Human services is an interdisciplinary field of study with the objective of meeting human needs through an applied knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life of service populations. The process involves the study of social technologies (practice methods, models, and theories), service technologies (programs, organizations, and systems), and scientific innovations designed to ameliorate problems and enhance the quality of life of individuals, families and communities to improve the delivery of service with better coordination, accessibility and accountability. The mission of human services is to promote a practice that involves simultaneously working at all levels of society (whole-person approach) in the process of promoting the autonomy of individuals or groups, making informal or formal human services systems more efficient and effective, and advocating for positive social change within society.
Human services practitioners strive to advance the autonomy of service users through civic engagement, education, health promotion and social change at all levels of society. Practitioners also engage in advocating so human systems remain accessible, integrated, efficient and effective.
Human services academic programs can be readily found in colleges and universities, which award degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. Human services programs exist in countries all around the world.
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