What Is Human Services Management?

by Alison Green

Human services management refers to provision of leadership and guidance in social welfare organizations such as health centers, housing associations, special schools and consultancies. Managers in this field facilitate access to equitable and affordable human services to reach the goal of improving consumers’ physical, emotional and social well-being. They implement policies, develop strategies, manage budgets and coordinate intervention programs.

Creating Strategies

Managers working in nonprofit social welfare organizations collaborate with finance personnel to establish strategies for raising funds to support effective service delivery. For example, the management of a community youth development center may hold meetings with potential donors to explain the financial needs of the institution or apply for government grants. Human service managers also may develop strategies for enhancing compliance with tax-exempt regulations for nonprofit social welfare organizations, such as maintaining integrity and transparency in their operations.

Implementing Policies

Human service administrators implement policies adopted by the public through state and federal legislatures. This helps ensure all human service workers adhere to professional practices and ethics. These managers monitor changes in federal and state policies and make appropriate adjustments. Besides, when a government agency like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to formulate a new regulation affecting service providers, it may invite human service managers to offer their views before reaching a decision.

Designing Programs

As senior managers concentrate on policy making, middle-level managers design and coordinate a variety of programs to solve identified problems in a systematic way. For example, the middle management of a housing association may conduct research to identify ways it can provide low-cost housing solutions to the homeless and elderly. Some managers also may collaborate with caregivers to ensure programs such as rehabilitation schedules are implemented correctly and adjustments are made when necessary.

Keeping Records

Good record keeping promotes accountability and confidentiality and enhances flow of information among human services practitioners. The management of human services organizations must, therefore, develop and implement institutional policies that provide for quality record keeping. Senior managers in a legal and victims assistance organization may, for instance, establish a records management office and hire professionals to design suitable systems for efficient storage of information. Team leaders and department heads also must ensure staff members maintain accurate records of their day-to-day activities.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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