Journal: Community Service as a Window Into Outreach and Humanitarian Work

Advanced human services professional practitioners often engage in outreach and humanitarian work. Outreach work entails going out into the community and actively engaging with potential service users, referring them to appropriate services, and following up with them to ensure they are getting the help they need. There are several reasons why outreach work is important in the practice of human services. First, service users may be unwilling or unable to visit a human services organization€”or they may be unaware that the organization exists. Second, it is often useful to observe the service users in their environment to gain a better understanding of the help they need and the progress they are making.
Humanitarian work is a broad term that encompasses activities designed to improve service users’ lives and better the community. Examples of humanitarian work include providing people with access to clean water and food after a disaster, helping refugees and immigrants access language-specific and culturally appropriate health services, and arranging for young girls to receive formal education in war-torn countries. Keep in mind that outreach and humanitarian work are not mutually exclusive, that is, they can be done at the same time and in the same setting. For instance, an advanced human services professional practitioner who visits a homeless encampment to share information about programs for affordable housing and distributes food and blankets is engaging in both outreach and humanitarian work.
  
To Prepare
    

Complete your community service. As you do so, make note of specific examples of outreach and humanitarian work you performed or observed. The examples could be from the activities you were asked to complete, the actions of  leaders, employees, or other volunteers, and/or the initiatives of the      organization. In addition, identify leadership values that you observed or hat may be relevant given the organization’s outreach and humanitarian efforts.
  
Go to the Hart City virtual community using the link that is provided in the  Learning Resources. Once you are in the community, visit the Hart City Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter and view the scenario about outreach and humanitarian work. Consider how the advanced human services professional  practitioners in the scenario engage in outreach and humanitarian work and how those examples compare to the examples of outreach and humanitarian work from your community service experience. In addition, consider the leadership values that might guide the practitioners in the scenario and how those values compare to those from your community service experience.

Think about how your observations from your community service experience and the Hart City scenario contribute to your understanding of the outreach and humanitarian functions of human services practice and the role of leadership values in carrying out these functions.

  
Submit a 2- to 3-page journal entry about your community service experience. Be sure to address the following:
Briefly describe your community service experience.
Describe specific examples of outreach and humanitarian work from your community service experience. The examples could be from the activities you were      asked to complete, the actions of leaders, employees, or other volunteers, and/or the initiatives of the organization.
Describe specific examples of leadership values from your community service experience that you observed or that may be relevant given the organization’s humanitarian and outreach efforts.
Explain how the examples from your community service experience compare to those in the Hart City scenario. What skills and leadership values are similar?
Explain how your observations from your community service experience and the Hart      City scenario contribute to your understanding of the outreach and      humanitarian functions of human services practice and role of leadership      values in carrying out these functions.

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