Recent decades have witnessed the constant growth of the services sector in all developed countries including Israel. As new populations are joining the circle of recipients and new services are offered, there is more emphasize on the quality of services and greater awareness to the recipient's rights. The growth and change of the human services sector increases the need for trained professionals who will be able to join and develop organizations providing these services. The goal of the department is twofold: to provide students with the necessary skills to improve the services systems and apply them to the needs of special populations, and to develop the theoretical and empirical knowledge relating to the unique domain of service.
The department of Human Services is part of the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies at the University of Haifa. It was established in 1995. The department offers a three year program for the degree of BA in Human Services. Currently, the department has an annual enrollment of 180 students. The program is focused on the administration and management of human services. It reflects an innovative approach, which defines "human services" as social services designed to meet human needs for promoting the overall quality of life of the entire society. The term "human services" is implemented here in its broadest sense: namely it includes health and welfare services as well as communal, cultural, environmental and recreational services. The interdisciplinary academic staff reflects the department's open academic and demonstrates an exemplary cooperation among scholars who represent different fields: sociology, psychology, information science, law, urban geography, social work, economy, business administration and the like.
The BA program is aimed at providing the theoretical, practical knowledge and skills required for planning developing and managing human services organizations. Thus it includes the following aspects:
Theory and research.
The curriculum is composed of a wide variety of courses on the scientific foundations of human services, sociology, psychology, economics, social and welfare policy and ethics. In edition, the department emphasizes the importance of social science research. Consequently, the program includes courses on social science research methodologies, statistics and empirical research seminar.
Management skills. As our goal is to professionals who are equipped with skills to join the managerial ranks of human service organizations, several courses are dedicated to develop such skills: administration, management, marketing, monitoring and evaluating.
Areas of Services. The program reflects an innovative broad concept of human services, which includes areas such as recreation and leisure, as well as health and welfare. Several courses emphasize needs of special populations like elderly people, children and youth, dual career families, women's work requisite and the disabled.
General outline of courses content.
Social environment. The social environment is a key factor in the service sector. The program offers a wide variety of courses concerning various perspectives of the Israeli milieu.
These are courses of the service and satisfaction in the multicultural Israeli society, Israeli economy, The Israeli labor market, Legal aspects of human services, etc.
Organizational aspects. Human services are provided by organizations. The program stresses the major of the organizational frameworks in the process of the service provision. Among the various that cover the organization aspects are courses on organizational theory, organizational behavior and human resources management. In light of the intensified process of privatization of human services the program covers all the three major types of organizations: governmental, nonprofit (NGO) and business.
Service providers. Evidently, the provider plays an important role in the service provision.
Several courses are focused on the provider, among them teamwork development, marketing,
Financial accounting and workshop in interpersonal communication.
Customers. Service quality is determined through customers satisfaction with the service.
Courses deal with service provider-customer interactions, service in cultural environment, customers loyalty, etc.
Research interest of faculty members
Faculty members engage in national and international research projects and publish in
well known professional journals. The interdisciplinary composition that characterizes the department of human services is reflected in the wide-range research interests: the internal dynamics of human service organizations - leadership, work and turnover patterns, human resource management, employees and clients empowerment, conflicts and negotiations, knowledge management.
The environment of human service organizations – needs and services of different social groups, gender ideology and policy, welfare regimes and service systems, service utilization and quality of life, profit and non-profit service organizations, the labor market and service
organizations, family culture and welfare systems.