The Emergence of the Family-Oriented Human Services Practitioner

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The presence of family conflict has led to a focus on its impact on family dynamics and the investigation of factors that contribute to family conflict (Patterson 2002). It has become necessary for human services professionals to consider conflict and other factors that impact the family unit, such as accumulated stress, coping mechanisms, and resource availability. However, a survey of empirical research literature on families has shown a lack of focus on the field of human services and the skills necessary for competent human services practice. This study proposes a model, which aims to enhance human services education and practice by identifying competencies in practice with families plagued by conflict. The researchers aim to present a theoretical model, “the family-oriented human services -Keypractitioner” which addresses the question: What are the knowledge, skills, and experiences required of human services professionals to effectively mediate conflict and support at-risk families (families experiencing conflict, crisis, and trauma)?