Centre for the Development of Human Resources, Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Joondalup, Western Australia
School of Community and Language Studies / Centre for the Development of Human Resources
This paper sets out to deal with two main themes. The first theme considers the historical, political and social forces in human service delivery which were instrumental in the gradual recognition of human service as a field of academic study and practice. The paper firmly locates human services in organisational and administrative settings, in contrast to therapeutic or clinical orientations of the established helping professions.
The second theme deals with the domain of human services by incorporating the value commitment to meeting human needs. The normative position identifies human service as a field of study and practice which cuts across the national and cultural boundaries. This position calls for the imperatives of the comparative cross-cultural perspectives in human services since the diversity of human needs as well as individual, culture, resource and aspirations and time specific nature of human needs have to be recognised. Furthermore, comparative cross-cultural perspective provides human service with a disciplinary base in the social sciences.
The latter part of the paper incorporates the first and second themes in developing a framework for education and practice. This is approached by introducing the concept of 'human service mix' to advance a position that human services do not have to be 'locked' into a particular settings, such as a Government provision of service. Human Services is presented as a conjoint product of many different activities which are instrumental to meeting human needs.