You will post a meaningful reply of at least 150 words each to at least 3 classmates’ threads. Must include refrences for each reply!
Prominent Characteristics Bob Gay
Prominent Characteristics in a Human Service Professional
Dr. Kevin Corsini of Liberty University interviewed Ms. Michelle Duncan, Events Coordinator of the YWCA and Ms. Linda Williams, Director of the YWCA in central Virginia and asked them what they considered the most important characteristics one should possess working in the human services profession (Liberty University, 2009).They both provided some great examples that included empathy, loyalty, flexibility, selfless service and duty. I concur with the characteristics they presented. As for me, the three prominent characteristics I would include are integrity, selfless service and personal courage.
Characteristics blend into values and ethics. We attribute characteristics to people that are exhibiting values and ethics. “A professional set of ethical standards is typically based on a set of ethical values that stipulate what behaviors and practices are considered acceptable and which are not and also provides general guidance in managing ethical dilemmas” (Martin, 2018, p. 44).
Integrity is a quality we must possess in our profession as we are required by our ethical standards and law to protect the confidentiality of our clients and work product. This belief and trust we establish with our clients is non-negotiable. Colossians 3:23 states “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (English Standard Version). The National Organization of Human Services (NOHS) Professionals, in its Preamble, specifically addresses integrity as one of its fundamental values. Integrity serves as one of the cornerstones of the human services profession.
Selfless service is an Army value that I believe in fully. Ms. Linda Williams indicated this characteristic as one of her top picks (Liberty University, 2009). Selfless service is putting the welfare of the nation, the Army, and soldiers first. You will never go wrong if you serve others. John 3:16 states “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whomever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. As a human services professional selfless service is our duty.
Personal courage is also an Army value. It includes both physical courage and moral courage. As a human service professional, we need to have the moral strength to do the right thing even if it might be detrimental to ourselves. Joshua 1:9 states “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. Making a personnel decision or taking an action you think is right, may jeopardize your employment. I had to conduct sensitive investigations years ago, that involved senior officer misconduct. Those were very trying times as unfortunately, it sometimes included political retribution. You just have to keep driving on and do the right thing.
If I had to prioritize the characteristics it would be integrity, courage and selfless service. Most of us possess these characteristics to varying degrees. I possess moral courage and have applied it throughout my life. I possess selfless service as I have pulled my weight for many years and would do it again. It was a joy to keep “Driving On”. The scripture passages align with our human service professional values and standards. The scripture reinforces the motivation I have for serving others.
Cultural competence is discussed more now as one of the essential qualities we must possess as human services professionals. It is an area I would work on to improve my knowledge base and effectiveness as a human service professional. Teasley and Cruz (2014) have proffered that the social work profession has defined cultural competence as a process which professionals collaborate effectively in regards to individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, languages, races, religions and others in a manner that recognizes and respects the values of all persons, families and communities. Proficiency is a must if you are to be effective.
Each time I need an answer or direction I find it in the bible. I feel the values, standards and characteristics of an effective human service professional or a person align with the Bible and the word of God.
“We need to develop a comprehensive and generalist skill set that enables us to work with a wide range of clients, with diverse backgrounds, dealing with a wide range of challenges, within varying contexts” (Martin, 2018, p. 9).
Corsini, K., Dr. (Director). (2009). Liberty University Interview with Michell Duncan [Video file]. Retrieved from www.learn.liberty.edu
Corsini, K., Dr. (Director). (2009). Liberty University Interview with Linda Williams [Video file]. Retrieved from www.learn.liberty.edu
Martin, M., E. (2018). Introduction to human services: Through the eyes of practice settings (4th ed). New York, N.Y: Pearson.
National Organization for Human Services (2015). Ethical standards for human services professionals. Retrieved from https://www.nationalhumanservices.org/ethical-stan…
Teasley, M. L., & Cruz, D. (2014). Diversity and related services personnel: Challenges, strategies, and solutions through culturally competent collaborative practice. School of Social Work Journal, 39(1), 51-72
Characteristics of a human services professional
I believe the 3 most prominent characteristics of a human service professional should be empathy, advocacy, and acceptance. In the interview with Michell Duncan, she mentioned that empathy, putting ourselves in someone else’s situation, figuratively, is important in how they interact with those taking advantage of the services the YWCA offers to their community. Linda Williams mentioned the need to advocate for the women and children she works with at the domestic violence prevention shelter.
As Christians, we are to reflect Christ. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, (New International Version) “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Christians should advocate for others. Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV) “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
I am an empathetic person. It is not difficult for me to put myself in someone’s situation and feel what they feel, even if I have never had their experience. I think that is why the human service field seems like a natural fit for me.
As a human service professional, I will have instances where I will need to be able to advocate for my clients both, victims and offenders, in a variety of settings (Martin, 2019). I need to work on becoming assertive so that I can become an effective advocate for my clients. The ability to advocate for someone comes from a personal place, but as a human service professional I have the responsibility to advocate well (Pollack, 2019). Sometimes I feel that I may not know enough about a topic to know what questions to ask or what choice I should make. My clients will need me to take the initiative to think more about their needs and finding solutions to their problems. I need to step out in boldness for the good of my client.
Martin, M. (2018). Introduction to human services: Through the eyes of practice settings. New York, NY: Pearson.
Pollack, H. A. (2019). The responsibility to Advocate—and to advocate responsibly. The Milbank Quarterly, 97(1), 44-47. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12367
3 most prominent characteristics
The three most desirable characteristics that a human service professional must possess are empathy, humility and overall a sincere desire to go above and beyond to help those in need, what Linda Williams from our presentation describes as “…doing this work from the heart” (Liberty, 2009). Similarly, 1 Peter 3:8 reminds us to have “compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” and Romans 12:15 tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
We all have strengths to build on and weaknesses to improve on. The key lies in recognizing when a particular circumstance is beyond our scope of expertise and are able to make referrals accordingly. I feel that my strongest attributes are humility and simply doing things from the heart. I have a sincere passion for the work I do. I have nothing but the best interest in mind for the young women I work with. I take pride and joy in building strong relationships with them, and in helping and empowering them to make better choices. An area where I could be stronger is in knowing how to express my empathy “correctly” in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m pitying anyone. I need to learn to be okay with silence and not always worry about what the right thing to say is. I feel like it’s my responsibility to always say the right things and have something to contribute to the conversation. Also, when girls come to me complaining about the most minute things, I sometimes have a hard time remembering to validate and empathize with their feelings.
Corsini, K., Dr. (Director). (2009). Liberty University Interview with Michell Duncan [Video file]. Retrieved from www.learn.liberty.ed