Human service workers and human service assistants play a variety of roles in the medical field to include social workers, social service assistants, case managers, case manager assistants, alcohol drug abuse counselors, mental health aides, community outreach workers, life skill counselors and gerontology aides. All of these positions require a unique person who is dedicated to helping others with flexibility and high ethical standards. The human service area that I plan to concentrate on is a social service assistant and life skill counselor.
I would work with clients with a variety of challenges to help them to be self sufficient and confident, to the best of their ability, as positive contributors of society. As a social service assistant and life skill counselor I plan to provide direct and indirect client services. While a client works towards self sufficiency, they may need assistance including food stamps, Medicaid, welfare and other human service programs. My clients are responsible for bringing my payroll records, tax returns, social security cards for themselves and family members, rent receipts, utility bills and additional records that may apply.
I use this information to determine their eligibility for programs that are available to them and their family members. For single parents, I submit their income and expenses to see if they qualify for child care assistance so that they can work and return to school. I am also able to determine eligibility for reduced rent and food stamps. Many times single parents may need additional training or education to obtain better employment.
Returning to school requires a lot of time and commitment and many single parents are playing dual roles so I work hard to get them temporary assistance so that their basic needs of food, rent and child care is met so that they can commit the necessary time to improve their quality of life and eventually become totally self sufficient. I am available to assist my clients with transportation, emotional support and moral support. I keep very detailed records on all of my clients and send progress reports to my supervisors so that I can continue to get assistance or them until they reach their goals for themselves and family members. I go to their homes and daycares to visit with them and get a true feel for the rate of progress that they are making. My position requires me to assist my clients with counseling. Many females are victims of domestic violence or have partners who have substance abuse problems. Some of the single parents suffer from substance or alcohol addiction. It is my responsibility to be supportive by aiding in transportation to AA meetings and family counseling. I work long hours and many weekends.
In times of crisis, I am available for emotional and moral support. I connect them with a variety of counselors to help them to work through new problems that may arise or past problems that were never dealt with that inhibits their ability to grow as an individual. I am able to deal with clients easier than some because I have dealt with some of the same problems that they currently dealing with in my personal life. I grew up as an abused child. I wasn’t cared for properly and not provided the basic needs that children require.
I was neglected and physically and emotionally abused. This insight allows me to have empathy for clients and to the desire to help them to break the cycle of abuse. I knew from a very early age that my family life was less than normal and that parents were not supposed to hurt their children. I would hide after beating and doctor myself and pray for God to help me. In would promise him that I would not hurt my children when I grew up. I feel that all abused children know that they aren’t being treated properly and yearn for a normal family life.
Living the life that I lived as a child makes me an advocate for individuals who can’t protect themselves. I care more and try harder because I have felt some of the same emotions that they describe and I can identify with the embarrassment and shame that they describe. Victims maintain silence and protect their abusers out of fear. They go to school or work and pretend to be happy and carefree in hopes that no one learns of the horrible life they live behind closed doors. Since I have been this person, I can identify the signs easier than others and confront the victims and seek proper help for them.
I also know first hand how important is to break the cycle of abuse through counseling and the trauma associated with abuse. I made the mistake of marrying a man like my parents and being a victim of domestic violence. I sought extensive counseling for myself and children. We lived through physical and emotional abuse and learned how to become strong and independent individuals. Victims have to regain their strength with improved self esteem and confidence so that they do not continue to make the same life choice mistakes over and over. They have to learn to love themselves and feel worthy of being loved.
Counseling and a strong support system is the only way to accomplish this goal. I have the drive and compassion to help all of my clients reach this goal because I truly believe that each person has good to offer others and deserve respect and to be treated properly. My life experience makes me uniquely qualified to fight for them and my education gives the training to help them. As a social service assistant you encounter difficult situations that leave you emotionally drained. The client’s best interests are always the main objective.
This may mean that a child is removed from home until the parents are able to overcome their substance abuse problems and complete parenting classes so that they can care for their children. It may be difficult, but if the best interest is the main goal and the client puts forth the effort to comply with the court’s orders, then the chance of a positive resolution is possible. It is the social service assistant’s responsibility to keep emotions intact, priorities in order and adhere to the treatment plan agreed upon to best suit the clients needs. With a lot of hard work and belief in mankind, anything is possible.
Social service assistants must be tolerant of all individuals. Each client must be accepted as a human being and not judged for past mistakes. The goal is to help the client, so sexual preferences; race, religion and cultural beliefs are irrelevant. Unfortunately social service assistants will encounter people who discriminate others based on sex, religion, sexual preference, gender and past crimes. The social worker has a moral responsibility to explain to any client who discriminates fellow clients that there is zero tolerance for this behavior and if continued a supervisor will be called in to intervene.
At one time or another, most have heard a joke about lesbians or homosexuals or jokes about females or jokes of race. This is another example of behavior that is offensive and can not be tolerated. Even if the behavior does not offend anyone at that given moment, it cannot be tolerated because it sets the tone of the office. Allowing such behavior from time to time will create a potential problem in the future when a client or fellow worker who may be offended. The personal opinions of the service workers regarding race, religion, sexual preference or gender are of no importance.
The only objective is that the client is in need of help and the worker is there to serve the best interests of the client. It is important to treat individuals fairly and without bias. If a service worker cannot separate their personal opinions from their professional opinions then they are in the wrong profession. Individuals may not want a particular service worker because of their race or gender. This could be due to their culture or religious beliefs. Once again, the client’s needs are the priority so a different worker can be assigned without offence.
Racial, gender related and ethnic slurs cannot be tolerated by workers or clients. It is important to clearly state that this type behavior and language is not tolerated by clients and the goal is to provide the best service possible and this can only be accomplished through respect of mankind. If the client continues to disrespect others who seeking professional services, a supervisor will have to become involved to determine if services can be offered to the person who is offending others. If a service worker is the discriminating offender, it is the moral obligation of the other service workers to report this behavior.
A person who does not separate their personal and professional opinions cannot serve the needs of the client effectively. As a social service assistant and life skill counselor, it is my goal to give each and every client the best care possible so that they are able to be self confident individuals who have improved self esteem and know that they are worthy of love and respect. By teaching them basic life skills that are beneficial, they can become contributing members of society. This base will empower them to make life choices that are beneficial to them and their family members.
The cycle of abuse can be broken and not passed from generation to generation. In addition to counseling, providing assistance to those in need will give clients the opportunity improve their quality of life through education, additional job training and have the basic needs that everyone deserves while they are doing so. Temporary assistance is an important aid for those who want to help themselves and better their lives. Counseling is an aid to break the cycles of addiction and abuse so that one individual at a time has a chance to better their quality of life and empowers them to improve the quality of lives for generations to come.