What Is Human Services?
March 29, 2012
There are many subjects that can be covered within the human service profession. This paper will be covering a brief look at the following: the goal of the human service provider along with a look at its history from the middle ages until modern times. It will look at what is means to be in generalist practice, and the theoretical framework of human service. Common interventions within the human service profession will be explored; as well as ethical considerations within the profession.
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It is also important to teach. Martin (2007) stated, “ This means that human service professionals are committed to helping people develop the necessary skills to become self-sufficient and function at their optimal level within society” (p. 7). Not only does the human service profession help the individual person, it helps communities and society at large by improving the quality of life for others.
The history of the human service profession can be dated back to the beginning of time. Martin, (2007) wrote,
The development of the social welfare system in the United States was very much influenced by England’s social welfare system, therefore it is important to understand the evolution of how the poor were treated in England to truly understand how the social welfare policy has developed within this country.(p .21 )
During England’s middle ages the wealthy would parcel of pieces of land to what they called “serfs,” who were the poor. These pieces of land were farmed by the poor. This was a form of slavery as the serfs were owned by their landlord; however, the owners were required to provide support for the serfs. This was their solution to poverty as they viewed it as a way to show their goodwill toward those less fortunate. These views go back to most religious teachings, which teach it is the responsibility of the church to take care of those less fortunate (Martin, 2007, p. 21-22). Starting in the middle of the fourteenth century and continuing for the next two hundred years many changes came along in the way the poor were perceived and dealt with and the Poor Laws of England. The Industrial Revolution saw an increased demand for factory wage labor, and many people moved to the city’s to work in factories (Martin, 2007, p. 23). This led to freedom of the serfs but also changed how the poor were perceived and the creation of the Poor Laws of England (Martin, 2007, p. 23). The theory of Social Darwinism became the general attitude toward the poor and providing charity was seen as working against God’s design to weed out the less fortunate (Martin, 2007, p. 23). In 1536 England’s relief act made local law enforcement responsible for dealing with the poor. They would determine if someone were truly a victim of poverty or a vagrant (Martin, 2007, p. 23). In 1601 more changes came with The Elizabethan Poor Laws (Martin, 2007, p. 24). The Charitable Organization Societies movement of 1870 was started by Rev. S. Humphrys Gurteen who still believed it was the duty of the church to provide assistance to those less fortunate. This movement opened the door for others who saw a need for human services. Jane Addams, who is known for the Settlement House Movement, opened the Hull House in 1889. She too also saw it as her Christian duty. Martin, (2007) stated, “Addams clearly saw societal conditions and the hardship of immigration as the...