theory a person cannot reach the highest level if they are struggling with the a lower level and each level is a type of progression to reach the highest level. This understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy assist professional in evaluation where their clients are at in their stage of needs development.
The goal of human services is to assist individual in the community to overcome their personal struggle to meet their needs caused by personal and social obstacles (Martin, 2011). Human services support these people by teaching them to maximize their potential and by providing services design to assist them in achieving what they desire from life. This field of servitude to our community in the form of human services encompass a broad range of areas, which includes but is not limited to group homes, halfway houses, correctional, mental retardation, family and child agencies, alcohol and drug abuses advocates to name a few (Martin, 2011).
A way a person in the human service field can assist their clients is by networking with community resources, such as government, churches, private sector and families working toward a common goal of improving the quality of a person’s life (Tesolowski, 1983).
The approach that is used in human services depends on the individual theoretical orientation (Martin, 2011). The theoretical orientation is an assumption by the Human Services worker that provides the framework for how they assist their clients (Hamilton, 2012). The different theoretical views that human services uses are: humanistic, psychodynamic, behavioral and cognitive. The theoretical orientation is the preference of the professional and the one that the individual believes is the best approach for their client. However, as a individual serve those in the public as a counselor they should still have enough flexibility to use another approach if it is better suited for their client.
When serving society human service professionals must consider the reason clients behave the way they do (Martin, 2011). Also social worker or counselor must consider the framework of their clients, which is the environment they live in (Martin, 2011). In addition, there are many circumstances to be consider when assisting these individuals and finding the cause of their problems. These circumstances could be caused by several factors, which includes: lack of employment, lack of family and friends support, mental or physical disabilities, natural disasters, racism and trauma (Martin, 2011).
The history of human services can be trace from the beginning of society and evidence can be found as far back as biblical times (Martin, 2011). For example, there is a story about Pharaoh king of Egypt and how he had a dream that a certain Jew by the named of Joseph interpreted. The dream reveal that there will be seven years of plentiful followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advises Pharaoh to build storehouses during the years of plentiful to help when the famine came. When the plentiful years was over and the famine came they open the storehouses to feed Egypt and the people that lived by, which can be view as a type of welfare set up by government or by God found in the Bible (Genesis, 1982). Also during the Middle Ages there was a system in place called, feudalism. This caring for the poor was England’s primary manner of assistance by having the peasants also known as “serfs” farm the land of the wealthy in exchanged providing them what they needed to survive (Martin, 2011). This feudal system was effective in controlling poverty, but the serfs were economically discriminated because they were born into serfdom, which could be view as a form of slavery or servitude (Martin, 2011). As harsh as feudal system may seem it did offer assistance to those born poor (Martin, 2011). As the economic condition change in England traditional feudal system was phased out because of destruction of crops by nature and the start of an Industrial Revolution (Martin, 2011). The swift changes cause by the Industrial Revolution mark an end to serfdom, but a new beginning for the poor. The poor had no way to provide for themselves and many became beggars, nomads or criminals (Martin, 2011). In order to handle the problem the government scattered throughout the city for the poor to determine if they were worth or unworthy to be poor; those unworthy were punished because they were considered capable to work. There were tremendous strives in the United States for a federal system of social welfare during the Great Depression. This change in social reform was lead by President Roosevelt and his promise of a New Deal, which provided over a million temporary jobs to the unemployed by creating fifth teen federal programs. These changes caused by the New Deal transformed many of the views of individual seeing minimum standard of living as a right, not a privilege (Martin, 2011).
Ethics according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary can be define as, “Set of moral principles or values; the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group” (Martin, pg. 34, 2011) (Merriam, 2003). As a professional in Human Services ethical standards and principles must be a consideration because it is the rudder of behavior that keeps an individual from allowing their emotions to drive them (Martin, 2011). For example, when I worked in as a Child Care Worker in a residential treatment program there were times a client would physically attack me. As a professional it would be ethically wrong to retaliate at an out of program client but at times emotionally I wanted to (not sure if this is a confession or a natural feeling). I allow my ethical belief to override my natural emotions, which as a professional is necessary to be successful in this type of career.
These are the explanation of the nature, history and purpose of human services and the importance of this field in individuals’ lives of today’s society and helping those that struggle in meeting their own basic needs.

Works Cited
Feldman, R.S. (2009). Motivation and Emotion. In Psychology and Your life. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Hamilton, T. S. (2012). The development and validation of the preference for adherence to theoretical orientation scale. Old Dominion University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 355. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1125449169?accountid=35812. (1125449169).
Martin, M.E. (2011). Introduction to Human Services: Through the Eyes of Practice Settings (2nd ed). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon Publishing.
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Tesolowski, D. G., Rosenberg, H., & Stein, R. J. (1983). Advocacy Intervention: A Responsibility of Human Service Professionals. Journal Of Rehabilitation, 49(3).
The New King Version. (1982) (Ge 41:1-57). Nashville: Thomas Nelson

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