Human Services paper
History, Role and Function of Human Services The human services field encompasses a range of professions that help and assist people in various aspects of their lives, to meet everything from their basic social and psychological needs to fundamentally more practical ones, like getting food and shelter (Martin, M. E. 2007). Because some people or groups of people may often have trouble meeting these needs on their own, due to wide-ranging circumstances, human services professionals work In, and with, schools, family centers, homeless shelters, courts, drug treatment facilities, hospitals, and community agencies of all types (Martin, M.
E. 2007). Regardless of the setting, human service workers share common goals, to provide clients with tools, resources, and support necessary to meet their needs, and the guidance and education to continue meeting those needs in the future (Martin, M. E. 2007). People who utilize human services may not have access to the support systems that others do, such as supportive families or friends, community, or other helpful means. They may also suffer from physical or mental disabilities, or may have gone through some trauma or displacement (Martin, M.
E. 2007). In some form or other, human services have been provided to the less-fortunate y such disparate groups as the church, the government, or wealthy local landowners. Feudalism, for instance, provided for the lower classes by allotting them a small plot of land to farm during England’s Middle Ages (Martin, M. E. 2007). They were basically slaves to the landowners, and could be sold or traded as property, but it was the landowners’ obligation to ensure that they were housed. Looted, and fed, life’s three basic necessities. Churches also served the poor, with able members of a community or parish getting taxed so that those less-fortunate members could receive aid. Poverty was neither viewed as a crime nor something for which to be ashamed, but, rather, the impoverished were seen as a necessary and unavoidable segment of society, and offered opportunities to demonstrate charity and goodwill (Martin, M. E. 2007).
With the end of Feudalism In England, and the shifting of societal organization, the poor faced new challenges, as well as a newly perceived image. The poor were no longer thought of as members of the community to be aided, but, rather, a spiritually condemned segment of society. With that came legislation against them, “poor laws,” which evolved into a social welfare policy, the foundation of which still exists to this day (Martin, M. E. 2007).
As they had In the past, religious groups came to the forefront In providing charitable services to the underprivileged. In the sass, the Reverend S. Humphreys Grunter created the Charity Organization Societies, a Christian-based organization that served as a network of aid groups, organized to build self-sufficiency for individuals seeking relief, as well as avoid fraud and systematic abuse (Martin, M. E. 2007). In modern history, the Great Depression led to record numbers of unemployed
Delano Roosevelt, human social services had resurgence under federal policies. Although some segments of the population were still kept under privileged (notably African Americans), Roosevelt New Deal introduced programs putting people to work, giving food and aid, and assisting the elderly and disabled (Martin, M. E. 2007). The particular outlook and condition of the times determines the amount and type of aid offered to less-fortunate, suffering members of society.
Depending on these conditions, human social service workers respond appropriately to best serve those in need (Martin, M. E. 2007). At the outset, human service professionals must fully disclose to clients the nature of services provided. This must be presented as a printed document, written in clear language. The document must fully disclose the extent of services, as well as the risks, and consequence of termination. An understanding of confidentiality between the client and counselor must be agreed upon and maintained, according to ethical codes (Martin, M.
E. 2007). Confidentiality remains a vital factor in proper treatment, as the client must feel he or she is being counseled in a safe and trusting environment, otherwise full closure might not be possible. Trust is a key to maintaining the integrity of a counselor-client relationship. Clients will be sharing deeply personal experiences, including secrets and other information that they might not share with the general public. They must be comfortable in order to open up about these experiences and situations, in order to receive the assistance they require.
There are exceptions to the confidentiality agreement. If a client discloses that they are planning to harm themselves or others, a counselor is legally bound to disclose this information to rotten the client or others, and if a minor reports being sexually abused in any way a counselor must report the incident in order to protect the child (Martin, M. E. 2007). Counselors utilize a range of skills in working with clients, but among the major factors necessary to work in human services is to have empathy and compassion, which may not strictly be skills, per SE, but rather character traits.
Empathy must extend further than the average person might consider. For instance, a human service professional might find themselves providing services to prison inmates who eave committed heinous crimes, like murder, rape, or child abuse. While the counselor would not be expected to condone such crimes, they would still be forced to empathic with the client who committed them. While amphetamine with the client, in other words, understanding the thoughts and feelings that person might have, the human services counselor must still ensure that they maintain clearly defined boundaries.
In other words, although the counselor should be empathic, understanding, and helpful to their clients, that does not mean that their clients’ problems should become their own. Nor does it mean that they should burden a client with their own problems. Boundaries between client and counselor must be determined, explained, and maintained for a successful working relationship. Sexual relations between client and counselor, for instance, would be a breach of boundaries, yet it is not uncommon for a client to develop romantic or sexual feelings for a counselor, due to the intimate sharing nature of their relationship (Martin, M.
E. 2007). While a client may develop clients, feeding off of the emotional need to be needed. This too is an area demanding a clear boundary. Human services professionals must be patient, good listeners, and possess excellent observational skills in order to properly assess the needs of their clients. They also must be familiar with clinical assessment methods, which include administering intake interviews, to determine demographic information, family history, physical and mental health issues, and the nature of what brought the client to the counselor in the first place.
Often, a client may be in a crisis situation when the counselor’s work begins, so the counselor must also be aware of any immediate actions needed. Psychological testing sometimes must be administered to the client, to help the counselor determine the client’s depression and anxiety levels, as well as how the client functions socially. The counselor may utilize the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (ADSM-IV-TRY) to diagnose the client’s psychological issues or disorders (Martin, M.
E. 2007). Once the counselor has completed the assessment, they must design a treatment plan. The treatment plan takes into account the results of the clinical assessment, and identifies areas and issues with which the client requires care. Conflict and crisis management are often issues from which clients may benefit assistance. While the client might already be in the midst of crisis, the counselor must help the client avoid panic, and learn how to effectively handle their issues.
One way to do so is through reframing, that is, changing the perception of a client’s situation so that it is more constructive and productive to the client’s wellbeing. Reframing enables the client to escape the negative connotations often placed on any given situation. Some negative emotions are normal in dealing with life’s situations, but it is important to keep the client from becoming mired within hose negative feelings, and instead to airframe the situation to see it from a more objective and constructive viewpoint.
It is the main objective of the human service professional to help and guide clients through the various crises and turbulent scenarios they may not otherwise be able to navigate on their own (Martin, M. E. 2007). There are a number of ethical guidelines surrounding the human service field, including the values of service; social Justice; peoples’ dignity and worth; importance of relationships; integrity; and competence. Social workers must maintain adherence to these values as they serve their client caseloads, which can be in a range of settings, from Jails, hospitals, institutions, homes, or agencies (Martin, M.
E. 2007). The human service worker serves a range of needs as well, which brings them into contact with disparate groups of clients, covering vast age-ranges, socio-economic backgrounds, and living conditions. Since early history those in need were served by groups of people for financial, moral, or spiritual reasons, but ultimately human service workers continue their professions for deeply personal reasons stemming from the need to help and aid others.