In the Service of Fellow Woman, Man, and Child
Career Path : Healthcare
So, what is Human Services? Without knowing exactly, many people would assume it is a collection of professionals who work in some way to service people and the community. But almost every job in some way services people: waiters serve you food, doctor’s serve your medical needs, movie stars serve your desire for entertainment and escapism, etc.
Today, however, many schools and universities offer programs and courses in human services, and they don’t teach waitering, medicine or drama 101. Human service professionals work in a wide range of industries, like social services, education, and healthcare. Whether working with socially displaced persons, young children, or persons with special needs, human service professionals have the common goal to encourage independence and autonomy, create positive home and work environments, and build better lines of communication within communities through social engagement and advocacy. Here are three examples:
As fair as any society can try to be, people will for various reasons have trouble adjusting or finding themselves able to be independent. No advanced society has been able to solve once and for all the problem of homelessness, for example. Human service professionals seek to ameliorate, and hopefully eliminate much of the troubles of homelessness in a variety of direct and indirect ways. At an everyday level, they can work and manage soup kitchens, shelters, and employment and community outreach programs. At the societal level, they can petition and advocate for better funding and resources.
The definition of the modern, nuclear family has certainly shifted quite a lot. Nevertheless, groups of people related by blood, love or necessity still form the basis of community, as well as the first training ground and schooling for children. Because we recognize the importance of a childhood’s environment in the early stages of life, many human service professionals get training at an early childhood education college. In this example, a human service worker can focus on many levels of psychological, physical and emotional development of the child and working with the family to create the best possible home atmosphere.
Human service workers recognize that everyone is susceptible to needing the help of others, not just young children or adults unable to find or afford adequate housing. Physical or mental ailments can affect anyone causing them to require assistance taking care of themselves. Personal support worker programs prepare human service professionals to work with the chronically ill, disabled, or mentally ill people both in their homes as well as in institutions.
Human service professionals are everywhere, and although most people do not normally see them at work, or appreciate their efforts on an everyday basis, we should all be grateful that they are there for us if and when we do need them.
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