The world, today, is faced with myriad of challenges. Many people have got themselves as victims of violence, whether, domestic or civil (Jackson, 2009). In fact, many people are experiencing hardships and difficulties and are, therefore, in dire need of help and support. Helping such victims requires combined efforts of different agencies and organizations, both public and private. Such agencies are usually staffed with human service workers who ought to work diligently to ensure that the victims they handle get the best services. Notably, human services are of broad in scope just as the problems and needs.
The clients need to be encouraged, supported and made to be self-sufficient. However, dealing with human services is not very easy. There are challenges involved and whoever makes the choice to serve in any agency that serves victims of different circumstances need to be aware of some fundamental practices. It is important to be equipped vastly with the right information in order to enjoy the job despite the challenges involved. Being a senior member and having served as a CEO of one of the top human service agencies, I believe that this is manageable. Anyone who chooses to work as a human service worker can do it successful. What matters is to learn the secrets and the opportunities therein.
Human service workers
Working as a human service worker is one of the most interesting but challenging jobs. It may come with some satisfaction seeing people’s lives improved or changed because of your own efforts. It is important for junior employees to know that human service work is all about improving the lives of clients. The services offered differ depending on the clients to be served and the organization that offers the services in question. Moreover, new recruits will serve in different capacities depending on the organization that employs them.
In as much as the duties may vary, all human service workers at one point or the other find themselves performing many similar tasks in the organization. Some of the basic tasks that every service worker may be called upon to do include; evaluating or assessing the needs of the clients, creating a plan to assist the victims and translating the assistance plan into effect. In some instances, you may be forced to give direct assistance or coordinate services to the victims identified.
As a human service worker, it is important to understand that the sole responsibility is to ensure that victims are able to gain the worth and appreciate life once again. Sometimes you may encounter clients who have lost hope due to the calamities and challenges that have hit them in life. Such situations call for a lot of patience. You should not expect such a client to regain self-worth instantly. Be patient and watch the client go through a series of recovery phases. Eventually, you win the battle by enabling a hapless victim to recollect and have a reason to live again. It is satisfying to see a victim of the pathetic situation regaining confidence in life after going through a series of hardship and valleys in life. Any junior member who wishes to work as a human service worker needs to embrace a philosophy that service to humanity is service to God. Serving mankind, especially those who are faced with challenges in life should be more satisfying than what you can earn.
Think about a person who is emotionally disturbed. Such a person desperately needs your help. You should help such a person to regain emotional stability. The training offered to you as human service workers should enable you to recognize clients who need emotional support and encouragement. There are cases that are beyond emotional support and encouragement. Any situation that seems too difficult to handle should be directed for additional support services that may address extreme situations.
Notably, human service workers serve a diverse population consisting of persons of different ages and a wide range of problems and issues. Sometimes you may realize that a client may be facing more than one issue. For instance, you may encounter client who is a victim of domestic violence is also yoked with drug addiction or mental illness. It is, therefore, important to know the condition of the client or the victim before administering any form of help. It may be challenging but manageable. As I had mentioned earlier, the virtue of patience is a key secret to succeed in this line of profession. Take the time to know your client. Never rush into the decision. Some victims like those of violence may not even be willing to open up. It is indeed a challenge but when you read the psychology of such victims, you can be able to give necessary assistance.
In this line of profession, different agencies are organized and run differently although some jobs may be common in most organizations. Although some positions may not be in all agencies, the job tasks in a particular position may overlap on another. Different titles may also be used in different organizations for the same job. There are job tasks that require the service worker to give direct support to the clients while others may require the employee to provide administrative support to the organization where he/she is employed. For effective running of the agency, both cases are ideal. No matter which capacity you serve, it is important to keep in mind that serving the needs of the clients is the primary goal of the agency.
Just like many other careers, this profession also has its ups and downs. It is a wonderful profession. However, the suitability and satisfaction is a personal evaluation. To some people, they will find it as the most interesting career while others will see only the challenges involved and will fail to appreciate the rewards. Helping the clients to improve their lives is quite fulfilling. The outcome of professional assistance to clients is very fulfilling. Besides, this profession will help you to build a personal relationship with the clients and develop a desire to help them even more.
I have worked for several years in different capacities including supervisor and as CEO but what remains fulfilling to me is the number of lives I have changed. Do not expect everyone you attend to, to express gratitude and appreciate your service. Not everyone will appreciate your efforts, but there are more rewards that waitdue to your diligent service to humanity. There could be countless reasons why people may choose this profession. Some people are motivated to serve as human service worker due to their personal experience. For instance, Jackson avows that his desire to serve as a human servant was initiated by the fact that he survived domestic violence. He believes that he went through all the bitter experience for a reason. Nothing else would satisfy me than helping people who might be victims of similar situations as I. This work requires diligence, commitment and devotion.
Coordination between Agencies in the Community for Service Delivery
In ensuring that victims access necessary support services, welfare services in the community should develop coordinated service delivery strategies with other agencies. Violence, for instance, affects different victims and families in the community and by extension, the entire community and organizations are affected by its effects (Raphael, 1997). Victims are normally exposed to the number of co-occurring problems such as post-traumatic stress disorders, lack of safety, lack of legal advocacy, substance abuse and even unemployment. It is, therefore, the responsibility of various human service agencies to come up with programs to help these victims.
For the human service agencies to provide effective supportive services to the victims, they should work in collaboration with support partners in the community. Different organizations and agencies in the community should come together and establish joint support programs aimed at enhancing and reducing the cost of service provision to the victims. Agencies such as Domestic Violence Service Programs, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Providers, Advocacy Groups, Child Support Services, Law Enforcement Organizations and others need to work in a collaborative partnership to help facilitate the protection and support to the victims in the community.
Effective coordination of service delivery can enhance service quality (Stewart J, 2011 ). The organizations involved in partnership in service provision will benefit by ensuring efficient utilization of resources as well as establishing working relationships. It is important to note that human service delivery in the contemporary society is complex. Moreover, the society has placed very high expectations and demands on the agencies to provide quality services to the clients. It is, therefore, challenging for an individual organization or agency to be self-sufficient to meet all the demands of the society. It is, thus, important to establish a lot of coordinated efforts to address the victims’ needs. The complexity bin the nature of needs of the victims cannot be addressed by a single agency. Some needs may stem from risks posed by the perpetrator while others may be, as a result, of individual difficulties. Different agencies should work together in partnership to ensure that the clients’ diverse needs are addressed satisfactorily.
Service Clients That Are Homeless and Victims of Domestic Violence
According to Jackson (2009) human service workers cannot force help to victims who do not want it. Their role is simply to try to assist every client, whether victim of domestic violence or homelessness, to make good decisions, find resources to overcome their problems, inspire them and make them improve their lives. Human service worker cannot take over someone’s life. The client is still in control of his/her own life (Jackson, 2009). The service worker should just help the victim to cross over to the other side of the valley. In other words, service is more effective if the client is ready to be helped.
The first step in helping victims of domestic violence and homelessness is to evaluate the clients’ needs. The service worker should try to think through the problem of the client and then establish a support plan. Victims of homelessness should be helped to research the type of and eligibility requirements for assistance. Such victims should be helped to locate and qualify for low-income apartments in the community.
The agency needs to assess the extent to which the existing local service capacity assists the clients so that gaps and shortages in the programs can be addressed. Notably, existing resources and capacity may not be self-sufficient to serve the need of domestic violence victims. Therefore, human service agency should work in collaboration with law enforcement bodies, advocacy, human rights commissions, psychology and counseling departments so that levels of needs of such victims are addressed. The perpetrators of such violence should be dealt with through law enforcing agencies while individual difficulties such as post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) can be addressed by psychologist and counselors.
The staff that serves these victims must be trained and equipped with skills necessary in identifying the safety, privacy and plight the victims. In such cases, personnel who are experienced, knowledgeable and well-informed needed to be incorporated in the support pragmas that aim to assist victims of domestic violence. The staff that deals with victims of domestic violence should be compassionate, trustworthy, confidants, non-judgmental and supportive. It is important that the symptoms on the victims are recognized. Therefore, screening and assessment should be done to the victims to ascertain their conditions and execute effective support services including medical support and legal support and protection.
Important lessons from working with people
I have enjoyed every moment spent working with others in human service jobs. In fact, I must appreciate the uniqueness that everyone has in this world. One thing that made me enjoy my service is the secret of understanding individual differences. I believe in a philosophy that I cannot make every person to be like myself. I accept everyone with their strengths and flaws. No one is perfect. I always try to learn from other people’s mistakes.
Secondly, teamwork is strength. Throughout my service in human service job, I have learned that the only way to succeed in this line of duty is to work together with the rest. Joint efforts can make your weaknesses be absorbed in the strength of others. Whenever I see success, I appreciate the team as a whole. At least everyone has what he/she can do best and, therefore, combining forces will always deliver the best service to the clients.
Jackson, R. (2009, April). Understanding Women's Poverty: A Symposium on the Relationship of Domestic Violence and Welfare Receipt. Law and Policy, vol. 19, no. 2.
Raphael, J. &. (1997). Trapped by Poverty, Trapped by Abuse: New Evidence Documenting the Relationship Between Domestic Violence and Welfare." Taylor Institute and University of Michigan Research Development Center on Poverty, Risk and Mental Health, . New York: University of Michigan Research Development Center.
Stewart J, L. S. (2011 ). Effective practices for service delivery coordination in Indigenous . New York .