Skills for Employability in Human Services

Human services professionals interact with a wide variety of clients, including children and families, the elderly, the homeless, immigrants, people with addictions, people with criminal backgrounds, people with disabilities, people with mental illnesses, and veterans (Moffat, 2011). Working with such a diverse client population requires specialized skills, including having an understanding of theories and concepts that frame human services, and knowledge of how people function in their social environment, listening skills, empathy, self knowledge, and a sincere appreciation for cultural diversity.

For this Discussion, you put yourself in the role of a human services professional and think about qualities and skills you bring to the work. You also assess your skills and identify professional development opportunities.

To Prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the article, “Happy Doing Good? How Workers’ Career Orientations and Job Satisfaction Relate in Grassroots Human Services.”
  • Review the report, “Helping Those in Need: Human Service Workers.” Pay close attention to the job scope, populations served, common jobs, the ups and downs, and credentialing of the field.
  • Review the web resource, “What is Human Services?” Pay close attention to the skills required of a human services professional.
  • Review the web resource, “A Human Service Worker (A Generic Job Description).”
  • Review the web resource, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20122013 Edition, Social and Human Service Assistants.” Pay close attention to the current job outlook for human services professionals, including trends and themes in the field.
  • Review the media, “Employability in Human Services.”
  • Think about the professional skills that are most important for employability in the human services field.
  • Consider your own strengths and limitations related to these skills.
  • Use the Internet to find professional development opportunities to address your limitations.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post  a description of two professional skills that you think are most important to help an individual with a BS in human services become employable in the human services field and explain why. Explain any of the skills in which you are currently proficient (i.e., those skills in which you excel). Then, explain any of your skills that might require additional professional development (i.e., those skills in which you need improvement), and explain specific types of professional development opportunities that are available to enhance your skills (for example, courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences).


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