Study Guide – Exam 1

Introduction to Human Services in the United States

J. Kessler – Spring 2011


This exam counts as 18% of your final course grade.


The exam format will be several essays and a handful of definitions.


The exam will cover Chapter 1, 2, and 4 in your text; the handout, “US Presidents since The Great Depression”; the “Culture of Poverty/’Culture of Poverty’ Makes a Comeback” handout; and all class lecture and discussion materials through February 11th.


Tips! When reviewing the assigned reading and your lecture notes:


·         Be sure you have read each chapter at least once before beginning exam preparation. I recommend that you re-read each chapter.

·         Be able to respond to all the prompts in the study guide.

·         Be able to define all the terms on the study guide.

·         It’s a good idea to pay attention to anything in “bold” and italics in the body of the chapters.

·         Review your lecture notes and text as you review the chapters to fill in the gaps. Xerox from a classmate any lecture notes you missed due to absence.

·         I recommend that you create a Word document from this study guide, and then respond in writing to all prompts below.


Chapter One: What Are Human Services?


·         Be familiar with the variety of agencies in which human service workers are employed.

·         Be familiar with the sources of funding for human service agencies, including the most common source of funding.

·         Be able to define what is meant by the “privatization of social services,” as well as the arguments for and against the privatization trend (also referred to in Chapter Two).

·         Be able to discuss the various barriers to finding and using human services.

·         The authors of your text present the following paradox: While today there is a wide array of programs and approaches for solving social problems, as well as an increased need, many social welfare programs are struggling just to stay afloat. Be able to identify the economic and political reasons for this (looking at the past 30 years or so).


Chapter Two: The Changing Nature of the Helping Process


·         Be able to present an overview of the history of the helping process in Western society, from US colonial times to the present.

·         Understand the difference between “means-tested programs” and “universal programs.” What is an “entitlement” program/benefit?

·         Be able to identify the two periods (in the past century) of significant social welfare expansion in the United States, along with the presidential administrations and programs associated with these expansions. What were the social environments/conditions/theories that fostered these expansions?

·         Be able to identify the decade during which the social welfare state began to contract in the United States., along with the presidential administration/s and programs associated with this contraction. What were the social environments/conditions/theories that fostered this contraction?

·         What is the “culture of poverty” theory? Why is it controversial? Why do some believe it promoted “benign neglect” of the needy?

·         Understand the history of “welfare” (federal financial aid to needy families) (from ADC, to AFDC, to TANF) in the United States. What were its origins? What did it look like until the 1990s? What important changes were introduced via Clinton’s “welfare reform”? What were the outcomes of “welfare reform” for states and beneficiaries?

·         Understand the phenomenon of deinstitutionalization in the United States. What was the rationale behind the movement? What were the actual, sometimes unintended, outcomes?

·         What was the “child-saving movement”? What was its purpose? Why is it looked at as controversial?

·         The juvenile court system is based on what belief? How is it fundamentally different from the adult court system?

·         Be able to compare and contrast the social service strategies and philosophies of the Charity Organization Societies (COSs) and the Settlement House Movement, the late-19th/early 20th century progenitors of contemporary social work.


Chapter 4: Attitudes/Values, Skills and Knowledge


·         Be familiar with the five qualities that distinguish the professional relationship between a human service worker and her client, and the purely social relationship.

·         Be able to discuss some of the most important attitudes and values of the human service worker and explain, through example, why they are important in human service work.


Handout: Know the order of the US presidents since the Great Depression, the decade during which they served, and important social welfare legislation passed during their administration


Be able to briefly define the following terms/concepts:


Victim blaming

Means-tested programs

Universal programs


Opportunity theory

Culture of Poverty theory

The New Deal and its programs

The War on Poverty and its programs

The Progressives (of the early 20th Century)


Third-party payment