What is Community Human Services?
Community Human Services is the sector of the Human Services field that works to improve its community by serving or impacting a large section of the populace. These kinds of jobs can include everything from Public Administrators to Eligibility Workers who impact a large section of the community by helping 100’s of clients every month to gain assistance with meeting basic needs. The jobs may include working directly with community members in a one on one fashion and seeing many members of the community each day, or it can involve large scale planning and implementation of plans to improve the lives of community members. The common goal of all Community Human Services is to provide Human Services to a large enough sub-section of the community to make a meaningful impact on the community as a whole. This macro level outlook is what separates Community Human Services from the rest of the Human Services sector.
An example of this macro outlook within the context of local government is the Public Administrator career. Some Public Administrators are elected officials and others were appointed to perform a specific function within their community. In most cases a Public Administrator works to ensure that new and currently existing laws and regulations are complied with by government agencies and officials. The Public Administrator may also work to conceive of and suggest new public policies and laws and put them before a local city council or state legislature to be put into law. The Public Policy Consultant is another career that works within state, city or county organizations in order to envision and create new laws, regulations and policies that will impact their community as a whole by working closely with local government. By educating the public and legislators on key issues impacting the community, the Public Policy Consultant has a massive impact on legislation and their community as a whole.
The Public Health Educator provides Community Human Services by working to ensure that the general public is aware of health risks, healthy lifestyle choices and the value of sanitary practices. This can take a variety of forms from working with vulnerable populations to prevent the outbreak of epidemics, to touring schools in order to promote healthy eating and exercise. The Public Health Educator has a macro impact on their Community by providing a crucial Human Service.
An often overlooked Community Human Services professional is the Disaster Management Specialist. Taking a macro and long term outlook, the Disaster Management Specialist works to help prepare their community for the eventuality of a large scale manmade or natural disaster. By educating the public and working in tandem with local government and media, the Disaster Management Specialist helps to have a hugely positive impact on their community as a whole and greatly reduces the chances of death, injuries and chaos in the aftermath of a disaster.
The role of the Eligibility Worker is one that has a significant impact on their community as a whole. By working with one family at a time to provide access to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF formerly Welfare), Employment Related Daycare (ERDC) and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits (SNAP formerly Food Stamps), the Eligibility Worker not only has a profound impact on the lives of individual families, but also the community as a whole. This is achieved by the worker helping 100’s of families per month to gain access to basic services and critical needs. This helps to mitigate the effect of both long term poverty and also sudden changes in employment such as the millions who lost their jobs in the economic crisis of 2007/08. The impact on the community due to the work of the Eligibility Worker is quite profound.
It becomes obvious from the diversity of careers that fall under the umbrella of Community Human Services, that these jobs perform a very important function for their communities. Community Human Services are crucial to the smooth functioning of communities whether it is a mid-sized municipality or a vast metropolis, by providing services that impact significant sections of the populace Community Human Services help to stabilize and improve society as a whole.