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Introduction to Human Services and Social Change

History, Practice, and Policy

Author Lori Gardinier, Emily A. Mann, Matthew Lee, and Lydia Ogden

Publication Date - 24 August 2023

ISBN: 9780197524411

240 pages
7 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

The only human services textbook on the market to integrate service-learning experiences with the text


Introduction to Human Services and Social Change: History, Practice, and Policy is a core, introductory text that provides a foundation for future human service professionals interested in the intersection of theory, research, and practice. The text provides an exciting blend of theory and research, and it also uses frameworks derived from contemporary learning science to provide students with thought-provoking opportunities to apply concepts to service learning, case studies, and historical and contemporary events. This text challenges students to view the role of human services professionals within a complex and interwoven system while equipping them to practice through evidence-based primary, secondary, and tertiary strategies. Introduction to Human Services and Social Change helps students develop a foundation for understanding identity and diversity as it relates to structural inequality and treatment approaches. It also includes the role of professional ethics and how they are applied to practice.


  • Each chapter's "Spotlight on Service-Learning" section assists students in applying concepts to real life situations
  • Case studies throughout the text encourage students to engage with material and apply what they learn to a specific situation
  • The "Try it Yourself" feature boxes assist students in thinking critically about the material and applying it to their own lives and experiences

About the Author(s)

Lori Gardinier is the Director of the Human Services Program at Northeastern University, and a Senior Research Associate at the Dukakis for Urban and Regional Policy.

Emily A. Mann is a teaching professor in the Human Services Program and a senior research associate at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.

Matthew Lee is a teaching professor of in the Human Services program at Northeastern University.

Lydia Ogden is an associate professor at Simmons University School of Social Work.


"Introduction to Human Services and Social Change is very well-organized and easy to understand. It covers important aspects in great detail, and is beneficial to anyone who is seeking a profession in the field of human services."--Asmita Saha, Auburn University

"This text provides an overview of the human service professions including, but not limited to social policy, skills, diversity, and how to avoid burnout through self care. It's clear the text makes diversity and inclusivity a priority, as many perspectives and examples are shared from varying identities and cultures."--Claire Critchlow, Metropolitan State University of Denver

"Good foundation text for introduction to the human services profession that provides an overview of key theories, important issues, practice skills and incorporates ethics and attention to diversity throughout."--Jennifer Arny, Central Ohio Technical College

Table of Contents

    About the Authors

    Chapter 1: Human Services Practice
    Chapter 2: Early History of the Human Services Field
    Chapter 3: Understanding and Responding to Social Problems
    Chapter 4: Introduction to Direct Practice
    Chapter 5: Direct Practice Techniques
    Chapter 6: Values and Ethics in Human Services Practice
    Chapter 7: Diversity and Multiculturalism in Human Services Practice
    Chapter 8: Managing Human Services Organizations
    Chapter 9: Community-Based Practice and Organizing
    Chapter 10: Understanding Social Policy
    Chapter 11: Global Human Services
    Chapter 12: Stress and Self-Care