Human services is a broad field that centers on helping people navigate challenges or chronic situations.

These situations, according to Paige Krabill, PsyD, Associate Chair, Human Services, in Capella University’s School of Counseling & Human Services, may include unemployment, hunger, homelessness, depression, temporary disability, and mental or physical health crises. Human services workers help individuals and groups cope with the challenges they face at both the micro and macro levels.

 

Who do human services professionals help?

Professionals in the field of human services help all kinds of people, according to Krabill. Populations served include:

  • Children and families
  • Seniors
  • Homeless
  • Immigrants
  • People with disabilities
  • People with addictions
  • Veterans

 

What do human services professionals do?

Human services professionals provide guidance to allow people to move forward with their lives and regain self-sufficiency. Some human-services professionals act as first responders in assessing family and individual situations and finding resources to help. Others evaluate the systems that provide services to people, ranging from child welfare to senior nutrition, and make changes that benefit the communities that use the service. Still others in human services focus on advocacy.

 

What do human services professionals have to know?

Human services professionals need a variety of skills. They must understand how to work with individuals, groups, and communities. They must know the basics of social, emotional well-being. They must understand poverty, generational differences, government systems, socioeconomics, psychology, and more. They work with the stakeholders to create and advance strategies, collaborations, and even legislation.

 

What job titles are related to the field of human services?

According to Krabill, people in human services may work in many different areas, under such titles as:

  • Care coordinator
  • Case manager
  • Community advocate
  • Child welfare worker
  • Agency director
  • Social service agency director
  • Grant manager
  • Systems integration manager
  • Executive director

 

The field of human services is dynamic and people-focused—making it a great career choice for those who are interested in helping others. Many changes—from the aging of America, increased levels of homelessness, economic challenges impacting families become more complex,—indicate that human services is a discipline that will be both vital for decades to come.

 

Learn more about Capella’s human services programs.