According with the National Organization for Human Services, the term ‘human services worker’ represents “people who hold professional and paraprofessional jobs in such diverse settings as group homes and halfway houses; correctional, mental retardation, and community mental health centers; family, child, and youth service agencies, and programs concerned with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging.”The Human Services field is closely related with the Social Work occupation. Sometimes, the terms ‘human services’ and ‘social work’ are used interchangeably. Also, a degree in human services is a preemptive to a social work degree.
The main function of a human service worker is to assist individuals, families and communities to improve their lives and find a path toward a better, healthier and safer living.
An important consideration for seeking a job as a human services worker is the inherent passion to help others. Employers are interested in individuals who demonstrate patience, compassion and caring while interacting with those in need of help. Communication skills, integrity, effective time management and a great work ethic are also traits highly sought-after.
A typical social worker or human services specialist can find employment at state, local and governmental agencies, as these entities continue to be the major employers in the field of human and social services. Examples of jobs in the field include child advocate, case worker, family support worker, drug and alcohol counselor, social service aid and assistant, group home worker, halfway house counselor, and many others.
Above all skills and talent, a college education in the field of human services and/or social work is a must-have, especially if you plan on building a career for life and advancing through the ranks in your organization.
An associate degree in human services will get you started in the field of social work. Accelerated degrees delivered 100% online, such as the Associate in Human Services offered at Brescia University, helps you keep up with your other personal commitments while earning a college degree. Once you get a feel on the challenges, rewards and areas of expertise you want to focus on, you can move on to the next step of earning a bachelor’s in social work and then a master’s degree in the discipline or specialty of your choice.
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After all, the associate degree allows you great flexibility in choosing any other desired advanced education path, and branching out into fields like psychology, business, theology and so on.