Barriers Faced by Human Service Workers

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Overcoming Technological Barriers in Human Services
University of Phoenix

Overcoming Technological Barriers in Human Services
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein Human service workers act as a liaison between clients in need and the agencies clients seek to obtain help from, and while human service workers strive to provide services in an adequate and timely manner this is not always possible. Human service workers are human therefore there can be a large margin of error. All human service agencies are subject to barriers that prevent perfect service from being rendered. While certain barriers do exist in the human service field improvements can be made that can lead to greater service. In today’s society technology is dominating the workforce causing former work methods to become obsolete. While technology is constantly changing the changes made are often for the better, allowing companies to thrive and overcome existing barriers once faced. Technology not only benefits “business” companies, but also greatly improves the barriers faced by human service workers. One potential barrier that human service agencies can face is falsification on company records. Falsification of records can prove fatal, especially in Child or Elder Protection cases. While falsification of records may not be the human service workers intention it can indeed be committed when time restraints prevent case workers from visiting their clients in a given time frame. In August 2006 lack of time and falsification of records proved fatal for 14 year old Danieal Kelley of Philadelphia, Pa. Danieal Kelley a then 14 year old cerebral palsy victim died from neglect at the hands of her own mother. “ The nightmare of forced starvation and infection that killed Danieal while under the protection of the city’s human service agency is documented in a 258 page grand jury report that charges nine people, her parents, four social workers, and three family friends- in her ghastly death” (CBS3,2008). In the case of Danieal Kelley “the department of Human Services received at least five reports of Danieal being mistreated between 2003 and 2005”(CBS3, 2008), and while social workers were assigned to Daniela’s case, none appeared to follow through. According to CBS3 news it’s suspected that after Danieal’s death Mickal Kamuvaka the company director of the agency in charge of Daniela’s case held a “forgery fest” in her office where she had employees “concoct almost a year’s worth of false progress reports”(CBS3, 2008). The fact that no one took time to protect Danieal sheds light on the terrible fact that “some” social workers falsify documents to protect themselves. In order to prevent future case like Danieal’s its imperative that a system be in place to prevent social workers from simply doctoring records when it’s convenient for them. A method that could be used to track the whereabouts of said social workers could be a G.P.S. Agencies could provide social workers who are required to make home visits with cell phones implanted with G.P.S. systems. The tracking system could be used while the social workers are on the clock to ensure that home visits are indeed being made within the required time frame. This tracking system could prevent workers from falsifying documentation because their whereabouts would be known ahead of time. An online G.P.S. tracking system called World Tracker Web GPS (webgpstrack), which allows devices to be tracked through internet access. According to Mobile GPs online, “Web GPS Track is a self contained hardware and software package that allows a user to track his assets from anywhere through an internet connected PC” (Mobile GPs, 2008). The Web GPS Tracker works by using the world tracker and a SIM card from a local GSM wireless network carrier. Once the SIM card is inserted into a cell phone, GPS tracking...
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