What Are Health and Human Services

The hands of women and men are the heart shape with the sun light passing through the hands

Health and human service organizations are critical to caring for the vulnerable people in our communities. Their purpose is to enhance the well-being of those they serve, utilizing social determinants of health to make a lasting impact.

The State of Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the most important, and complicated, parts of life. Much of the challenge is that care systems (often called health and human service organizations) are usually siloed away from each other, making it difficult to coordinate treatments and make sense of medical advice. This creates a landscape of fragmented care. 

Unfortunately, the burden of siloed care most often falls on the underprivileged. Those without the resources to learn the health system and coordinate their own care are left on their own. As the healthcare industry is subject to market forces, it prioritizes patients who are able to afford care and leaves out those who likely need it the most.

Traditional care typically looks at diagnosis and treatment without considering the outside factors that may be influencing health outcomes. These outside factors, called social determinants of health, are a critical piece in bridging these silos of healthcare. By looking at these determinants, health and human service providers can create solutions that not only expand the reach of care but also offer help to those who otherwise cannot access it.

Health and Human Service Organizations

A common misperception about health and human service organizations is that they only address physical health. While these organizations can do so, they are not limited to traditional care. In fact, more often than not, they involve different types of social work and care including mental health services, shelters, and resource allocation programs. 

Put simply, health and human service organizations are defined as any organization focused on improving the quality of life for communities, particularly those that are underserved. They are typically designed to be not-for-profit, focusing instead on supporting vulnerable people.

Health and human service organizations are focused on improving the quality of life for communities, particularly those who are underserved.

Health and human service organizations often rely on donations, grants, and government assistance to keep their programs running. As such, it is critical for these programs to maximize output while minimizing costs. One of the most effective ways that health and human service organizations can do so is through case management. 

Examples of Health and Human Services

One of the most compelling parts of health and human service organizations is that they include a wide range of services, programs, and missions. Below are examples of just some of the communities and services that these organizations can assist.

People Experiencing Homelessness

One of the largest and most critical areas of health and human services is working with people experiencing homelessness. These organizations often provide shelters for those without a place to stay, but they can also coordinate to help these individuals and families find work, receive food, and manage health needs like medications and vaccines. You may sometimes hear homelessness organizations referred to as HMIS organizations.

Grey bearded man without shelter sitting in street clothes on bench, without food and money. Drooping man lowered his head down. Side view on homeless person in coat and red cap

Refugee Resettlement

Health and human service organizations are critical to refugee resettlement in the US. These programs focus on ensuring that a refugee’s difficult transition into a new community is as smooth as possible. The social workers that run refugee resettlement agencies help refugees access housing, find work, and find a place in their community. They also coordinate with volunteers and community members who are looking to assist the refugees in their area.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (which includes intimate partner violence) requires well-trained organizations to assist those affected by it. Domestic violence can ravage families, homes, and communities, and these health and human service organizations, often referred to as Victim Service Providers, have the critical job of helping victims escape their situation, break patterns of returning and rebuild their lives. And for those who wish to pursue legal justice, domestic violence programs can help navigate the confusing world of law. 

Mental and Behavioral Health

Mental and behavioral health have moved to the forefront of health and human service organizations in recent years, and for good reason. Vulnerable communities–such as those experiencing homelessness, refugees, and domestic violence survivors–are often at higher risk for adverse mental health conditions. Organizations designed to address mental and behavioral health can provide therapy, respond to crises, and offer additional resources. 

Food Insecurity

Did you know that in 2020, over 38 million Americans experienced food insecurity? This means that they did not know where their next meal was going to come from–often skipping many meals at a time. Food insecurity usually receives a lot of attention around the holidays, but its relevance in our communities is year-round. Health and human service organizations that address food insecurity include food banks, food delivery programs, and even children’s lunch services. 

And So Much More

The above examples are just a few of the common health and human service organizations, but there are dozens more. They may include:

  • Workforce Development
  • Prisoner Re-Entry
  • LGBTQ+ Support
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Hospital Care
  • HIV and Ryan White Programs
  • Human Rights
  • Education
  • And so much more!

What is important about health and human service organizations is that they reach those they are designed to serve. Not all programs do this with the same effectiveness. Those who are most successful know that it is important to work smarter, not harder. Using case management, like our industry-leading platform ClientTrack®, allows them to focus less on administrative tasks and instead funnel their energy in doing what they do best: serving others.

Reach out today to talk with our team about how case management can help your health and human service organization.

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