Discuss the Impact of Contemporary Problems or Needs.

The Impact of Contemporary Problems or Needs

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The Impact of Contemporary Problems or Needs
• The environmental, political, social, and economic conditions at a given time shape the human services available
• Some situations prevent Americans from meeting their own needs, and this has an effect on human services. Such situations include:
 Natural disaster
 Devastating consequences due to forces of nature such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and storms
 Some trends in America increase the potential for disaster. They include
 People living in areas susceptible to natural disasters such as flood plains and areas prone to landslides and earthquakes
 People tend to depend more on the computer systems that are interlinked, and on the surface electrical power lines, which increase vulnerability in case of disasters
 Poverty
 Poverty in one generation hinders the other generation from succeeding
 Linked to major social and health problems including homelessness, juvenile delinquency, increased crime, serious health problems, drug abuse, and mental illness
 More prevalent in inner cities and rural areas
 Children from poor families are not able to take full advantage of educational resources making it difficult for them to break out of poverty
 People have different perceptions on how to deal with poverty
 Some people oppose further help for the poor in inner cities noting that it will lead to more poor people moving there
 Others propose the idea of moving people earning middle income to move to big cities with the aim of increasing revenue, which will help the poor
 Prejudice and discrimination
 Poverty contributes to low self-esteem
 It leads to discrimination
 People are discriminated because of their race, gender, and sexual orientation
 Discriminated minority remain in poverty, and they tend to stay in certain neighborhoods
 Discriminated groups continue to fight for recognition and equality
 Economic and political factors
 The gap between the rich and the poor is large
 Economic situation for some Americans have improved over the years as they earn higher salaries. This has increased the number of people in upper and middle classes
 Factors contributing to earning a high income include having a high education, being computer literate, and having the ability to manipulate information
 Over the years, trade unions have lost their power, making it difficult for them to protect the wages of the employees
 The number of available jobs consume much of the workers time and effort, lowering their chances of continuing with their studies
 Minimal pay and increased cost of living means that many Americans hold two or three jobs
 Increased possibilities of many Americans losing their jobs due to:
 Ease of business relocation overseas, where cost of operations tend to be low
 Increased development in technology, which means that Americans compete for the same jobs with people from other countries who earn lower incomes
 Increased use of automated and programmed machines, which has replaced human personnel in many industries
 Rich people have increased power and influence in politics. This makes it easier for them to get political posts.
 Once the rich, secure political positions, they fail to cater for the needs of the poor, and they neglect them
 Developmental crisis
 There are different developmental stages
 Transition from one stage to the other presents several challenges and responsibilities, and this can lead to anxiety and developmental stress
 Many people experiencing developmental crisis are in a position to help themselves. However, some may require services from counselors, nurses, police officers and family members
 Crisis in health care
 Poor health care system fails to take care of the vulnerable such as the poor and the elderly
 Many people rarely access affordable healthcare, and they do not have insurance. This is despite the country spending more on healthcare on per capita basis than other developed countries
Reference:
Burger, R. W. (2011). Human services in contemporary America. New York, NY: Wadsworth

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