Direct service work is where “the rubber meets the road”; where the needs of people who
receive various types of human services are addressed. However, good direct service
work can get lost in all the other things that surround and impinge on it, such as laws and
regulations, union rules, family concerns and demands, etc. This workshop is intended to
be an opportunity for direct human service workers and those who supervise them to
reflect on the challenge of trying to be a good server to people in need when, for all sorts
of reasons, that is not easy to do. Family members, volunteers, direct service workers, and
those in supervisory or administrative positions will all find this workshop beneficial.
The workshop will outline different kinds of direct service, such as teaching, nursing,
assisting with daily living, whether at home or in another setting, and employment
assistance. It will explain how necessary and meritorious such service is, and then
describe some characteristics that distinguish good direct service from service that is
harmful, bad, or simply indifferent.
The workshop will next present some of the most common obstacles to good service, and
explain why it is so hard to provide good direct service. These obstacles include services
being very formalized or rigid, and societal values that do not support good service, direct
service work, servers, and the people being served being viewed as of low value.
Furthermore, some kinds of direct service work are seen as the last option for people who
cannot get any other kind of employment. Also, services are often expected to do more
than they can realistically accomplish.
The last part of the workshop will review some possible actions for direct service workers
and those who supervise them in light of all that has been covered. These actions have to
do with being or becoming a person of moral integrity within problem-ridden systems. A
number of these actions will require the service worker to reflect on what kind of person
they want to be. While very helpful, these are not actions that will fix all the problems that
will be reviewed.
The workshop consists of lectures, with opportunities for questions and discussion during
Co-sponsored by the Southern Ontario Training Group, NABORS, and Brampton Caledon Community LivingView Event Flyer