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What is a Human Service Practitioner?

The Human Services Board Certified Practitioner Logo

Human service practitioners provide direct and indirect client services. They assess clients’ needs, establish their eligibility for benefits and services, and help clients obtain them. They examine financial documents such as rent receipts and tax returns to determine whether the client is eligible for food stamps, Medicaid, welfare, and other human service programs. They also arrange for transportation and escorts, if necessary, and provide emotional support.

A sample of the tasks and responsibilities include and are not limited to:

  • Monitor and keep case records on clients and report progress to supervisors and case managers.
  • Transport or accompany clients to group meal sites, adult daycare centers, or doctors’ offices.
  • Telephone or visit clients’ homes to make sure services are being received, or to help resolve disagreements, such as those between tenants and landlords.
  • Help clients complete insurance or medical forms, as well as applications for financial assistance.
  • Assist others with daily living needs.

Human service practitioners play a variety of roles in a community. They may organize and lead group activities, assist clients in need of counseling or crisis intervention, or administer a food bank or emergency fuel program. In halfway houses, group homes, and government-supported housing programs, they assist adults who need supervision with personal hygiene and daily living skills. They review clients’ records, ensure that they take correct doses of medication, talk with family members, and confer with medical personnel and other care givers to gain better insight into clients’ backgrounds and needs. Often time there is a need to provide emotional support and help clients become involved in their own well being, in community recreation programs, and in other activities.

In psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and outpatient clinics, human service practitioners work with professional care providers, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to help clients master everyday living skills, to teach them how to communicate more effectively, and to get along better with others. They support the client’s participation in a treatment plan, such as individual or group counseling or occupational therapy.”  (Occupational Outlook Handbook)