National Human Services Assembly
By: Irv Katz, Bridget McCabe, Ilsa Flanagan
National Human Services Assembly with appreciation to FrameWorks Institute
It is a journey, an apt metaphor, because even when we reach our destination—a new and more relevant frame for human needs and human services that is widely adopted by the field—there will be implementation and adjustment and refinement over the years.
The image above symbolizes the effort: an understanding about the reality of the human services sector is clouded by the public’s strongly held perceptions and beliefs about human services organizations and programs. Resetting these perceptions and reframing our work to favorably reflect reality takes time.
Thank you for joining the National Assembly on this journey and for your patience as we progress. In the meantime, there is knowledge gained already that can be applied to improving the public’s understanding of the enterprise we call human services.
Why we’re reframing
The notion of finding a better way of talking about and advocating for human services resonated with NHSA members and others in the human services field from the start. You know the factors at play, perhaps the most prominent of which are that “human services are not understood or valued as part of the national purpose and we’re in an era when all non-defense public expenditures are questioned or tightly squeezed. NHSA and its partners, including American Public Human Services Association, FrameWorks Institute, and the Kresge and Annie E. Casey foundations, have spoken with thousands of individuals and organizations, almost all of which have said, “Let’s do this!”
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