Human Service Paper

What is Human Services
Jenifer Hunnicutt
University of Phoenix

As the population in the world grows, so do the poverty levels, depression, violence, crime, family dysfunction, and addiction. The world is full of people needing help, assistance, and life skills. When someone offers help to someone else, this is service. Usually in a pro-social environment the self-help works the best but often there are people who do not have that type of outlet, avenue, or friend. This is when it is time to go to the professionals; those who specialize in that area of help needed. Human Services is broad and can be anything from counseling, working at the Community Service Board, being the voice for a child in need at the courthouse, or helping to feed the poor. It can be the probation officer who helps assist in lowering the numbers of recidivism, or the social worker who find the best home for a child. Human Services is not just psychology, child aid, or elderly assistance. Human Services is all of this and more.
Every community has a different set of goals especially concerning Human Services. The main goals of the communities are to invent strategies to prevent homelessness, the increase of the suicide rate, the increase of drug and alcohol addiction, also to prevent abuse and neglect of children. Some of these strategies include more programs for people with addictions, state funding for transitional houses for the homeless, and free parenting classes. Human service agencies also reach out to the soldiers who have come back from war. ???A recent report suggests that suicide is on the rise among Soldiers, with the year 2006 having the highest number of confirmed cases since 1990 (Lorge, pg 390). While interviewing these Soldiers, there were (3) common factors for the cause of the depression and suicide thoughts; (1) Loss of Self- meaning the readjustment form war and soldier was too traumatic to easily adjust to being a civilian. (2) Cognitive sequelae- the fight of one??™s own memory. (3) Emotional and psychiatric disturbances- feelings of depression, anger, and worthlessness. Some of the strategies that prevented suicide for these soldiers were social support, sense of purpose and hope for the future, religion and spirituality, and mental health treatment. ???Veterans consistently cited the protective nature of clinical care, which included having access to mental health providers and psychiatric medication??? (Brenner, pg 392 ) Other counseling strategies include ???helping the client see the good things in their life, giving homework listing their strengths, and allowing the clients to talk until they come to their own conclusions??? (Inch & Mirea pg six ).
Human Services has existed for years through charity models. However, the history of human services dates back to 1854 in Washington State delegating that relatives of poor families had primary responsibility for the poor. Insane Asylums were organized by the late 1800s and by the early 1970s alcohol treatment programs were established. The ???1960s and 1970s reflected the combination of grass roots participation and the discovery of the urban problem stimulated wide interest of the potentiality of local government to respond to social issues???(Halligan & Wettenhall, pg 124). By the 1980s and 1990s local governments were more apt to grow involved with the communities by offering financial support and localizing Human Services. This included state welfare housing.
Ethical procedures are a must in the Human Service field. Confidentiality of clients is an important ethical mandate. It would also be ethically wrong to risk a client??™s autonomy by demanding the client try a new psychological medicine if the client chooses to be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy instead. Fast results do not equal a cure and it is part of the case workers responsibility to ensure the clients comfortable pace and security. ???If knowledge is called on when a value is needed as a guide to action, the resulting action may be without purpose??? (Furman pg 83).
Incarcerated persons seem to be at the highest risk of problems and have the least of coping skills, education, and life planning skills. It seems it is only ethical to provide more programs in jails and penitentiaries that help teach education and life skills in addition to re-entry plans, family counseling, health education, and follow-up appointments. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) education is also necessary to prevent the spread of these diseases and receive treatment.
The communities??™ responsibility is to work together to ensure security in a safe environment. While drug and alcohol addiction grow among our communities, Human Service aids in finding cases of individuals who would benefit from in-reach and out-reach agencies. Outreach is defined as encouragement and re-engagement of individuals through churches, schools, and medical facilities. Inreach is defined as institutions, state agencies, and social services for screening and referral to treatment programs. Community intervention is important for increased awareness, ownership, and to provide service systems and community institutions.
The role of a Human Service professional is to work with other teams of the community to enrich lives. Community Projects for Seniors in Wisconsin (founded 1986) is a program that reaches out to our senior citizens who live on low income and reside in subsidized housing. This organization works to improve everyday living by providing hot wholesome meals, joy through fun activities, creating opportunities to make new friends, and encouraging social interaction. Seniors who have friends to talk to and enjoy life estimate a longer life span versus seniors who live and spend life alone. The program is also designed to reduce stress and depression and increase self esteem. Those who qualify for this program are the ones who no longer have any family or friends to help support them.
As we look around, we can see Human Services everywhere. As long as there is crime, poverty, violence, mental illness, depression and addiction, there will be Human Service agencies trying hard to make a difference in at least one person??™s life. Human Service agencies and communities not only have to work together for the less fortunate but also in creating new strategies in keeping people happy and healthy. Because this process will never end, positions in the field of Human Services will stay in demand.

References
Brenner, L., Homaifar, B., Adler, L., Wolfman, J., & Kemp, J. (2009). Suicidality and veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury: precipitating events, protective factors, and prevention strategies. Rehabilitation Psychology, 54(4), 390-397. doi:10.1037/a0017802.
Durrington, L. (2009). Localising Human Services: A History of Local Government Human Services in Victoria. Australian Social Work, 62(1), 123-125. doi:10.1080/03124070902800505.
Furman, R. (2009, January). Ethical Considerations of Evidence-Based Practice. Social Work, p. 82. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

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