Human services impact people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages, religions and believes while covering a wide spectrum of psychological, mental, and physiological health and wellbeing. In my opinion, human services field is directly and indirectly impacted by political events. During the recent economical downfalls and war years, we have witnesses many people facing foreclosure, turning homeless, losing their medical benefits, which resulted in long lines for workforce services looking for jobs, child services, unemployment support, and food stamps. As The County Welfare Directors Association of California explains that in this extraordinarily challenging time, human services programs in California are caught in the convergence of three forces: a sudden and rapid escalation of demand, profound historic cuts in state funding that have seriously eroded services, and a deteriorating economy that depletes county resources to cope (CWDA, 2009). In a world globally surrounded and influenced by politics as well as politicians in every way, political events surely affect every aspect of the history of humanity and mankind. This is based on different political changes along different eras defining the human service field.
Philosophers continue to debate the nature of time, arguing on the one hand that time is limitless and dynamic, and on the other hand, a measurable order of events (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2010). According to Dapkus, psychologists view time according to their theoretical perspectives. For instance, from the cognitive and behavior lens, time may be linked to measuring client outcomes and recording the number and length of interventions (NOHS, 2012). As Pollio et al stated, existential psychology explores the meaning of time as experience by the person within his or her context or place in the world (NOHS, 2012). The current economic and political climate provides a rationale for looking at the experience of time for human service professionals. The economic recession formally began at the end of 2007 resulting in increased lay-offs, unemployment and underemployment, home foreclosures, loss of retirement income and savings, and a drop in real estate values based on Baker (NOHS, 2012). As the EurActive, Johnson, Oliff, & Williams, as well as Nicholas, & Pennington declared that during this time, both the number of those in need and the severity of needs increased, placing a greater demand for services on federal, state, and local human service delivery systems (NOHS, 2012). Also Homan, and Woodside & McClam added that these service delivery systems face shortfalls and budget difficulties of their own. Increasing client loads and challenges within the context of fewer resources of help directly influence the time available to help those in need. Managing these roles often necessitates the use of empathy in order to correctly understand issues, build trusting relationships, and meet the needs of client populations (NOHS, 2012). The National organization of Human Services raised a concern stating, the given challenges facing human service professionals today as they pursue their chosen fields, are we not ethically obligated to provide the best preparation we can? How well are we preparing them for the realities of human service delivery? In a sense, the complexity and subtlety of time in these findings reflect the growth and maturity of both human service education and the profession. Both seem to be more complex and require a deeper recognition and understanding of the profession today. When exploring the meaning of time within the human service delivery system, themes emerge that illustrate its complexity. To enhance preparation for human service professionals, educators and practitioners may want to focus on exploring constructs of time related to the realities of the profession that are not explicitly referred to in human service education (NOHS, 2012).
- The County Welfare Directors Association of California (2009). HUMAN SERVICES IN A TIME OF ECONOMIC CRISIS: An examination of California’s safety-net programs and related economic benefits for communities. Retrieved from http://www.cwda.org/uploads/CSAC-CWDA-Joint-Repor0409.pdf
- National Organization for Human Services (2012). A Journal of the National Organization for Human. Services Volume 32. Retrieved from http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/assets/Journal/nohs-v32n1-web.pdf