These persons (professionals) are involved in helping people to overcome obstacles, so that they can have access to counseling, therapy or rehabilitation. They work for improving life of needy people and lead to betterment of society.
What Do Human Service Workers Do?
The field of human services is a broad field, which encompasses numerous professions such as social worker, health educator, career counsellors, school psychologist, mental health counsellor, childcare worker, marriage and family therapist and even sociologist.Some examples of the work profile of different human service workers are mentioned:
- Social worker: works to solve individual, family and community problems. They help underprivileged children to get jobs, healthcare facilities, prevent child abuse and addiction. They also make resources available to needy public in from of medical care, food assistance, and social security
- A marriage and family therapist: works with individuals, couples and families to evaluate about relationships and problems present and try to solve them. They try to improve relationships so that clients can lead a happy life.
- A mental health counsellor: works with clients suffering from mental illness such as depression, low self-esteem, stress, grief and anxiety. They work with specific groups such as children or the elderly in collaboration with doctors to improve their mental health.
- Community health worker: educates communities and provides social support with government assistance in housing, nutrition and more.
- Caseworker: works with families who are in need of assistance to help remove any barriers they might have to their optimal functioning
- Home health aides: work with elderly, terminally ill patients, disabled or dependents in their residences. They provide them with basic care and also admit to hospitals when the need arises.
Human service workers are employed in different environments including hospitals, group homes, government agencies and private practices. They also work with family and youth service agencies and programs dealing with addiction, family violence and aging of elderly people. The day-to-day work they do is heavily dependent upon where they are employed. Some of them (like counsellors) work in an office while others have to work on the site. Although these are different types of jobs, they all have the same aim to provide dedicated and valuable services to the public.
Steps to Become a Human Services Worker
Before entering into this field is essential to talk with experienced human service workers. It is also good to volunteer to work at some places to get acquainted and know where the students want to be in their career. This will enable to choose a right type of profession from such a broad field.
- The required education is bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) which gives an entryin this field. BSW enables student to gain foundational knowledge and understanding about human development and human needs.
- If one wants to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) then it is necessary to pursue a Master’s or a Doctoral degree. Masters in social work (MSW) is considered important, since it offers both classroom training and field work to ensure that students are properly prepared for positions in the field. In addition, MSW degree allows a student to have maximum number of employment opportunities in field of human services.
- After completing MSW and before taking up a job or prior to becoming a full time social worker, one has to work under a supervisor to understand the nature of work of human services and tactics required to handle the challenges in this field. The number of hours of supervised work depends on the particular state’s requirement.
- MSW need to clear the Clinical Level Association of Social Work Board Exam and apply for license to practice social work. With MSW degree students can get into supervisory roles.
- After MSW, some pursue PhD and perform research in a specific social service topic. These research scholars come up with theories and solutions to solve the problem for improving life of people.
Most social workers mention that the education in this field is an ongoing process and they need to always update their skills and gain credits to be successful in their careers
Skill’s Needed to Become a Human Services Worker
The important thing to become successful social worker is to like people and have an urge to work for their improvement. These professionals must have knowledge of a variety of factors in human behavior and skill sets that helps them understand people both as individuals and within groups. They need to develop certain skills such as be patient, be compassionate, show empathy, have effective communication skills, set high ethical standards and have good leadership qualities. They need to be analytical and be good problem solvers and have research skills too. They should be efficient in managing time since they have to meet many clients in a day. They should be able to manage with technical and lengthy sets of regulations and paperwork. Having right skill sets makes one effective worker as well as gives increased salaries and better positions.
Job Prospects for Human Services Worker
This filed offers good prospects. Different types of human service workers are required such social workers, counsellors, caseworkers, human service assistants, and marriage and family therapists. Due to their varied roles there is always need of social workers. Thus, this field has shown a significant growth. It is predicted that in future too there will be increase in the job opportunities in this field.
The salary of human service workers differs depending on the nature of work, organization in of employment and at which place (city or countryside) they work. In the beginning it is important to gain experience and understand the nature of work and gain required skills. It is often mentioned that more the experienced the worker, more is the income. Overall, they get paid well although they are not rich in salaries.
Why Human Services?
Some of the reasons why one choses the field of human services maybe a person just likes to work and serve people and helps them to solve their different problems. Some people chose this as a career since in past they have been helped by a good human service worker to overcome their problems and they would like to help others too.
Overall, this is one of the professions where there is diversity in work for a person who likes to work for betterment of society. Society would become worse without these tireless advocates.
Find Your State Licensing Requirements
Whether you need to complete an internship or a doctoral degree, licensing requirements may vary from state to state. Click name of state below to find licensing requirement for that particular state.