ASS066-1 Understanding the Human Services

Assignment type
Outline the development of a human service profession/occupation from its inception to the current day, providing an analysis of its key moments, i.e. emergence, development and possible changes over time.
Weighting of assignment
Size or length of assessment
1500 words
Unit learning outcomes
1) Demonstrate an understanding of the emergence and development of a professional/occupational group and its main changes and achievements in terms of policy, professional status, power, education and influence.
2) Analyse the relationship between a professional/occupational group and a service-user group with a protected characteristic (age, sex, sexual orientation, religion and belief, race and ethnicity, gender reassignment, marriage and partnership, disability, pregnancy and maternity).

What am I required to do in this assignment?
Assignment 1 is a 1500-word essay where you demonstrate knowledge, understanding and analysis of the foundations, development and changes of a human service profession/occupation, with particular focus on policy and regulation, occupational closure strategies, status and power position in relation to other related professions/occupations, the job market and society. You should also look at the successes and the downfalls of the professional/occupational group chosen. You can choose a human service profession/occupation such as:
• Health Visitor
• Social Worker
• Mental Health Worker
• Child Abuse worker
• Police Officer
• Probation Officer
• Medical Doctor
• Psychologist
• Speech Therapist
• Nursing
• Midwifery
• Teacher/Teaching Assistant
• And so on (please see at the bottom of the page for more ideas of human service and helping professions; also, have a look at
The essay must incorporate the following:
(1) A description of the main duties, responsibilities and tasks of the chosen professional/occupational group and the types of service it provides.
(2) A review of the literature on how and why this professional/occupational group emerged. You must look at literature and research on your chosen professional/occupational group. Here you are focusing on the historical emergence and development of your chosen professional/occupational group, bringing together (summarising) what different studies and authors say. You should not describe one study after another e.g. simply have one paragraph saying study X says this, followed by a paragraph saying study Y says that, and so on.
(3) An analysis of relevant policy and legislation of your chosen professional/occupational group, assessing whether they are meeting the needs of your chosen professional/occupational group. A place to start your search would be the Department of Health ( and for policies prior to 2014
(4) Address changes to society which might be linked to the emergence, development and/or changes to your chosen professional/occupational group over time.
(5) Address the successes and downfalls of the professional/occupational role selected.
(6) An evidenced, reasoned and argued overall conclusion, as well as recommendations for the well-maintenance of the professional/occupational group selected.
(7) You are expected to draw on both academic texts and academic journals to support your discussion. The use of a minimum of five (5) sources is required to pass – of these a minimum of three (3) sources should be academic books or academic journals. Note: the 5 is a minimum – students are encouraged to carry out wider reading. Additionally, accessing government reports and policies is expected; however, these are not included in the 3 minimum academic sources required to pass.
(8) Your writing must be in essay format as outlined below and include all sections listed:
a) Title page – you can use the assignment title, or you can make up your own title.
b) Introduction to your chosen professional/occupational group – in the introduction you introduce the topic and state what the aims and objectives of your essay are. You outline what the paper will discuss in a structured way. You will say this paper will discuss X, Y and Z.
c) Body – this is where you outline in general what is known about your professional/occupational group, i.e. it gives a background to your essay, introducing the topic. You are giving an overview of what has been said in books, journals, reports, etc. on your chosen professional/occupational group – i.e. How and why did it emerge? What are its main duties/tasks/responsibilities/jurisdiction? What has its status and power position been in relation to other related professional/occupational groups? What is known about the professional/occupational group chosen? Who are the key writers and what do they say? Has the professional/occupational group undergone major changes? If yes, in what way? In this section you should also discuss policy and regulation. You can also use studies from other countries or compare the dynamics of the same professional/occupational group across countries.
d) Conclusion and recommendations – your recommendations towards the well-maintenance of the professional/occupational group selected are based on any issues highlighted in the studies you included in your paper and in your body section.
e) References
(9) As with ALL your written assignments, you must use the Harvard system of referencing to cite your sources in the body of your paper. Please pay attention to the referencing guidelines on secondary referencing.
(10) In all cases, in-text citations must match up with what appears in your reference list. Every in-text citation should correspond to a reference on the list at the end (and vice versa). An exception is when you cite a secondary source that you read about in a primary one. In that case only the primary source (the source you actually read) should appear in the list of references. Make sure you use the ‘cited in’ expression in the text if you use secondary referencing.
(11) Remember good written communication is about structuring your work so that your writing is clearly signposted and developed and you guide the reader logically from one section/subsection to the next.
(12) No more than 5 –10% of the assignment should be in the form of quotations.
(13) Proofread and edit your work before handing it in and/or ask a trusted person to read it through for you.
(14) Your work must be word processed, double spaced and page numbered. You must also include a word count. This is part of the assignment guidelines/task, so you are expected to follow these instructions.
(15) Please enter your student ID number as part of your title when uploading and submitting to BREO and put your student number (not name) on your work. For example, name you upload something like 10902888_Understanding_Human_Services_assignment_1 where 10902888 is your student number.
(16) Ensure you put your student number on your work but DO NOT put your name on your work.
What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)
You will need to evidence knowledge and understanding of how a human service or helping profession has evolved in an essay.

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How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

Your lectures and seminars will focus on theory of the professions and the emergence and changes of the service society and the human service professions/helping professions over time.

How will my assignment be marked?

Your assignment will be marked according to the threshold expectations and the criteria on the following page.

You can use them to evaluate your own work and consider your grade before you submit.

3rd Class – 40-49%
Lower 2nd – 50-59%
Upper 2nd – 60-69%
1st Class – 70%+


Answers question/completes task There is some engagement with the task, but not all learning outcomes are met. There is evidence of a lack of understanding, or care, in responding to the assignment brief. A competent but largely descriptive piece of work, which addresses most of the learning outcomes. There is an attempt at addressing the implied aspects of the task, rather than just the specified aspects. Learning outcomes are met in a comprehensive analytical response to the task. There is evidence of careful planning and all assessment criteria are addressed. Analytical essay, which demonstrates a rigorous approach to the task. An understanding of the assignment is evident.


Knowledge and understanding of relevant material There is some basic knowledge in the essay and a limited range of relevant material. Terminologies or language expected at this level are used either imprecisely, or not at all. Sound knowledge and understanding of key topics, material and data are present. The essay reflects less engagement with autonomous study than is expected, but the over result is satisfactory. There is clear evidence of varied and in-depth reading and of a willingness to use independently acquired knowledge. The essay shows significant comprehension of the topic as well as an interest in it. Evidence of sophisticated and varied knowledge displayed in a mature and balanced approach to the task. You demonstrate confidence and familiarity with theories, models and perspectives and so the essay is extremely convincing.

Clear, logical and coherent structure Ideas and arguments are presented in an illogical and disjointed manner at times and the contents are not convincingly communicated as a result. There is evidence of a lack of care and planning in the production of the essay, or of a lack of familiarity with the format. The essay has been produced in the required format with some care. There is an obvious attempt to structure and present a flowing piece of work, although it is not always successfully achieved. The essay is presented in an accurate and effective format. Ideas and arguments are discussed in a clear and appropriate style, and there is evidence of careful planning. The essay flows very well from beginning to end and is structured well, in order to achieve this. The standard of the essay is commendable as it is written and presented in a mature, intelligent and considered style. The arguments and ideas are expressed cleverly and carefully and so the overall result is a highly effective communication of the student’s intentions.

Referencing according to Faculty guidelines and range of sources The standard of referencing and citation is poor and does not show the development expected in this area. Texts and sources are limited, both in number and in quality. Many sources in the text do not appear in the reference list. The essay displays a useful level of reading, although there could be more engagement with academic sources. There is understanding of, and engagement with, the Harvard system of referencing and citation, although some basic errors remain unaddressed. There is clear evidence of wide and in-depth reading (more than the minimum of 5 sources and more than 3 academic sources); sources are varied, and most of the material is from primary sources. Care has been taken with referencing and citation, although there may be some minor inaccuracies in formatting. A highly creditable range of academic sources has been used (more than the minimum of 5 sources and more than 3 academic sources), with an emphasis on primary texts. These have been cited accurately and carefully throughout and represent a continuous engagement with reading throughout the essay. Reference list has been ordered and formatted with accuracy.
English expression and grammar, spelling and punctuation Expression is often unclear, and meanings may not be satisfactorily communicated. There are regular errors of grammar, spelling and punctuation that should have been addressed at this stage. The essay is largely written in clear and effective English; however, there may be poor choices of words and phrasing and some uncorrected errors. Sentences are clear, accurate and expressive. There are very few grammatical or spelling errors. The essay is both highly literate and articulate; you have developed an appropriate style throughout the essay that communicates your ideas most effectively at this level.

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