History of Human Services

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History of Human Services
HHS 201: Introduction to Human Services
Instructor: Tykeysha Boone
August 20, 2012

It is common for people to expect something in return for helping someone out or providing them with a specific service. It is also very common for people to expect to have to give up something in return for asking for help or specific services. While not everyone believes that those who are in need should be helped, there are opposing positions which feel that reform is a way to retract and counteract the situation the for the person in need. In order to get a better understanding of what is needed in the present time, we must first learn and understand how and why people of the western culture helped others through human services. As provided in The Introduction to Human Services: Policy and Practice, tracing back through history it shows how the western culture went through a difficult route of providing help for people in need. It shows how people in need were provided help from their families and the church or a benevolent feudal lord, later leading to receive help from the government, then eventually receive help from volunteers or trained professionals (Mandell & Schram, 2012). In the United States there are several helpful services which are no longer being made available due to the government’s decisions to strip away the programs or services for those in need and putting much of the burden on the volunteer and charity groups or churches. With the limited amount of resources and services available, these groups and churches are limited on what they can do to help. According to Garrow (2010), “nonprofit human service organizations located in a munificent environment can pursue multiple funding opportunities such as donations, fees for services, and other revenue-generating activities” (pg 447). There are several factors which have influenced our ability and willingness to help society members. Some people are just willing to help those in need because they have the means and are either empathetic or sympathetic to the needs of others. Many people who have gone through similar instances as those who are in need now are willing to try to help someone because they can feel their pain because they have been through the same tough times. While there are some that want to help because they can, there are also those who can help but refuse to because of their survival of the fittest mentality because of their victim blaming point of view which sees and blames people for their own misfortune and not a circumstance due to social forces (Mandell & Schram, 2012). Reciprocity is a give and take type of situation. When there is someone receiving goods or services, it is expected that there is some type of benefit received back in return. In western cycles of giving and helping this same principle is put into place. There was once a time where people would help others because they want to or because it makes them feel good for doing so. Now in more modern times people expect a benefit received from the services they provide. Some consider the fact that people are in the situation they are in because of something they have done wrong or incorrectly. Mandell & Schram (2012) provide philosophies which clash with the methods of providing help. These philosophies include: * Deserving vs. Undeserving: This is where victim blamers are as the superior to the victims who need help which are put in discriminatory classification as higher or lower categories and some are considered to be more worthy of receiving benefits and services than others (pg 32). * Means-tested vs. Universal programs: This is where means-tested programs that are available only to the poor, whose assets fall below a certain set eligibility level as oppose to universal programs that provide income supports and social services to both the affluent and the poor (pg 32). * Culture of poverty vs. Opportunity theory:...
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