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Human Services

What can I do in human services?

A human services generalist provides services that impact the welfare of children, families and/or adults. Job titles can vary and include jobs like case managers and assistants, resource specialists, family advocates, client advocates, intake workers, family assistance workers and volunteer coordinators, to name a few.

For those who want to focus on addictions and substance abuse, these professionals help others break the cycle of abuse and addiction. An addictions specialist is engaged in assessing a person’s needs, providing counseling and treatment services, linking him or her with community-based recovery support groups, as well as making referrals for educational, vocational, employment and other support services. Post-treatment follow-up activities are also provided to ensure goals for recovery are met.

What characteristics and skills do I need to work in this field?

Human services professionals must be compassionate in working with individuals facing stressful situations. They also must have good communication and interpersonal skills to ascertain their clients’ needs and assist them in obtaining services. As such, good listening skills are essential, and counselors must be patient and able to remain calm when working with all types of clients, including those who may be distressed or angry. Communication skills are of the utmost importance as counselors need to be able to express ideas and information to their clients in a way that can be easily understood. Human services workers must be organized in dealing with paperwork and be able to manage their time well while dealing with a multitude of clients. Problem-solving skills also are important.

Where can I work?

The human services field encompasses any number of jobs in areas such as addiction, mental health, eldercare, youth services and the like. Human services professionals work for nonprofit organizations, private for-profit social service agencies, and state and local government. They may work in offices, clinics, hospitals, group homes and shelters. Some travel around their communities to see clients.

Addictions counselors work in a wide variety of settings, too, including mental health centers, prisons, halfway houses, detox centers, employee assistance programs and residential or outpatient treatment facilities. Work hours vary according to the type of establishment in which a counselor works. Although rewarding, the work is often stressful as many counselors have to deal with large workloads and they may have to intervene in crisis situations.

What does Trident Technical College offer?

The Human Services department at Trident Technical College provides graduates with the skills, knowledge and ethics of the human service discipline to facilitate assistance to individuals, families and communities in need, primarily by helping them acquire the skills to solve their own problems.

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