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Social Works and Human Services

Social works and human services are a bit different in their programs. Social work programs emphasize much on education, while social work programs emphasize much on fieldwork and experience. However, these two fields are related in the greater picture as they involve assisting individuals facing challenges in life situations (Al-Nashif,2018). Human service and social workers support people going through difficult times with their families. Thus, they help enhance people’s lives outcome. They work with some marginalized and vulnerable people to reduce inequalities promote their rights, thus improving the quality of such people’s lives. Even though human service and social workers operate in varied sectors with different job roles, they all inhibit a common goal of safeguarding and improving the social wellbeing of individual people, families, and even communities as a whole. They, therefore, achieve this goal through empowering individuals to handle their lives, supporting their participation and inclusion in society, and assisting people in keeping safe.

Several organizations are dealing with social work and human services. An example is the (NASW) the National Association of Social Workers. The NASW is the biggest organization membership of professional human service social workers globally. NASW was founded in 1955, and it has more than one hundred and twenty thousand members. The organization was founded due to the merging of several social work organizations (Al-Nashif, 2018). These organizations include Social Work Research Group, American Social Worker Association, American Association of Medical Social Workers, among others.

The organization is located in the United States, and the headquarters are in Washington DC. To appoint candidates supporting legislation and policies consistent with social works profession goals, the (NASW-PACE) National Association of Social Workers Political Actions for Candidate Election appointed several field organizers in five major states in the 2020 election. It aims at promoting both the development and professional growth of its members to increase social policies that are sound and professional standards maintenance. The organization views the social work community role as an important tool and has promoted several social growth areas. It has enhanced civil rights for all persons irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith. It also facilitates disability pay, social security, compensation for American workers, and unemployment insurance. The workers here are motivated by the need to help other people and the urge to fight for human rights and social change.

The organization uses a human rights-based approach which emphasizes that persons and communities should be made aware of their rights. This approach requires that communities and individuals be supported fully in policy developments and practices affecting them. They should also claim their rights when required (Walters, 2021). Both non-governmental organizations and development agencies develop this approach. The practice makes vague the disparity between economic development and human rights. It involves two stakeholders, the rights holder not experiencing full rights and the duty bearer that is the institution with obligations to meet the stakeholder’s rights. This approach is aimed to strengthen duty bearers’ capacity while empowering stakeholders’ rights. The approach is all about individual empowerment to understand and claim their rights and also enhancing accountability and ability of institutions and persons responsible for protecting, fulfilling, and respecting people’s rights. The underlying principles in this approach include accountability participation, non-discrimination legality, and empowerment. It is meant to ensure that principles and human rights standards are combined in policymaking and the day-to-day operation of organizations. This means providing people with better opportunities to take part in formulating decisions that affect their human rights and enhancing the ability of people responsible for rights fulfillment to acknowledge and understand how to be accountable and respect such rights.

The NASW has five-set priorities organization considers the vulnerable populations in the community, such as those living in abusive families, uninformed persons, immigrants, racial minorities, underinsured, and disadvantaged social-economically, among others. The organization prioritizes criminal justice reforms, voting rights, immigration reforms, juvenile justice, and economic justice and equity (Walters, 2021). The organization has greatly impacted the communities by enhancing professional growth and members’ development. This has helped maintain professional standards and the advancement of reasonable social policies. Additionally, it contributes to individuals’ wellbeing of families, communities, and individuals through advocacy work. It also has empowered communities by encouraging individual participation in social services and education provision programs.

The human rights approach is effective as it empowers individuals to claim and acquire their rights. It increases organizations, businesses, and public bodies’ ability to commit to their obligations concerning human rights (Singh, 2020). Moreover, it creates rigid accountability so that individuals can search for remedies in case of violation of their rights. The approach has also fought hard to eliminate any discrimination forms in realizing personal rights. Moreover, the approach has prioritized the most marginalized people and the vulnerable who may be at the biggest risk of not realizing their rights. The human rights approach is applicable in community services as it offers a framework to enable organizations and communities to understand society’s expectations better. Better understanding will aid the delivery of more sustainable services, respectful to the dignity of individuals.

The human right based approach can be applied by using bo5tom up and top-down approaches and responding to all group’s needs, even those that lack immediate potential to develop. Also, considering full rights range and coming up with priority setting. Applying a rights-based approach requires that no right or goal can be pursued if it affects other rights (Quimbo et al., 2018). The approach is adopted by major development and non-governmental organizations. Major agencies using these rights based approach include UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP. The UNICEF cooperation programs, under the rights approach, help guardians, families, communities, and other responsible bodies and groups to enhance their capacity to meet their required obligations to women and children. Furthermore, human rights principles guide all UNICEF program process phases and are applied in all sectors. The principles applied include accountability, participation, and universality principle, among others.

There are several strengths in the human rights social development approach. It is important to ensure that the weak and vulnerable citizens can access essential services like health care and education. In this case, the anti-discrimination concept dominates. The approach has also strengthened the citizenship concept, which is important for marginalized people (Quimbo et al., 2018). Additionally, this approach means a natural focus on the use of mechanisms legally is there in both development policy and development assistance. Another achievement is that widespread campaigns for this approach can add to legislation promotion which adds an advantage to the poor or discriminated groups.

Human rights approach weaknesses are as follows; The approach must be strategic even though it does not apply to all development types hence not suitable to mainstream all help interventions. Also, implementing the human rights approach is not that easy (Sano, 2020). Actors are torn between good enforcement and still maintaining a good relationship with the authorities. For example, providing legal and ideological resources that local groups can utilize to fight discrimination and exclusion can equally increase conflicts and inequalities among different societal groups. Thus it can lead to favoritism of some groups as compared to others. Also, it can increase non-sustainable natural resource use where a certain group may acquire control over the resources at other groups’ expense. It can also promote unfavorable governance because the rights granted can increase some people’s power at the expense of politically less strong groups.

The NASW may be limited from access to actual human rights status in their settings. This involves critical analysis of the shareholder’s rights and the duty bearer to identify the actual human rights status in that part (Sano, 2020). The analysis is about the depreciation of right-holders rights and duty-bearers dedication to protecting and fulfilling human rights. Another limitation may be experienced incorrect recognition of less advantaged groups to benefit from the benefits proposed. Also, the duty-bearers may fail to incorporate the general human rights principles such as being accountable for their actions. Organizations, therefore, should critically perform a detailed and fair analysis before getting involved in a right-based new program.


Social works and human service organizations such as NASW work to create a better society. This is because it enhances wellbeing by family, clients, groups, families, and clients. The organization uses a human rights-based approach which emphasizes that persons and communities should be made aware of their rights. This approach requires that communities and individuals be supported fully in policy developments and practices affecting them. The approach, however, may have a few limitations and challenges. However, through corrective measures, these limitations can be minimized.


Al-Nashif, N. (2018). Human Rights and Social Works.

Walters, W., & Hurst, D. J. (2021). Xenotransplantation and the NASW Code of Ethics. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work18(5), 500-509.

Singh, K. K. (2020). Social Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Social Value Creation: Relevance for Contemporary Social Work Practice: by Monica Nandan, Tricia B. Bent-Goodley, and Gokul Mandayam, Washington, DC, NASW Press, 2019, 290 pp., $39.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-0-87101-538-9.

Quimbo, M. A. T., Perez, J. E. M., & Tan, F. O. (2018). Community development approaches and methods: Implications for community development practice and research. Community Development49(5), 589-603.

Sano, H. O. (2020). How Can a Human Rights-Based Approach Contribute to Poverty Reduction? The Relevance of Human Rights to Sustainable Development Goal One. In Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights (pp. 11-27). Springer, Cham.


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