Human services management is a critical industry encompassing a multitude of activities. The purpose of each facet of the field is to provide care for those in need. The noble vision of a comprehensive organization to serve people has proven to have its advantages with many individual successes, but also disadvantages in its sometimes poor execution.
Human services providers most often work under government agencies, or closely with them. This provides accountability in the use of funds, the qualifications of employees and multiple levels of management. The disadvantages include the possibly of less personal attention and ill-defined employment roles. Fabled "red tape" is another issue, as human service managers and their employees are often frustrated by the amount of paperwork and time required to move forward in helping their clients.
The multiplicity and magnitude of comprehensive care often places an extreme burden on human services employees. Work is almost always available in every state for those qualified for social work and associated positions. The disadvantage is that caseloads for individuals are often so high that it is impossible to meet all the needs and expectations of clients. Harried workers often succumb to finding shortcuts, which can lead to mistakes that are costly and often even dangerous to the public these workers serve.
Human services employees face constant stress. Workers are often required to have an extensive educational background, but may be paid less than professionals in other fields that are not service related. Social workers and other care experts often find that their work is located in high-crime areas where they believe their personal safety is an issue. Burnout from exceedingly high caseloads, excessive paperwork and the feeling that their work is not valued or appreciated enough can cause employees to abandon the field for other careers.
Human service management agencies commonly work with clients in dire straits. These are often economically disadvantaged persons struggling with problems like drug addiction, mental health disorders, homelessness and domestic abuse. The complexities of their issues, which are often multiple in nature, make it difficult for agencies to provide them with all that is needed. The one advantage here is that these agencies often partner with many other organizations that can help meet particular needs of the people such as rehabilitation facilities, food banks, and government resources such as Housing and Urban Development.