Human Services Program Career Facts
Nature of Work
Addiction - Addiction paraprofessionals are individuals with specialized knowledge and skills in the area of substance abuse, its causes, and treatment and prevention strategies. Workers with an associate degree assist social workers or psychologists in agencies focusing on substance abuse. Graduates may be employed in private clinics, public of community agencies, or work-site programs specializing in substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Family - Family services and child welfare paraprofessionals assist with children, youths and families in need of services. They may work with single parents, arrange adoptions, and help find foster care homes. Family human service workers also work in residential homes for children and adolescents.
Aging Studies - Gerontology is the study of the process of aging. Human services workers specializing in gerontology provide services or direct care for senior citizens. people who focus their careers in social gerontology are concerned with the older person's relationship with society. People who focus their careers in geriatrics deal the health and wellness needs of older people. Careers and duties vary in the field of gerontology, and include other human service related professions such as social work recreation, health, long term care, economics, law, public administration, and adult education.
Job opportunities are expected to be good for human services workers. The number is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. Faced with the demand for social and human services, employers are developing new strategies for delivering and funding services. Many agencies increasingly rely on social and human service assistants to undertake greater responsibility in delivering services to clients.
Skills You Need
Because employment in the human services field involves direct contact with people, those who work in the field must have patience, understanding, and a strong desire to help others. Also essential are strong interpersonal, communication and advocacy skills, respect for diversity, and a strong sense of responsibility.
Starting salaries vary widely for human services workers depending on the type of agency and job responsibilities. According to current national figures, the annual median earnings in May 2010 were $28,200 annually. The middle 50 percent earned between $22,510 and $35,770 while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,780.
Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
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