Human Development and Family Studies
Section II | Social Services
Nature of the Job
In general, social or human services work consists of providing assistance of various kinds to those in need. Depending upon the purpose of the agency, you might work with individuals—children, adolescents, or adults—or with entire families. Jobs can focus upon casework, group work, and community organization work. Casework involves direct contact with individuals or families, evaluating needs, providing services, and monitoring progress. Group work usually takes place in prevention or intervention programs in the community or in institutional settings. Note that Residential Counselors have been ranked in the top ten of fastest growing occupations in recent years. This includes work in group homes and drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities. There also is projected growth in social service occupations that involve work with elderly populations. Community organization work is directed toward alleviating individual and family problems through initiatives at the community level (See section on Program Development and Implementation).
For those interested in pursuing a social work degree and/or licensure, go here.
More specific categories of social service work are the following:
- Protective and Regulatory. Examples: Child protective and adult protective services, adoption, family outreach, women’s protective services, mental health and mental retardation.
- Other General Supportive Services. Examples: Food bank, meals on wheels, shelters for the homeless, low-cost accommodations for parents with hospitalized children, low-cost medical services, community action agencies/programs, coordination of services and referral.
- Crisis Intervention and Referral. Examples: Hot lines, rape crisis services, women’s and children’s shelters.
- Family Planning, Pre-and Post-Birth Services. Examples: School programs for adolescent parents, planned parenthood services, parent education, maternity homes.
Where You Might Work
Social or human service work occurs in many different settings. State agencies, such as departments of protective and regulatory services or departments of mental health and mental retardation employ many social service workers. These jobs also are available in many institutional settings, hospitals, schools, mental health centers, emergency shelters, programs for alcohol/drug dependency, halfway houses, etc.
Suggested Areas for Minor/Collateral:
- Social Work
Suggested Internship Sites for HDFS 4314:
- Catholic Family Services
- Contact Lubbock
- Cove, Inc. (Court Ordered Visitation Exchange)
- Family Outreach
- Habitat for Humanity
- Hospice of Lubbock, Inc.
- Lubbock Rape Crisis Center
- Lubbock Regional MHMR
- Meals on Wheels
- Neighborhood House
- Planned Parenthood of Lubbock
- Ronald McDonald House
- Smithlawn Maternity Home and Adoption Agency
- South Plains Food Bank
- Texas Commission for the Blind
- Texas Department of Human Services
- Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services
- Texas Referral Network
- Texas Rehabilitation Commission
- Women’s Protective Services
Sample Job Descriptions/Ads
Click on any of the headings below to view description/ad