Identifying Barriers Experienced by Human Service Clients
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April 7, 2010
Professor Bill Eady
Problems Facing Human Services Clients
Human service professionals have a very rewarding career. They are given the opportunity in more ways than one to provide help to those who are in need of it. While this profession can be rewarding, unfortunately, this area of expertise can be emotionally exhausting because of the many problems that the human service clients face and the lack of resources that are available to them. These problems include, but are not limited to, economic inequality, poverty, child welfare as well as social problems.
While these problems are evident daily, human service professionals are trained to notice the oppression and social injustice and to develop solutions to the problems so they will not continue to persist in the future (France, 2005). For example, human service professionals are more aware of the common denominator or factor that is present among a family living in poverty, an incarcerated individual and a person living with a disability. The single factor that is common from this example would be a lack of resources due to their social identities. While it is the goal of human service professionals to promote social equality for all, unfortunately, living in today’s society, this is simply not the case. Many of the human service clients face many injustices because they fall into a certain category, and that category can be classified as the impoverished, which is an example of an economic equality (France, 2005). This is a major problem that human service clients face in the United States. They are often looked down upon by certain people because of a wealth disparity; however, many human service professionals know that not treating the clients with respect and judging them will only add to the problem and take away from the solution. Poverty and child welfare are two problems that are in connection with one another. Many children who are in foster care come from low-income households, and because they are so young, unfortunately, they do not have a voice and depend on case managers or human service professionals to be their voice and stand up for fair treatment and equality for them (Woodside, 2011). It is imperative that human service professionals stand up for children of all ages because oftentimes they are overlooked. Poverty is another major factor that is a problem that many human service clients face. Not having the financial means to take care of necessities in the life is a crippling barrier. While money is not the answer to all problems in life, however, it is needed in order to live a comfortable lifestyle and to take care of daily needs (Woodside, 2011). Social problems are also yet another problem that has caused some human service clients to feel separated or stand out from society. Such social problems include drug and alcohol abuse, discrimination, teenage pregnancy and crime. Specific Helping Skills
It is very important that human service providers utilize specific helping skills with their clients. By incorporating certain helping skills, the clients will be at ease thereby allowing the human service professionals to gain the client’s trust as well as their cooperation (Neukrug, 2001). Clients need to feel that the human service providers are genuinely concerned about their well-being and welfare. In order for the clients to be transparent to the human service providers, it is pertinent that each client is treated with respect and compassion is displayed at all times. The specific helping skills that should be used with the clients include good communication skills as well as interpersonal skills. Having great communication between the client and the human service manager is critical because it allows the human service specialist to be effective in providing help to the clients (Neukrug, 2001). Having effective communication skills also allows the case manager to reach out to the clients and, as a result, the case manager can get a clear understanding of the problem pertaining to the client and the proper solution. Interpersonal skills are also important when interacting with clients because it allows the human service professional to connect with the clients in a way that will allow the client to feel comfortable and willing to cooperate with the human service professional. Solutions to the Problems
Once the human service professional accesses the situation concerning the client and identify the problem or problems, then a solution can be created. Since each individual client is unique and different in certain ways, therefore, it can be determined that the solution will be different as well (Rotham, 1997). Depending on the individual person and the circumstance, the case manager will develop a solution that entails resources which will help that person in the best way possible. Each client and the circumstance is viewed on a case-by-case basis, meaning that each person is analyzed separately and depending on the client’s family and social history, as well as problems, will help the case manager to determine a solution that best meets that client’s needs.
It can be determined that social problems will always be present and will not completely disappear. However, the goal of the human service providers is to help implement ways in which the problems will be reduced. Usually, this implementation will incorporate the government because of numerous programs which are funded by the government or the tax payer’s dollars. Such programs consist of the Fatherhood Program which assists noncustodial fathers with employment opportunities, WIC, also called the Women’s Infant Children program that gives low-income families access to healthy foods thus promoting healthy eating and lifestyles, and the Snap program, also called food stamps that enable low-income families to purchase groceries (Rotham, 1997). There are also other programs or organizations such as shelters or transitional homes in which the human service professional will connect people who are in need of these services. Human service professionals play a very important role in society because they help to bring about a positive change with the clients with whom they come in contact. Many people, before becoming clients, felt helpless and did not know who they can turn to because of the lack of trust. This is why it is crucial for human service professionals to display respect and courtesy at all times because it allows the case managers to gain the clients’ trust that is needed in order to really help them. In a sense, human service professionals are everyday heroes because they help to bring about a positive change one client at a time.
France, Kenneth (2005). Helping Skills for Human Service Workers. New York, NY: Thomas Neukrug, Ed (2001). Skills and Techniques for Human Service Professionals. Retrieved from www.books.google.com Rotham, Jack (1997). Case Management. New York, NY: Pearson
Woodside, Marianne. (2011). An Introduction to Human Services.Retreived from www.books.google.com