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Specific job duties reflect organizational policy and staffing patterns, as well as the worker's educational preparation and experience.
Because so many human services jobs involve direct contact with people who are impaired and therefore vulnerable to exploitation, employers try to be selective in hiring.
Adult day care, a relatively new concept, is expected to expand significantly due to very rapid growth in the number of people of advanced age, together with growing awareness of the value of day programs for adults in need of care and supervision.
While projected growth in the elderly population is the dominant factor in the anticipated expansion of adult day care, public response to the needs of people who are handicapped or mentally ill underlies anticipated employment growth in group homes and residential care facilities.
Designed to be relevant to diverse direct service roles (residential, vocational, therapeutic, etc.), the standards are based upon a nationally validated job analysis involving a wide variety of human service workers, consumers, providers and educators. The Community Support Skill Standards provide comprehensive descriptions of worker roles and responsibilities in twelve critical areas of competence such as Participant Empowerment, Community Networking and Advocacy.
Enhanced with illustrative scenarios and performance measures, the standards provide organizational leaders, trainers, educators and policy makers with the architecture for a comprehensive work force development plan.
The training and preparation of the individual worker within this framework will change as a function of the work setting, the specific client population served, and the level of organization work. Human services workers in social service agencies generally spend part of the time in the office and the rest of the time in the field. Some evening and weekend work may be necessary, but compensatory time off is usually granted.
Some workers are on their own most of the time and have little direct supervision; others work under close direction.
They may be inside one day and outdoors on a field visit the next. Human services professionals work in residential settings generally work in shifts.
Because residents of group homes need supervision in the evening and at night, 7 days a week, evening and weekend hours are required.
A strong desire to help others is an important consideration for a job as a human services worker.
Individuals who show patience, understanding, and caring in their dealings with others are highly valued by employers.