Human services agencies can be defined as institutions formed with an aim of providing services that improve the well being of their clients. They are basically involved in providing or assisting in provision of support to people who are in needs in a particular community.
The support may be in terms of basic requirements such as food, housing, clothing as well as health; physical or mental. Members of a community usually turn to Human Services Agencies for help especially when the situation is beyond their capability.
In this case the agency is responsible for bringing back the situation into its normal state. In other word, Human Services Agencies provide physical and emotional needs to people.
In order to achieve this, the agency uses the best strategies to address the situation. The most common being mediation and advocating which in most cases they are used together (Umbreit, 2000).
Mediation can be defined as a method of resolving disputes between people by introducing a third party to intervene between them. In this case, the two conflicting parties are assisted in finding a common ground. The third party does not take sides and is required to hear from both parties. Advocacy on the other hand involves a third party who speaks for this/her client.
Existing Integration of Mediation and Advocacy within a Human Services Agency
U. S. department of Air Force is one agency that integrates mediation and advocacy in conflict resolution. They use their web site to offer information for the human services through Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. Their target population includes researchers, government and members of the Air Force.
Through this program, the agency meets the needs of the people using the Air Force resources. In addition, it provides training and professionals who provide support to other people and the government.
National center for state courts is a Human Service Agency that operates on court basis in relation to alternative dispute resolution. It seeks to address issues from a wide area of contexts including schools, government and members of the public.
The core method used in conflict resolution by this agency is mediation. Since it deals with courts, advocacy and mediation are employed especially in civil and criminal cases.
U. S. department of justice office of dispute resolution is another human service agency that uses both mediation and advocacy.
Their target population is the entire community. It seeks to provide justice for people who have been oppressed. Moreover, it emphasizes on using the best methods in solving the conflicts among people as well as those involving government states (United States Department of Justice Office of Dispute Resolution, 2010).
Merits of Mediation as a Method of Conflict Resolution
Mediation is the best method of offering human services to the parties discussed in the agencies above. This is because mediation employs dialogue in which a given population is given an opportunity to present his/her argument.
In this case both parties come up with a solution that favors both sides. It is the best because parties involved are given the power to make decisions unlike other methods in which a third party make decision for them. Mediation provides a win-win situation (Haley and Jacqueline, 1998).
Methods employed in providing human services should be effective and efficient. Since at the time of employing them the situation is usually worse, they should thrive to better the situation.
They should therefore improve the situation without creating a win-lose situation. Mediation and advocacy method of providing human services ensure that the lives of affected people are made better without exploiting the other party.
Haley, N. & Jacqueline, M. (1998). Lawyers, Clients and Mediation: Center for Analysis of Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems. NY: University of Notre Dame.
Umbreit, M. (2000). The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation: An Essential Guide to Practice and Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
United States Department of Justice Office of Dispute Resolution. (2010). United States Department of Justice Office of Dispute Resolution: Documents. Web.