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Introduction to Human Services

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.

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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.

Social Issues


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