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Technology Solutions for Human Services

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Technology Solutions

Today the world revolves around the latest and greatest in technological advances, everything from the newest equipment to the newest software programs. Human services organizations are no different. Unfortunately, there are many barriers that exist for human service organizations. Barriers exist in every aspect of the organization to include services, planning, funding, and empowerment. Technology has become a necessity for human services organizations to succeed. In this paper I will discuss several barriers to the services that human service organizations provide. I will also discuss technological solutions to these barriers.

Barrier 1 - Social Stigma

Services provided to clients are the heart of the human services organization. The first barrier to providing services I will discuss is the social stigma that goes along with seeking help. Social stigma comes in many forms, from the color of a person's skin, physical characteristics to sexual preferences and even medical conditions. Social stigma is very common, especial among men. Unfortunately too many people look down on others who are in need of services such as assistance with housing, food, drug and alcohol treat, and medical treatment. Individuals in need of assistance will not seek help because of what their friends or acquaintances will think of them. They do not want to be seen as unable to take care of themselves or their families. Men who have issues, such as depression or dependencies, do not want to be seen as weak so they will refuse to seek help. Many people feel that they can handle their problems themselves or insist on trying to handle the problems themselves to keep others from finding out and putting labels on them. (Watson & Corrigan)

Solutions for social stigma in the way of technology would be providing the community with information about services. This could be in the form of television commercials, radio advertisements, and websites that provide detailed information on the internet. Getting the word out that it is not negative thing to seek and receive help for any type of issues that human service organizations work with.

Another solution would be the human service organization having a website that allows a potential client to fill out any paperwork necessary to get started with receiving help. This would allow a potential client to know if he or she is looking to the right organization, if he or she qualifies for services or what he or she needs to qualify for services. This would also allow the client to do the initial leg work from home if they have access to the internet.

Barrier 2 - Gathering Data

The second barrier to providing services is in gathering data that is necessary on each client. Many times a client must go through several intake appointments if they are in need of more than one type of service. Many times the staff must reenter information that was previously gathered by another department or organization. Several organizations even meet with their clients off site to make it more convenient for the client. With technology taking off in the human services sector computer use has increased and new software programs are being used. Along with that, new handheld technology is also being implemented, making it easier for staff to meet the changing demands of the client.

There are many different types of technology that could be used for this barrier. To start with, a good database program that allows for interagency access



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