Running head: WHAT IS HUMAN SERVICES? What is Human Services? Candice K. Holt BSHS/302 University of Phoenix August 24, 2009 The Goal of Human Services Human Services is the practice of assisting needy and less fortunate individuals with meeting their basic needs in life. The Human Services profession is one which promotes improved service delivery systems by addressing not only the quality of direct services, but also by seeking to improve accessibility, accountability, and coordination among professionals and agencies in service delivery” (Martin, 2007) The primary focus of a Human Services Professional is to help people meet their needs that without the assistance of a Human Service Professional, they would not be able to do on their own due to various economic or social issues. Human services arose from a concern for social problems that created barriers to people getting their needs met. The goal of human services is to assist individuals in need with overcoming barriers or obstacles in their lives that are preventing them from meeting their basic needs such as shelter, food, and healthcare. Human Service professionals are dedicated to helping people in developing the proper skills to become self-sufficient and be able to function in society. Human Service professionals also work on a macro level in various communities to remove barriers or obstacles that affect large groups of people. They accomplish this by advocating for changes to laws and policies that in some cases have established the barriers. The ultimate goal of a Human Services professional is to ensure that all members of society have an equal opportunity to live a happy and self-sufficient life. The History of Human Services The practice of helping others in need has been around since the beginning of time. The current context of a Human Services professional can be traced back to the late 1800’s social welfare system in England. Prior to this, the Feudal System was England’s effective method of controlling poverty, but it was also a form of slavery. The Feudal System allowed wealthy landowners to parcel off their land into smaller sections that would then be farmed by “serfs. ” Individuals became serfs through discrimination both economically and racially. Most individuals in poverty were commonly born into serfdom with little or no hope of escaping this social status. Although being a serf was at times harsh, it did provide a false sense of security and insurance against the many social hazards. Eventually due to both economic and environmental conditions, the feudal system was phased out and the Industrial Revolution began. This brought its own challenges for those in poverty. The urbanization also created a different outlook and attitude towards the less fortunate citizens of society. Instead of viewing the less fortunate as a necessary component of society that allowed the wealthy to show their goodwill, they were now viewed as criminals if they were vagrants. All able bodied individuals including children were expected to work to support themselves.