Past and Current Trends in Human Services
Material reduction in service and increase of costs demand human services to innovate (Wareing & Hendrick, 2013). The aim of this paper is to consider current trends of such innovation, to identify the events that has had considerable influence on the field and discuss the consequences of the influence. One of current trends in human services is development of partnership instead of past practices for delivery functions to be isolated even within a single agency.
New financing models are introduced, social financing being one of them, when providers are paid when outcomes are met. A past trend to use collected data for reporting and detection of incompliances is enriched by the trend to use it for predictive analytics. Another trend is integration of health and human services (Wareing & Hendrick, 2013). Another important trend is blending of human services and economic self-sufficiency (Goldberg, 2009). Different organizations and jurisdiction may be ready for different trends, but the entrepreneurial atmosphere is rather universal. I think that introduction of Internet and other technological innovations, their rapid development and availability, have greatly impacted the field of human services. Human service professionals get use of new technologies for effective management, creating relevant materials, communication through networking, maintaining records, as well as for clinical work. New technologies enable human service students to get online or distant education, workers – to attend human service courses through broadcasting, video conferencing, and other digital and virtual means. Computer simulation programs help students develop main skills (Hill, Pusateri, Braun, & Maweu, 2012).
Social networking sites may be used as crises interventions and the way to address socially isolated groups, for example suicidal youth (Hill et al., 2012). Email may be used to deliver relevant data and records before the visit to the practitioner. Many people may seek support from a human service practitioner though text chat, which provides rapid response, as well as anonymity. Use of video games, podcasts, and blogs in human service is another current trend in the field (Hill et al.2012). More importantly, new technologies made distant supervision possible, which actually reshaped human service provision. To conclude, the field of human services is undergoing change and innovation due to new economic realities and the development of new technologies.
Hill, T.M., Pusateri, C., Braun, E., & Maweu, M.J. (2012). Technological innovations for the human service profession. Journal of Human Services, Vol.32 (1), pp.21-40.
Goldberg, P. (2009). Blending of human services and economic self-sufficiency. Nonprofit Director, (2), pp.15-17.