Discuss the Impact of Contemporary Problems or Needs.

The Impact of Contemporary Problems or Needs


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
Burger, R. W. (2011). Human services in contemporary America. New York, NY: Wadsworth

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