Application: Human Services Philosophy Statement and Portfolio

For the purposes of a professional portfolio, artifacts are considered documented evidence of learning in a specific discipline, and are presented in the form of academic assignments and accomplishments, philosophy statements, assessment and case management plans, professional certifications, documentation from internships and service learning, reflective journals, and résumés (Wang, 2009).

Much like architects and engineers rely on blue prints to build buildings, human services professionals rely on their philosophy statement to guide the direction of their professional practice. A philosophy statement is a clear and succinct document that expresses your influences, values, areas of expertise, and who you are as a professional.

Your philosophy statement comprises the first section of your portfolio. A portfolio is a prepared collection of evidence (i.e., your best coursework, résumé, awards, and certifications), documenting your academic experience as a human services student (Lanigan, 2008). A portfolio serves to help you compile and organize your academic coursework for presentation to employers, social service agencies, scholarship committees, and graduate programs.

For this Assignment, you develop a personal human services philosophy statement. You also reflect upon those things that you can include in your human services philosophy statement that encapsulate your feelings and ideas about becoming a human services professional.

To Prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review the article, “Your Philosophy of Social Work: Developing a Personal Professional Definition to Guide Thought and Practice.”
  • Review the article, “An Agenda for the Future: Student Portfolios in Social Work Education.”
  • Review Christen Jancola’s webpage, “Professional Philosophy of Helping.” Pay particular attention to how the portfolio is organized and what the student emphasizes.
  • Review Linda M. Buskala’s webpage, “Personal Philosophy Statement of Human Services.” Pay close attention to how the student organizes and articulates her philosophy.
  • Review Thomas Bonnington’s webpage, “Personal Philosophy of Human Services.” Pay close attention to how his philosophy is similar to, and/or different from, Buskala’s philosophy.

The Assignment:

Submit by Day 7 a 2- page document that includes your human services philosophy statement and your analysis of your human services philosophy statement.

  • Develop a human services philosophy statement.
  • Analyze human services philosophy statement in relation to human services practice using the Philosophy of Human Services Delivery Guide provided in this week’s Learning Resources for inclusion in your portfolio.
  • Be sure to include your personal and professional values and belief systems.
  • Be sure documents are free from any “track-changes” mark-ups.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Lanigan, J. (2008). The human service internship portfolio: Benefits for student interns and supervising faculty. Human Service Education, 27(1), 100–109.

Wang, S. (2009). Inquiry-directed organization of e-portfolio artifacts for reflection. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 5, 419–433.


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