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Career Story: Advocate For The Disabled And Human Services Administrator

Advocate For The Disabled And Human Services Administrator

Job Title: Human Services Administrator

Type of Company: I work for a state agency that provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Education: BA, Psychology and Sociology, SUNY-Cortland •• MA, Rehabilitation counseling, Michigan State University

Previous Experience: I did an internship as part of my graduate school experience and then was hired at a children's hospital where I remained for 18 years providing services to children and young adults with developmental disabilities. I also worked on many federal grants and conducted training, helped develop new programs and consulted with community organizations.

Job Tasks: I work on developing programs and services that are needed by and will benefit children and adults with disabilities and their families. This involves advocacy for funding in the state budget, development of policies and procedures regarding eligibility for services and how services should be delivered, putting proposals out to bid for the delivery of services, and evaluating and monitoring of services.

I work with staff in our agency across the state and also collaborate with other human service agencies and private, not-for-profit service provider organizations. I also meet with individuals with disabilities and their families to learn what is important to them, what needs they have that are not being met by our services and ways to build on the things that work well.

I provide training on a variety of topics for different audiences including other human service agency staff, individuals with disabilities, educators and families. I am involved in collecting and analyzing data and writing reports. I also work on developing a variety of written products such as manuals, reports, and resource guides. I also am involved in writing federal grants to implement new programs and design different models for providing services. This can involve working with other grantees from other states across the country and attending national project meetings.

A lot of my work is done as part of different work groups and teams.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is when I am successful, with others, in helping to implement new services, develop new programs or policies, or get new funding that will be beneficial to many individuals with disabilities and their families. It also feels good when I know I have been successful in doing something that makes a big difference in the life of one person. I also like the variety of projects I work on and the different people I get to work with in my office, across the state, and sometimes across the country.

The worst part of the job is working in a bureaucracy, which means that it can take a long time to get things done, change occurs slowly, and our work is directly affected by the state budget.

Job Tips:
1. Having good communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team and with lots of different people is critical, so work on developing these skills as well as ways to mediate problems and work collaboratively toward a common goal.

2. Get different experiences volunteering or working in different human and social service agencies to figure out what type of work and setting you are most interested in.

3. Develop your writing skills. A lot of writing is required on the job.

Popular Schools offering Social Services Programs

 
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Founded in 1839, Boston University is one of America’s largest and most respected private research universities. It offers a unique combination of academic excellence and social relevance for its more than 32,000 students from 135 different countries.

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The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work offers a CSWE-accredited online Master's in Social Work. The GRE is not required to apply to the MSW@USC program. Complete in as little as 1 year with a BSW.

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Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.

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At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. It is our goal to develop true leaders who inspire positive change throughout our community.

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Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

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