A systematic introduction to the core professional skills needed to work effectively in a human service role, from understanding organisational dynamics, to developing advocacy skills and dealing with ethical challenges
Helping children, disabled people, the unemployed, the elderly or homeless people can be inspiring work. However you can only help other people effectively if you understand your role clearly and know how to navigate the organisation in which you work. Professional Practice in Human Service Organisations examines what it means to be a professional in human service work, and how to develop excellence in professional practice.
Making explicit what is often held as tacit knowledge in day to day practice, the authors explain the dynamics of human service organisations. They outline the challenges worker can face in caring for vulnerable people while at the same time fulfilling expectations of management and funding bodies. They explain the importance of understanding the complex networks of service delivery systems, including the role of information technology. They also examine how workers can maintain professional relations with clients, colleagues and other workers by developing skills in advocacy and in handling conflict, complaints and ethical dilemmas.
Professional Practice in Human Service Organisations is essential reading for practitioners new to roles in social work, community work, youth work and related fields.
Catherine McDonald is Professor, and Christine Craik, Linette Hawkins and Judy Williams all are lecturers in the Social Work program at RMIT University.