The Human Service Movement
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As more problems occur with individuals the more the Human Services industry grows. This growth is in response to individuals seeking new job opportunities, more people not being able to depend on their neighborhood or community because of the feeling of isolation or alienation. No longer can individuals depend on their family members to share the joys and sorrows of everyday life struggles. Over the past five decades, scholars approach to human services have emerged including an array of concerns such as the amount of problems in living in our modern world, social care, and goals for self-sufficiency. Human services agencies and organizations are a complex web whose primary goal is to assist people in need.
Emerging from a blend of human services scholars has been a broad history with a defining mission. “The fields of social services, psychology, and counseling have provided the preeminent material to form a new hybrid species: human services” (Harris, Maloney, &Rother, 2004, p.24). In addition, human services for people with a mental illness following the wars, such as World War I and II made an impact on individuals because they came home traumatized and sometimes even homeless. “Authorizing monies for research and demonstration focused on assisting persons with mental illness in the areas of prevention, diagnosis and treatment”(Harris, Maloney, & Rother, 2004, p.26).
The National Institute for Mental Health in 1946 (Public Law 79-487) was established to provide services to those with a mental illness. Along the same lines, this act created a Mental Health Division to address preventive measures and centers with information and research which later became the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH, 1946; Woodside & McClan, 2009). NIMH played a critical role in the development of human services. “It’s functions were to assist in the development of state and community health services; to study the cause, prevention, and treatment of mental illness; and to support training of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses”(Woodside & McClan, 2009, p.44).
Proceeding, the Mental Health Study Act 1955(Public Law 84-82) was in relationship of being the second piece of legislation that for human services set the stage. Providing funding of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, the commission made recommendations for training, research, programs as well as facilities. Presently ensuing in the human service movement, two of the commission’s recommendations directly affected the movement. One being that if only traditional mental health professionals were only used they could not meet the health care needs of the majority of people. Secondly, it was recommended that national mental health programs should be available to each 50,000 population of individuals to receive fully staffed 24hour mental health services (Woodside & McClan, 2009).
As a result, the Mental Health study act emerged during the mid-20th century impacted the human service movement in suggesting a new type of mental health worker. This worker would be more efficient to be trained in less time and recommended a setting in which new workers could be utilized effectively. An increased emphasis on mental health care, proliferation of social service agencies, an ongoing shift to community-based services, and greater demand for more highly trained professionals, coupled with the social strife evident in the 1960s, all had a part in the emergence of the human service field” (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, 2004, p.28). Funding in the 20th century was provided by the Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963. Additionally, directed NIMH for community mental health centers to set up requirements and regulations for the establishment of the mental health centers. For example, the establishment associate’s degree 2year program since the 1960s at the federal level the increased number of mental health deliveries to the number of training programs has increased focusing on the training of entry level mental health workers.
Furthermore, in 1964 the Economic Opportunity Act and the Schneuer Sub-Professional Career Act 1966 was signed by President Lyndon Johnson in efforts to provide federal funds to recruit and train human service entry level workers. As well as improving for minorities employment opportunities. “Predicted shortfall of qualified human service workers resulting from the deinstitutionalization and decentralization movements that began in the 1950s” (Harris, Maloney, & Rother, 2004, p.29).
Mid 1970s organizations NOHSE National Organization for Human Service Education and CSHSE Council for Standards in Human Service Education were shortly formed after degree programs were offered. These organizations emerged with a move towards professionalism. They both regulated a profession for it workers, communicate among its members, facilitate, within research or service provide excellence within the profession (Woodside &McClan, 2009).
Services for people with mental health continue to improve and expand in spite of budgets being cut and programs losing funding. For support for many Americans the first seeds of mental health movements were formed. Among many issues of crisis, intervention and prevention with a balance of protection and civil liberties can be covered in human services. In response in efforts to help clients, human service professionals were able to adapt to a more mainstream environment to advocate in broadening the scope of services delivered.
Harris, S, H., Maloney C. D. & Rother M. F. (2004) Human Services: Contemporary Issues and Trends, 3rd Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions
Woodside, R. M, & McClan, T. (2009) An Introduction to Human Services. (6th
Ed.) Thomson Brooks/Cole