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Family of Woodstock

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Family of Woodstock is a helping foundation that started in a small town. It helps in a lot of different ways and they are always looking for people to join them, this author is going up for an interview but before that she should get familiarized with the history of this foundation. This author will discuss the factors that led the founders to create Family of Woodstock and how they have specialized to meet the needs of the community. This author will identify how the values, attitudes, and beliefs of this organization developed and changed over a 40-year period, and how these changes affected the way they deliver services. Finally, this author will identify how specialization has become a trend across human services delivery in general. Family of Woodstock was founded in 1969, it all started with the Woodstock festival. This festival took place in the city 115 miles away from the actual Woodstock town, but regardless of that the town became famous instantly. With all of this fame came America’s youth who were searching for an escape from the world they were living in at that time.

Which in turn led to those people sleeping on benches, hitchhiking in and out of town, and seeking for food and clothing. At this time is when Gail Varsi a member of the town recognized the problem and decided to do something about it, by opening her home and her phone line to these people. With the help of local businesses and residents Gail organized food drives and clothing exchanges, and thus starting Family of Woodstock, Incorporated (Burger, 2011). Today many volunteers and staff work to answer the phone lines of the family of Woodstock hotline, which started with Ms. Varsi’s home phone number and still remains the same. Their goal was to refer people to agencies, but they would not tell them what to do or judge them, just listen and encourage them to make the right choices. Family of Woodstock is constantly changing to meet the needs of the community.

It does these changes by incorporating new things to their helping services like domestic violence assistance, emergency services, child services, adolescent services, and helping the homeless. They also provide many shelters and food programs (Burger, 2011). This author believes that the values and beliefs of the family of Woodstock are still the same. They are still there to help people fix their lives themselves in whatever that need may be. They have no limit to how many times someone can come in asking for their services. Their attitudes, on the other hand, had to change because they are not only serving the hordes of young people that descended into Woodstock anymore, they now help people with different problems and as time changes so does the helping hand have to adjust. Even though they have had to change in some ways to adjust to the new needs of people the Family of Woodstock still delivers services in the same manner. They still do not judge the client and have their services confidential and most of them are free.

An example of it being confidential is Family not having caller ID on their phone system. They try to make clients sufficiently empowered to ask for help by not asking for their social security number or any kind of ID, they can just give themselves any name that they feel comfortable with (Gibbons, 2010). Specialization has become a trend throughout the human services field. Some of us wonder why that is. The new advances in technology have changed our society and the way we provide quality care. With the world changing at a rapid pace human service professionals have to learn to adapt to it and the way that they are doing it is by increasing specializations. Specializations are the human service professional way of keeping up with the constant change in society.

This new trend is working toward the increase in the number of professional titles under which human service workers can work (Burger, 2011). In conclusion, this author has said the factors that led to the founding of the Family of Woodstock, being the young people that came to their town in sought of a utopian. How the Family of Woodstock specialized to meet the needs of the community. How the values and beliefs had changed over a 40-year period, which was not much because they are still operating with one goal in mind and that is to help the people in need. Finally, this author said how specialization had become a trend across human services delivery and how it was due to the fact of the change in society.


Burger, W. R. (2011). Human services in contemporary America (8th ed.).
Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Gibbons, A. (2010, August). Daily freeman news. Retrieved from http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20100808/family-of-woodstock-turns-40

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