Human services professionals are people who hold professional and paraprofessional jobs in such diverse settings as group homes and halfway houses; correctional, intellectual disability, and community mental health centers; family, child, and youth service agencies, and programs concerned with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging. Depending on the employment setting and the kinds of clients served there, job titles and duties vary a great deal.
Human Services Coordinators support those who provide direct client service by maintaining the internal systems of an organization, connecting service providers with clients, and sometimes providing direct social services to clients.
Our alumna Lorena Sanchez (2013) is an Evaluation Coordinator for a program run by the Department of Education.
I am an Evaluation Coordinator.
What is the broader field of industry in which this work exists?
NYC Early Intervention Program and the Committee on Preschool Special Education through the Department of Education.
What, in general, do you do as part of this job?
I accept referrals from coordinators, foster care/ACS workers, and parents to get children from birth to 5 yrs old evaluated for developmental delays. I facilitate the scheduling of evaluations between parents, therapists, and coordinators. I receive therapists’ reports of the children evaluated and upload them into the agency’s billing system. I explain the process of evaluations to parents and send them any paperwork they need. For CPSE, I speak with District Administrators to schedule appts where parents learn if their children are eligible for preschool services or not.
What are the pros and cons of this kind of job?
The PRO of this job is the ability to network easily. I’ve met many coordinators, district administrators, and therapists from other agencies and I’ve been able to establish great professional relationships. Also, I’ve learned a lot on how to detect signs of autism and what signs depict speech, physical, and occupational delays in early childhood.
The CON of this job is the high level of work that comes in on a daily basis. Also, there are many regulations and deadlines that need to be met through the respective programs which puts pressure on the job to be efficient.
What skills did you learn as an English major that you use in this job?
The skills that I use the most are grammar usage, punctuation, and sentence structure. I send approximately 90 emails daily to parents, therapists, and coworkers. Therapists email me updates on cases and I have to transcribe the information to children’s charts. Being able to write clearly and legibly is a big part of my job as therapists depend on my note taking so they can follow up with parents. Also, transcribing information is very important because what is written on the child’s chart is a form of evidence to the agency that appointments are being made (e.g. Cancelled, postponed, completed) and that the family is being given the help they need.
How have you learned to do this job?
I had some knowledge already about the Early Intervention Program. I worked for another Early Intervention Agency called Los Ninos Services as an administrative assistant in the billing department. I learned about the CPSE program when I became an evaluation coordinator in the current agency I’m working for.
How did you get this job?
I was referred to this job through a coworker.
For current students interested in this line of work, do you have any recommendations on what they can do now to start directing their career path?
My number one recommendation for current students would be to complete their Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in fields such as English, Psychology, or Social Work. These agencies prefer applicants with BA’s and/or MA’s because they are interested in applicants who can multitask efficiently and can transcribe information adequately. Also, I recommend students to refine their grammatical skills and social skills because it is imperative to this field of work. Fortunately, there are numerous Early Intervention agencies in New York City so students can go online or in person and apply.