Human services typically consist of three primary roles such as offering direct service, performing administrative work, and community involvement. It is expected that human service professionals follow the responsibilities of evaluating and identifying client or community needs, creating a treatment or intervention plan, and implementing the plan. Human service professionals are expected to provide structure and guidance to clients throughout the process of intervention or change. This may include emotional support, working closely and communicating with clients, and empowering clients to action in making progress on their issues. In order to do so, human service workers must have strong knowledge in understanding human systems, organizations, and functioning, as well as competencies in communication, psychology, and the ability to develop interventions that promote growth and goal attainment (National Organization for Human Services, n.d.).
Human service workers are also expected to uphold a certain level of professionalism and ethical standards. This type of work requires devotion to the greater good, working closely with people, families, and communities, most often helping those that are vulnerable, at-risk, or facing challenges. Due to this personalized nature of work, human service professionals have to follow a certain code of ethics that is meant to protect the rights of clients and the dignity of both clients and the workers themselves. For example, in a client-worker relationship, privacy, integrity, and security are key elements that build trust for professional interaction and allow clients to open up. Human service workers are also expected to be inclusive, respecting the client’s background, beliefs, and framework on life. Most importantly, human service professionals are expected to be advocates for their clients, pursuing justice, social action, change at all relevant levels and eliminate oppression or negative influences whenever possible (Goodwin University, 2016). The profession calls for upholding high standards of professional ethics, which often places service above self-interest.
Goodwin University. (2016). Must-know ethical standards for human service professionals.
National Organization for Human Services (n.d.). What is human services?