Homeless Mothers and Supportive Services


The area of human services can be defined as the one focused on the remediation and prevention of problems and meeting human needs using an interdisciplinary knowledge base. It promotes improved service delivery systems and is aimed at enhancing the overall quality of life. The sphere of human services addresses not only the service quality, but also seeks to develop coordination, accountability, and accessibility among agencies and professionals in service delivery. It requires understanding the conditions which limit or promote optimal functioning, the nature of human systems, skills in evaluating, implementing, planning, and consistent behavior in selecting and identifying interventions. Thus, the paper is aimed to discuss the significance of the human services area of social security, as well as summarize the relation of the chosen article to the primary tasks of the human services field.


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The Responsibilities of Human Services Workers

A human services worker is a term used for people who hold professional jobs in such settings as the programs concerned with aging, family violence, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental, intellectual disabilities, halfway houses and group homes, family and community service agencies. Job duties and titles vary depending on the kinds of consumers served and the employment setting. Employers in the human services area highly value the employees who demonstrate caring attitude, understanding, and patience in their dealings. Other crucial individual traits are an effective time management, a strong sense of responsibility and communication skills. The main goal of the human services worker is to assist communities and individuals to function with the highest level of effectiveness in the major living domains. Thus, the most important consideration for human services specialist among others is a strong desire to help other people.

The field of human services expands the understanding of the relationship between social conditions and human values and needs. In order to contribute to the maintenance and development of healthy individuals, groups, and communities, human services professionals should develop expertise and knowledge, as well as communicational and analytical skills. They successfully integrate and understand the four foundations of the discipline: practice and application, experience, values and attitudes, skills and knowledge. Many human services workers have extensive experience in the positions ranging from program evaluation to direct service and are ready to reach any vocational or personal goals.

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Summary of the Article

The article “Experiences Associated with Intervening with Homeless, Substance-Abusing Mothers: The Importance of Success” by Slesnick, Glassman, Katafiasz, & Collins informs about the recommendations and experiences associated with providing supportive services and housing to homeless mothers with young children. Inadequate housing is considered to be a major factor in the children’s retention and placement in foster care. The article also describes ecologically based treatment (EBT), the practice which consists of half a year of mental health/substance use treatment and intensive case management. In other words, it can be defined as the community reinforcement approach.

This article uses EBT as a framework to discuss the experiences that took place during the intervention study in regard to the therapeutic process, therapists, and consumers, along with the recommendations how to address such situations. According to the authors’ opinion, housing is the top priority of EBT therapists since it is a primary goal and need of women with young children. (Slesnick, Glassman, Katafiasz, & Collins, 2015). In order to help the victim to achieve the agreed-on tasks, a therapist must provide multiply-level support to homeless mothers. The lack of the follow-through on the tasks is often interpreted by many therapists as laziness or a lack of motivation. However, in accordance with the views of EBT intervention, the main goal for the participant is to experience success. The authors’ state that using EBT as a philosophy therapists seek to increase self-efficacy and confidence through the successful accomplishment of minor tasks, so that the subjects achieve at least partial but encouraging independence across certain domains and tasks. (Slesnick, Glassman, Katafiasz, & Collins, 2015). The main objective of therapists is to address risk the factors associated with child abuse and ensure the safety of children to reduce societal, family and individual costs, as well as generational foster care involvement. Trust and shared goals are the key elements in the work of any such specialist. According to the article, significant factors in the success of intervention are the alleviation of loneliness and the past betrayal reparation both by human service workers or family. Thus, the EBT is the main framework described in this article. Achieving the initial success in regards to housing in the EBT intervention is the main purpose for EBT, presumably capable of breaking the ice between the social services workers and mothers, building trust and creation of the shared goals necessary to ensure the safety of children in the long run.

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The Relation of the Article to Text Readings

This article also relates back to the text readings since it also provides the recommendations and exemplifies experiences to assist and facilitate the work of human services workers. Firstly, it discusses the importance of the relationship between the consumer and a human services worker that can be applied in the respective sphere. Secondly, it highlights the significance of developing a trusting relationship together with the adherence to reporting laws that are also relevant to the area of human services. Finally, it states that the most crucial elements for a successful human services specialist are trust and shared goals. These make the work of the professional in the sphere more effective.


To conclude, the human service area is tasked with improving the quality of human life and satisfying their needs via interdisciplinary knowledge approaches. The article “Experiences Associated with Intervening with Homeless, Substance-Abusing Mothers: The Importance of Success” creates the awareness about the necessity of providing supportive services and housing to homeless mothers with young children as the starting point of their return to normal social life. It also comes with the recommendations meant to assist the future therapists. The desire to help other is defined in th article as the most important quality for human services experts. The basic principles of the area, such as practice and application, skills and knowledge, values and attitudes, and experience, are targeted at achieving the positive outcomes for the discussed issue.

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