The foundation of Human Services work is to meet basic human needs and protect the most vulnerable in our society.
Human services organizations provide supports such as food, shelter, income, and mental health services, to people experiencing major life struggles and help them to stabilize and recover health and economic security.
The Human Services career cluster also includes the personal care sector and funeral-related services.
Social assistance work, specifically, is generally based in a community and focuses on three phases; preventing issues from developing for individuals and families, addressing those problems when they occur, and advocating to improve the quality of life of those served.
The mission of social services organizations spans disaster relief to substance abuse treatment, pre-school child care to community development.
The work is often conducted in state and local government offices and non-profit organizations of many kinds, for example mental health clinics, child and youth services, daycare centers, public health education groups, vocational rehabilitation agencies, employment programs, and homeless shelters.
Social services organizations may advocate with local or state elected officials, and work to influence public opinion.
Quick facts to know:
- The social assistance sector employs well over four million workers and is projected to grow much faster than average through 2028.
- Budgets of government-funded social services organizations may vary significantly based on decisions made by federal and state legislators.
- A number of large faith-based organizations are active in this industry, such as the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, and Jewish Family and Children’s Service.
- The beauty services sector (including salons, barber shops, nail studios, and spas) employs over one million people and is expected to grow much faster than average over the next ten years.
- The beauty sector is considered strongly resistant to economic downturns; spending on products and services may slow, but typically, it continues even when consumers have less spending money.