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Human Services


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What is Human Services The National Organization of Human Services define the profession of as “one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing direct services, accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery.” Even thou the term of Human Services profession has a very broad meaning, the goal have the same meaning for all professionals.

To assist in the development of skills necessary for the client to become self-sufficient, by empowering, modeling and, caring. Furthermore, the professional should also have the objective of teamwork at all times in order to achieve the proper goal. The work of the Human Service professional can be very difficult to achieve a goal without a committed client successfully.

In this paper we will analyze and describe the goal, history, common intervention in the Human Services along with some important ethical considerations.

The history of human services on the United States was in the beginning influenced by England’s social welfare during the eleventh century. By the time poor citizens were victims of slavery and discrimination from part of the wealthy class. The poor were forced to work the rich lands in order to survive, by receiving care and support in exchange from their hard work. (Martin, M. (2007)

During that time, the poor were considered a necessary component of society in order for the rich to show their grace toward the less fortunate. In fact, these believe or “charity” practice was completely supported by the church, that based the validity of the practice in the book of Mathew chapter 25 in were Jesus warn everyone to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, shelter to the homeless, clothes to the shivering, tend to the sick, and visit those in prison”.

The perception of poverty gradually changed with the Industrial Revolution and the Protestant Reformation. The demand for wage labor in the city drove individuals to move from the farms to work at the factories. The feudal system declined as well as the influence of the church, therefore the need for a complete renovation of the social welfare policy in England. These changes among others were the keys for the creation of laws for the poor.

Beier (1974) stated, “By 1536 England passed an act of relief, which placed responsibility for dealing with the poor at the local level. The law stipulated that only extremely ill, over the age of 60 or pregnant women were considered poor with justifiably reasons. The rest of the population was subject to punishment. Begging and vagrancy was considered a criminal matter.”

These poor laws themselves were the basics for the creation of The Elizabethan Poor Laws by 1601. As of today the Elizabethan Poor Laws are still considered the foundation of the contemporary social welfare policy in America.

History evolved and the human services laws dramatically changed by 1935 under president Roosevelt administration with the Social Security Act. This Act ensured compensations for the unemployed, aid to dependent mothers and children, and to the disabled (Trattner, 1998).

As history evolved the strategies and regulations for the human services worker evolved too. Nowadays the practice on the human services field has changed considerably. Interventions and common strategies used are completely different from those used back in 1935 when President Roosevelt officially approved the act.

Human services professionals have many functions, and are required to work in a variety of settings. For example, counseling tutoring, emotional support, consultation, advocacy among others. The variety of work settings is also requirement for variety of strategies and interventions, which are somehow part of the personality.

Some common strategies and interventions are confidentiality, integrity, empathy, compassion, confidentiality, patience among others. According to the ethical code of the National Association of Social Workers, clients should have a clear understanding of the nature and extent of the services being provided. (NASW, 2002) The limits of confidentiality are designed to guaranty the safety of the client or others. Patience and active listening skills are other important strategies necessary for the Human Services worker.

The core values of the Human Services profession are justice, dignity, worth of person, integrity, and competence among others. The Human Services worker should consider all of the core values when practicing the profession. In addition, there are ethical issues that are imperative to this line of work. The National Association of Human Services set a standard of nine ethical guidelines that should be at all times considered by the human service professional in the process of decision making, even when these ethical regulations are not legal.

According with the Association the professional should base his work in the following: Negotiation of goals, and the nature and limitation of the relationship with the client. Respect and dignity are two values that are to be present in the client worker relationship at all times. The client right to privacy should be always protected, except in case of possible harm. Records should be keep with integrity, safety and security for the client well being. Client should have knowledge of any record shared with other professional with prior written consent.

Human Service worker should not consider dual relationship. This should be avoided to prevent the impairment of professional judgment or the increase the harm to client. This includes sexual relationships with previous clients. Sexual relationships with current clients are also considered not appropriate and unhealthy for the client.

The Human Service professional should always understand that the client has the right to receive or refuse services. Client determination should always be respected. The last ethical consideration is the compromise from the Human Service provider to concentrate the efforts on building the client strengths.



In conclusion, more than a profession the broad meaning of real Human Services can be defined as a service to which we all have the right to give and to receive.

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