Introduction To Human Services


Introduction To Human Services Essay, Research Paper

Introduction to Human Services

Jeffrey, “A Human Services Professional is someone who is a facilitator

for someone who is not able or not yet able to deal with issues in a healthy way.

I am taking classes so that I can learn how to best help empower people change

their situation by believing in themselves. I believe that people have the

answers within themselves, but may need help getting in touch with their

spiritual or intuitive self. As human services providers, we hopefully strive

to model healthy behavior, including the fact that we are human, need support

from our peers, and can make mistakes.”

“When a client is ready, we educate them to give them an idea of what is

destructive behavior, bring to their attention possible consequences of their

actions, and suggest ideas or alternatives. Usually a client already knows all

this, they just never knew a better way or thought their way of dealing with

life was normal. I work on accepting each person where they are in their life,

which takes strength. I may be saying in my mind, ‘Can’t you see your way out

of the prison you’re in?’, but then I remember that I used to be in the same

place, and it took years to find my way out. I still struggle with my addiction,

and it still affects me, just not so profoundly.”

What I would like to do is work with teenagers. As a teenager, I was

befriended by a Young Life leader. He was a man in his 40’s and didn’t want

anything from me but to be my friend. When I drank beer at lunch, he didn’t

tell me to not drink. I don’t remember his words so much as the feeling I got

when we were together. He was like a father/friend to me. He seemed to care

about me unconditionally. He looked at me like a real human person, which made

me uncomfortable, which now looking back, was probably because I wasn’t used to

that. My own father lived in the same house with me, but he was not emotionally

available to me. My own father seemed to think that all women are good for is

sex and housekeeping. That scares me when I think of that now. My first

husband thought of me only as good for sex, baby making, and housekeeping. I am

grateful that I have wised up since then.

My passion is to work in the alternative schools as a tutor or mentor,

to help give kids some kind of an idea what life can be about. I may not see

results right away, but I do believe that ‘being there’ for kids is an

investment. They may not realize until years later as I did, that someone had a

positive affect on their lives.” 2One of my coworkers from Vietnam told me

that in her country, the prisoners work for their food. I thought to myself, as

I am sure many people have before, that we should try that here in this country.

I do not think that sitting in prison really helps anybody. I have heard that

there are work camps where the inmates learn a skill or trade so that when the

inmates are released into society, they at least have marketable job skills

working in their favor.

I think community service should be required as an alternative to jail

or prison in some cases. Picking up garbage may seem demeaning, but I know of a

city employee who makes a good salary picking up garbage around my neighborhood.

Maybe if the people who threw the garbage on the ground had to pick it up, they

would care.

Taking classes, GED or college, is popular in prison also. I have a

friend who learned computer skills in prison and is now working toward a degree

in computer engineering. He is grateful he had the opportunity to take college

classes in prison, otherwise he may have never found out how much he enjoys

programming computers. It seems to help his self esteem, because he seems

gifted in this area and people often ask for his help and advice concerning


I suppose that providing housing for convicted criminals would not cost

more than incarceration. It does not seem that imprisonment is much of a

deterrent to crime. A Settlement House may seem idealistic, but is more

feasible than some may think. Sex offenders are often released into the

community. A new program has been implemented in which parole officers and

police officers regularly visit released offenders. A step in the right

direction was made when our community invited a psychologist from a sex offender

treatment facility to educate us about this population, rather than ignoring the

problem and hoping it will go away. The psychologist told us that serious

offenders are psychopathic; they do not know and do not care what is right and

wrong, nor do they care who they hurt. They have no feelings or emotions. Even

so, I do not think that terrorizing or intimidating released sex offenders, as I

have heard of in some cities, helps anybody.

I think many criminals would be better off with the awareness and

support of the community. It is often difficult for former prison inmates to

find shelter, and a transitional community setting may help resolve many

problems. I have wondered if support from the community would help some

offenders. Sometimes people fall into addictions because of something missing

in his or her life. If we combine resources of therapy, job training,

supervision, and community involvement, maybe we would see some positive changes.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt to be more open minded. 3Children in grade school

used to say I was weird. I eventually realized that my way of thinking is

different from that of many people. In high school I would verbally express my

thoughts and people would say to me with amazement, “I have never met a person

like you.” I guess some of my ideas and thoughts were quite creative and

abstract. I like to think of myself as eccentric. Now that I am older, I tell

myself that only narrow minded people would think I am strange. I used to feel

like I was born in the wrong century or wrong country. A positive aspect is

that my way of thinking allows me to be sensitive and open minded. I know how

it feels to feel out of place. Not just in a group of people, but in this

dimension we call “life on planet Earth”. I have become proud of my

nonconformity. My way thinking is, “Why be normal?”

What I have learned is to get in touch with my spiritual self. I can

feel a connection with people on this level. Sometimes I feel threatened or

uncomfortable with people because of the vibrations I feel from them. I think

about how this will affect my career. Will I be afraid of someone for no

tangible reason? Will I favor some people because of how I respond to them


Being different sometimes makes people stronger. Sometimes it makes

people suicidal. I have been to both places. I feel that because of situations

I have been faced with, I can relate to people with a variety of challenges and

help emotionally support them through tough times. Personally, I feel that I

have survived by the grace of God. Some people think it is impossible to be

saved by God, but they also told me they don’t believe in God. This is

interesting to me because I never believed in God until I received therapy for

an addiction I am recovering from. It makes me wonder if God only blesses

people who are begging for healing, as I was. I guess I was ready to accept a

power greater than myself. As a human service provider, I hope that I can help

people in some way, otherwise it is not worth it. I would like to think I

haven’t gone through all this stuff for nothing.

When I learned about Maslow’s theory in my psychology class, it made

sense to me because I have experienced self-actualization in my life. I

experience more of what I call spiritual awareness every day. I believe that

when a person feels he or she is in a safe environment, he can spend more time

on personal growth and awareness instead of wasting energy defending himself.

Accepting people as a philosophy, I make a conscienscious decision every

time I communicate with people to be aware that what I see as a destructive

behavior is most likely a mode of survival for them. Being addicted to

something is a desperate hunger for wholeness. I think the process of life is

so painful for some people, they opt for suicide. Death is seen as instant

spiritual freedom and an end to human suffering. Emotional growth can be

painful and can take a lot of strength. We gain strength from our experiences

which makes us stronger for more growth. It is all a process. Sometimes the

challenges are so overwhelming, we need the support and strength of someone who

has experienced difficulties and believes there will be a light at the end of

the tunnel.

Learning about Erickson’s theories helps me understand how people may

pass through stages in life. I do think that many needs not met in childhood

can be met later in life. I know someone who said he didn’t need anybody and he

was better on his own, but as I got to know him better, he told me that he gets

lonely and is afraid of getting hurt. As a young child, he was sent to live

with his grandmother because his stepfather was abusive. He felt guilty that he

could not be there to protect his mother. Because of these experiences, he is

very protective of his children and is very close to his mother. To protect

himself from pain, he refused to become emotionally attached to someone unless

he knew her well enough to know she would not abandon him. In my opinion, it

would be therapeutic for him to be in a long-term relationship. 6 It’s the

90’s. Diversification is expected. Networking is important. When I worked in

the Community College Wellness Center, I would visit some of the local agencies

offering services. I would rather refer someone to an agency if I knew of its

integrity. Not only is my credibility on the line, but I am not doing a client

a favor by giving him or her a referral which may lead to disappointment.

In the 90’s, there are more trained mental health professionals than

ever before in the history of civilization. Therefore, we are each allowed to

develop a specific skill rather than knowing a little of each area of need.

From what I have read about history, people were first concerned about basic

survival. Hopefully, by helping people meet basic needs, we can go beyond mere

survival. It seems that people are seeking more meaning in their lives. I have

read that a goal for a woman up to the 1960’s, was to find a husband who would

be a good provider and not abusive, but now women (and men) want intellectual

stimulation, someone they can have an intelligent conversation with.

Marriage and family counselors are more acceptable now than when I was

growing up. It used to be that people would be ashamed to admit they were even

thinking about counseling, where now I here people almost bragging about it -

learning to communicate with your family, if you did not grow up freely

expressing your thoughts, feels wonderful.

I plan to learn more about my field before I call myself a specialist.

Being able to work with teenagers will probably require me to be a specialist in

several fields, including juvenile, domestic violence and chemical dependency.

My goal is to receive a well rounded education. From the creativity and insight

of teenagers to the wisdom and insight of senior citizens, my horizons are

broadened when I converse with people from different backgrounds. Whether we

are advocates, educators, or directors, we are each trained to use our

individual talents to create a functional system of human service workers. 7

Get a job! Permanent birth control now mandated for every woman on the dole! I

admit, sometimes these thoughts cross my mind. But I am also one of these women.

What began as my American Dream ended as quickly as it began. My husband was

in the Navy. I thought I would live a life of adventure, see new places, meet

new people. What really happened is that I ended up on an isolated military

base, with a man who didn’t really care about me or his child. Being that I

have felt the need for independence from a man, I do not think there are any

simple solutions such as ’stay married’, or ‘get a job’. In my opinion it is

unfair to ask a mother of a baby to go to work and put her baby in a daycare. I

think children should be four or five years of age before put in daycare.

Many populations are in need of assistance. Sometimes I envy the women

who live in ( ). They drive Mazda Minivans, take up hobbies, and

don’t need to work. Sometimes I wonder how many are unhappily trapped in that

life. They know they could be one day away from losing their children, their

home, everything. When I think of drastic welfare reform, what scares me is the

control someone can have over you when he knows that without him, you have


I consider myself a capitalist, but I can’t but help think about CEOs

who make salaries in the millions. And about disabled people who live on a few

hundred a month.

I think opportunities for education should be funded. Without education,

many people have no marketable skills to earn an adequate living. 10

It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! In a job you’ll get burned out. If you

find a career you love, you will use a lot of energy, but the rewards will keep

you motivated. At the public library, there are many books to give you ideas

and help you decide on a career. I found a group of books in the Community

College Library issued by the US Department of Labor in which the author

suggests listing a few things you would be interested in doing as a career. I

also found a set of four books called Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational

Guidance. Then decide which ideas would be a practical for you to earn a living.

If you have a gift or ability, it feels good to use it to help people.

Volunteering is a good way to find out where your talents lie. I have been

fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to be employed as a work-study

student by several departments on my college campus. I found out by on the job

experience what I love to do. Is it possible to go to school or receive on the

job training? Sometimes where there is a will, there is a way. I know some

people who manage apartments, therefore do not need to pay rent for a place to

live. They receive financial aid and food stamps while they are in school.

What some people do is find out which professions are in demand, or will

be in the future. These trends can be found in publications such as government

statistical manuals.

If there is something you think you would like to explore, maybe you could

talk to people who are willing to take the time to explain how they carry out

their responsibilities for their work. Bring a list of questions so the person

you are interviewing has an idea of what specific aspects of their career you

are curious about. People who are happy with their careers are usually quite

willing to talk about themselves in this way. I know someone who owns his own

business. He began as a backyard mechanic and now ten years later runs a very

successful auto repair shop. For him it means long hours, but he is very proud

of his accomplishments. He says there is nothing like being your own boss.

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