Historical Eras in Human Service

Historical Eras in Human Service

Paper instructions:

Historical Eras in Human Services

As human need has evolved, organizations have developed to meet that need. Human services organizations have historically started asc harities and transitioned into socially organized programs, government sponsorships, nonprofits, or for-profit organizations (private). Rehabilitation programs are an example of this evolution. Today, these programs range from well-known nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) to private, for-profit companies that provide exclusive luxury rehabilitation services.

As organizations evolve, their clients, delivery of services, and the services provided often do as well. These changes correspond with political and social developments that have influenced how society views human services. Categorizing human services as a collection of professional practice specialties is a fairly recent phenomenon in a historical continuum. As scholar-practitioners, it is important to be aware of the path that led to the current knowledge in the field. It is also essential to be familiar with existing theories while remaining open to exploring new and developing theories and evidence that inform practice..

Important: To prepare for this Assignment, select two eras on the historical timeline listed below. Use your Learning Resources along with your own research to analyze in detail some of the changes that have occurred throughout different eras. Pay particular attention to topics such as service providers; recipients; theoretical approaches; definition of the client; and whether charities, nonprofits, governments, or for-profit organizations were prominent in the human services field during the eras.

The assignment (3“4 pages): APA format and Due 12/08/13

Compare the human services eras you selected. Be sure to address similarities and differences in terms of service providers, recipients, theoretical approaches, definition of the client, and whether charities, nonprofits, governments, or for-profits were prominent.

Explain how these eras have contributed to the contemporary development of human services.

Be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation.

Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Select Two Historical Timeline Eras From Below

This historical timeline depicts major developments in the human services field. Each time period has detailed information.

1780’s “ 1820’s: Post “ Revolution: Political Liberalism


In the United States, both non- and for-profit organizations, manage and take responsibility for social welfare. Political self-determination and freedom from government/authoritarian rule is the trend.

European Guilds carry over into American cities in benevolent and fraternal societies; both with and without religious affiliations, such as Freemasons.

Religious charities predominantly care for the sick and mentally ill.

Social Welfare

Social welfare incorporates taking responsibility for promoting the wellbeing of individuals and providing opportunities for those in need. Subsidies, vouchers, health services, and housing are all forms of social welfare.

During the Post-Revolution era, human services were primarily provided by churches, neighbors, and relatives. It was believed public aid encouraged poverty, and therefore, there was little if no government assistance.


Freemasons are male fraternal organizations that share high moral standards, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a strong commitment to helping those in need.

The exact origins of freemasonry is unknown but many Masonic scholars believe that these groups grew out of the organizations of operative stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles of the middle ages.

History shows the existence of greater documentation of freemasonry after the establishment of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717.


Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of South Australia and Northern Territory Inc. (2008). What is freemasonry? Retrieved from http://www.freemasonrysaust.org.au/freemason.html

Mastermason (n.d.). Questions and answers about freemasonry. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from http://www.mastermason.com/bridgeportlodge181/qanda.htm

United Grand Lodge of England (2010). History of freemasonry. Retrieved from http://www.ugle.org.uk/what-is-masonry/history-of-freemasonry/

1830’s “1860’s: Post-Civil War: Health Reform


Human services, such as The New York Children’s Aid Society, are locally managed charities and philanthropists. Most clients of these organizations are poor populations from urban areas.

Little government participation exists in providing human services during this era. There are some private and social insurance schemes, mainly pensions, setup for older adults.

The 1832 Cholera epidemic triggers the formation of temporary Public Health Boards that are responsible for sanitation and control of the disease. The boards disband after the epidemic.

Human services organizations expand their services. Services in areas such as caring for the mentally ill, promoting public health, expanding public education, and improving living conditions for workers and the poor begin to emerge. Post-civil war rebuilding is also part of this era, and services emerge to meet the veterans’ needs.

1832 Cholera Epidemic

In 1832, 3,500 New York City residents died from the disease in a two-month period. Although sanitation issues made the poor susceptible to cholera, the disease was treated in moralistic terms rather than as a public health concern.


Virtual New York City (n.d.). The many meanings of cholera. Retrieved from http://www.virtualny.cuny.edu/cholera/1832/cholera_1832_set.html

1870’s “ 1920’s: The Age of Systems


Specific services in this era include the formation of The Charity Organization Society (COS) and settlement houses to aid arriving immigrants.

Peak efficiency is the main goal during this era. A new, middle class of women promote the maternal welfare of children. They mostly operate at state and local levels. Services include child welfare organizations, such as juvenile court and foster care.

The Interstate Commerce Act creates a role for federal government in crime management (previously considered state and local domain), with the establishment of the Department of Justice in 1870.

A new US Public Health Service (PHS) forms for sanitation, food and drug regulation, and health promotion.

Civil war pensions provide security for veterans.

Charity Organization Society

The Charity Organization Society (COS) investigated the origins of poverty to determine who deserved assistance. Their goal was to help those who could improve their condition with this assistance, rather than provide it to those who would remain dependent.

Interstate Commerce Act

Under the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act, railroads were the first industry to be federally regulated. Legislators designed the law to control railroad developers’ conduct, and how they did business. The Act was created to prevent monopolies and prevent discriminatory rate-setting.

US Public Health Service (PHS)

In 1912, Public Health and Marine Hospital Service changed its name to Public Health Service (PHS). Congress expanded their power to protect against human diseases such as tuberculosis, hookworm, malaria, and leprosy. They also began oversight of sanitation, water supplies, and sewage disposal in the United States.


Goodwin, J. L. (2005). Charity organization societies. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/229.html

PBS. (2000). People & events: Interstate Commerce Commission http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/streamliners/peopleevents/e_ica.html

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2008). History. Retrieved form http://www.usphs.gov/AboutUs/history.aspx

1930’s “ 1950’s: Post-Depression: Government Roles


The Depression and expanded post-depression eras’ needs result in federal programs that are a highlight of the years under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

The government’s role in the 1935 Social Security Act is to secure all citizens’ financial future based on their taxes . In addition, the government programs begin to expand for protection and security and include child welfare, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance.

Mental health science develops drug treatments seen as scientific breakthroughs. Counseling and therapy rise as accepted interventions for mental illness.

As the post-war period continues, the expansion of constituent populations occurs, and more services become available under the umbrella of human services.

Criminal justice adds rehabilitation to its model. The introduction of medical models that explain deviant behavior occurs, such as addictions.

Europe rebuilds after two wars, using socialized service models to handle large numbers of displaced persons, funded by Marshall Plan and aid funds. Other countries adopt national health plans for all citizens.

New Deal

The New Deal was a set of programs passed by the US Congress to help Americans, in order to recover from the economic crisis caused by the Great Depression. The New Deal included programs for banking, railroads, industries, and farming.

Social Security Act

The Social Security Act, passed in 1935, provided assistance for needy elders and women with children. It created pensions and assisted state unemployment insurance programs.

Marshall Plan

The Marshall Plan was created to rebuild European countries after World War II and has been considered the most successful foreign aid program undertaken by the United States. Components of the plan to rebuild their economy included providing assistance to the private sector, policy reforms, and monitoring/distributing aid money provided by the United States.


United States Department of Labor (n.d.). Chapter 3: The department in the New Deal and World War II, 1933?1945. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/dolchp03.htm

United States Department of Labor (n.d.). Chapter 3: The department in the New Deal and World War II, 1933-1945. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/dolchp03.htm

Wasser, S. F., & Dolfman, M. L. (2005). BLS and the Marshall Plan: The forgotten story. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Monthly Labor Review. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/06/art4full.pdf

1960’s “ 1980’s: The Great Society: Drug Culture


President Lyndon Johnson’s the œGreat Society in America looks to social needs. This includes promotion of civil rights; focusing on ending segregation and poverty.

Increases in government spending on education and health occur, which leads to the formation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Social programs continue to expand under President Richard Nixon. Drug culture expands due to easy access and a new anti-war counterculture of acceptability. In turn, this creates larger numbers of addiction/dependency issues for human services.

Great Society

The œGreat Society programs enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson focused on social reform. They included those that President John F. Kennedy never implemented in his plan, the œNew Frontier. These included educational aid regardless of financial status and civil rights initiatives to allow aid to all Americans.


The Medicare bill was signed in 1965 to provide federally assisted health insurance, primarily to older adults.


The Medicaid bill was signed in 1965 to provide government- assisted health insurance, primarily to people with low incomes.


United States Department of Labor (n.d.). Chapter 6: Eras of the New Frontier and the Great Society, 1961?1969. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/dolchp06.htm

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from https://www.cms.gov/History/01_Overview.asp#TopOfPage

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (n.d.). Overview. Retrieved September 17, 2010 from https://www.cms.gov/History/01_Overview.asp#TopOfPage

1990’s “ Present: Professionalization of Human Services


The human services field professionalizes. Additional emphasis on the standard of practice includes best practices and evidence-based practice. Licensing becomes more specialized and professional associations gain significance in governing practice.

As constituent populations continue to grow in a form of revolt to the œwelfare state, government outsourcing of services to private providers increases: jails, prisons, hospitals, war supplies, and veteran services are contracted to private large-scale human services providers.

Human services organizations begin to assess clients’ needs and tailor services to meet them.

Private Providers

Private providers are either for-profit or nonprofit, but have private operators. Some examples include the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and Corrections Corporations of