Human Services Monograph Series
Audrey C. Cohen
Project SHARE, Number 9, September 1978

The Citizen as the Integrating Agent: Productivity in the Human Services


Citizen in Need of Service
Client - Early and Current Perspectives
Self-Help Groups
Need for a New Curriculum
Scope of Change
Changes in Assessment Criteria
Empowerment Examples
Service Ethic in Elementary Education
The Professions


Audrey C. Cohen is an activist for social justice and is founder and president of the College for Human Services in New York City. Created in 1964 as the Women's Talent Corps, the College changed its name in 1967 when it designed and implemented a new model for professional education. Since the early 1970's, with support from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the College has been able to develop and disseminate its graduate and undergraduate educational model across the country. Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, for example, has instituted a new graduate program in human services under the aegis of the College. In addition, the College has established branches in Florida and California.

Ms. Cohen is also the founder and organizer of the American Council for Human Service, a national association for the human service profession. She was a member of the Newman Task Force on Higher Education and a national consultant to the Post-Secondary Alternatives Study of the California State Legislature. She has also served on the Advisory Committee on Accreditation and Institutional Eligibility, of the U. S. Office of Education. and was chairwoman of the H.E.W. Task Force on Women, Education and Work.


I am grateful to the following members of the staff and student practitioners of the College for Human Services for their assistance in preparing this monograph: Deborah Allen, Roy Okado. Clairann Redmond, and Barbara Walton. I especially wish to acknowledge the efforts of Alida Mesrop.

Funds for the development of the professional education model and the constructive action described in the monograph were provided in part by grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, H.E.W., the Department of Labor and the Department of Employment of the City of New York.


When historians look retrospectively at life in twentieth century America, one of the phenomena they will undoubtedly examine is the insistent demand for social justice, and especially for equal opportunity in employment and education. They will note that social critics demanded a world in which, regardless of race, color, sex or religion, talents and abilities were encouraged to develop and then were appropriately rewarded. At the same time they will note that reality fell far short of this ideal. It is apparent to me that social justice requires power not to be lodged in a disproportionately small number of persons and no group be excluded from the power structure. Social justice will be a reality only when national, State and local goals reflect the needs of all constituencies and when all constituencies have a voice in determining their goals.

This is no easy task. Traditionally, Americans have left government to their representatives, business to the corporate establishment and policy making to "those who know best," only raising anguished voices when there has been blatant abuse in the various systems. This is the antithesis of social justice as defined above. To have an impact on policies, one cannot be quiescent. In a real sense, one must be "empowered." One must be informed, able to negotiate with or through the many systems which affect one's life and capable of using these systems on one's own behalf. One must take control of one's own life. If there is to be social justice, citizens must act as integrating agents for their own needs.

There are ways one can encourage a movement to this kind of empowerment--and thus, towards social justice. One way is specific: we need a different helping profession grounded in a new mode of practice. This will allow a new collaborative relationship between the professional and the service receiver, and, equally important, a transfer of capability from the professional to the individual in need of assistance. The second is more general, though no less critical: to effect empowerment on a large scale we must rethink and redefine professional education as a first step, and all of education as the next step.

In this monograph I will attempt such a redefinition by presenting a new model which clearly reflects the priorities of our changing society. This model stems from and reflects economic developments which require us to reexamine the whole area of education. As Daniel Bell has documented in his important study, The Coming of Post Industrial Society, 1 we have moved from an industrial to a post industrial society. Over 66 percent of the work force is now engaged in service occupations. By the year 2000, estimates suggest this figure will rise to 80 percent of the work force.

Most of us were educated in an industrial model of education that glorified the entrepreneur, the captain of industry, the powerful loner. The model I suggest is different. It is based on a service ethic. It recognizes that to care about other human beings is important and satisfying, that most people will earn their livelihoods through direct person-to-person work, and that rewards can and should come from doing a good job for others. The suggested model elevates humane and caring values, which previously have been considered inconsequential, to prime importance and demonstrates how these values can be integrated and taught in the classroom. This orientation represents a total turnabout. It is the exact opposite of the selfish individualism which has too often characterized our past, which is still reflected in educational patterns, and which is inappropriate to a service ethic. If we continue in our earlier mode, the end results can easily be a fragmented, self-defeating society. Instead, we must spread our new caring values.

From birth to death, education and the helping professions permeate our lives. They are major vehicles through which we can foster the service ethic. Education has always been seen as the road to economic independence and opportunity. The professions, too, we are told. are there to serve us in time of need and to help us grow, develop, and achieve our potential. Today, the reality is often far different. Education is far less related to the real world in which we earn our livelihoods. The professions are far more committed to specialized, fragmented service and to protecting their own "turf." Working to help others and to empower citizens is all but forgotten.

Yet there are signs of hope. A whole new service area--the human services--is growing steadily. A decade ago the term "human services" did not even exist in our working vocabulary. It was used for the first time when the College for Human Services took its name in 1967.* Since then, use of the term has proliferated.

*On September 2,1975, registration of the name, The College for Human Services, was approved by the U.S. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks under the Trademark Act of 1964, and is protected under the provisions of that Act. The trademark statement includes this sentence: "First use at least as early as January, 1967; In commerce at least as early as January, 1967."

Established centers of learning as well as professional organizations have adopted it--in most cases, unfortunately, not to identify new approaches to service or a concern with social justice, but simply to re-label already established traditional programs. The real significance of "human service" remained unexamined.

Immediate acceptance of the term merely signified the realization that "humaneness" was somehow lacking in service and that service had little real effect on helping citizens to assume control of their lives. It indicated a theoretical recognition that a different approach to service was needed; an approach which would make a substantial difference in the lives of those who needed help. Only when we can in fact make such a difference in people's lives and only when we can institute new thinking and new processes that actually lead to self-sufficiency and "empowerment," will we have a realistic chance to achieve social justice. Both human service practice and education for such practice will have to be drastically altered before empowerment and social justice will be within our reach.


Empowerment as the Ultimate Service Goal: To posit empowerment--the ability of people to manage their lives, to recognize and meet their needs, and to fulfill their potential as creative, responsible and productive members of society to the extent compatible with the empowerment of others--as the ultimate goal of human service: delivery and to tacitly agree that it is a noble ideal towards which we should strive are not enough. It is necessary to specify how the ideal can be translated into achievable action and how education and implementation can be built on the same base.

Implementing the concept of empowerment involves five essential elements or "dimensions" which remain constant: 1) establishing and achieving appropriate purposes; 2) clarifying one's values and dealing with value issues; 3) effectively understanding self and others; 4) understanding and working effectively with systems; 5) developing and using needed skills. These parameters provide a series of guidelines for the professional to use in exploring the needs of particular groups and defining appropriate outcomes. Empowerment is measured in terms of outcomes. We can tell whether a citizen is empowered by his or her ability to set purposes, to clarify value issues, to understand self and others, to negotiate systems, and to employ relevant skills. If the citizen can function in each of these five dimensions, that citizen will have developed the capacity to manage his or her own life.

Within the human services, there is almost universal agreement that effective service. involves an active client role in service planning, delivery and assessment. The citizen viewed as the integrator of his or her own services--that is, the citizen who is empowered--is the logical end of citizen participation. This person knows when professional services are needed, where to go for advice, help or treatment, and takes an active decisionmaking role in determining the course of his life.

We are, however, a long way from even the beginning of significant citizen participation in service delivery. Real participation of citizens has been easier to talk about than to implement. It is my belief, however, that the goal of citizen empowerment and the role of the client as an effective integrating agent are one and the same, and that we must actively move toward its achievement. If we do not do this, if there is no redefinition of the citizen role--or client role--we will have service delivery patterns and systems that will continue to be fragmented and unsatisfactory, as they have been in the past. Further, this redefinition cannot be effected without concurrent changes in professional education, the professional role, and agency service systems. If we took at each of these components in turn, and in relation to citizen empowerment, how they relate to the basic concept and how each contributes to its achievement should be clear.

The Citizen in Need of Service

The citizen in need of services falls into one of two categories in terms of his capacity to integrate services. There are, for example. a large number of self-sufficient individuals who need only direction--a self-help guide, for example, to help them make plans for meeting their service needs and for assessing results. In the second category, there are those who 'require more intensive, long-term education and training before they can reach their own individual levels of self-sufficiency. These people cannot yet manage their lives with simple instructions.

In this category, some severely handicapped persons will never become totally empowered. The goal cart only be to help them learn to manage their dependency. Others, such as youngsters growing into adulthood and adults whose lack of self-confidence handicaps them or whose problems overwhelm them to a point of impotency, can be helped toward empowerment. Over a period of time, they can move away from a state of total dependency and begin to make decisions about their own lives. Eventually, it is hoped that they can acquire the knowledge and confidence to take control of their lives, to make their own decisions, and to seek the help of professionals when needed to help them carry out these decisions.

Empowerment as a goal of service delivery has important implications for the citizen. It implies a new and different relationship between citizen and professional. It implies that the role of both the citizen and the professional will be that of educator. Empowerment of citizens as a basic goal of human service practice dictates a virtual turnabout from the traditional dominant position of the professional to a position of equality between client and professional.

The Client - Early and Current Perspectives

Historically, the word "client" has implied a passive role in the service relationship and has contributed to an underlying philosophy which holds the ' client to be subservient in regard to a second person who exerts a dominant influence. The word goes back to the French "to hear, to listen" and defines, according to the Oxford Dictionary, "one who is at the call of the patron." In Roman times, the term represented a "plebian under the patronage of a patrician," one who was "bound in return for certain services." In the growth of the professions--of medicine, social work, law, education, this inequality between client and professional, this imposition of the latter's judgment upon the former, has continued. Until recently, a doctor's word was never to be questioned, a lawyer knew what he was talking about, and a teacher knew what was best for pupils.

It is only in the past five or ten years that the concept of "imposing" service on a client has been seriously challenged, and that the client has been viewed as a citizen with certain rights. "Citizen" implies equality; "client" does not. "Citizen" is harmonious with the concept of empowerment; "client" is not. Therefore, in this monograph the person in need of services is referred to as a "citizen." The revelation that decisions made by relatively few persons in positions of power have affected the health, safety and welfare of large numbers of Americans has started a consciousness--raising process that has spread across the country. From such beginnings, concern for the consumer has spread into other areas. It is increasingly reflected in new laws and court decisions. These challenge traditional assumptions made about dependent persons and the way services should be structured for them. The trends in service delivery which emerge from these developments are compatible with the concept of empowerment. They support a belief that all persons must be aided and encouraged to realize their own potential and that the realization of this potential is critical to empowerment.

Some of the decisions that have begun to affect the definition of human services and clarify the relationship between service and empowerment can be summarized:

In the area of mental health, the trend since 1966 has been toward a greater concern for due process, a search for possible alternatives to total confinement, such as outpatient and foster care, and a demand for adequate, appropriate treatment.2 In Wyatt v. Stickney, the court affirmed the constitutional right of the mentally ill to an individualized treatment program based on a statement of the patient's problems and needs and the "least restrictive conditions necessary to achieve the purposes of commitment." In June 1975, the Supreme Court held by unanimous decision in O'Connor v. Donaldson that the mentally ill cannot be contained against their wish if they 1) are not being offered treatment, 2) are not dangerous to self or other, 3) are able to live in the community with the help of friends or relatives.3

In New York, the rights of mentally retarded people are eloquently expressed in the Willowbrook Consent Decree, which states that "retarded persons, regardless of the degree of handicapping conditions, are capable of physical, intellectual, emotional, and social growth," and further, that "a certain level of affirmative intervention and programming is necessary if that capacity for growth and development is to be preserved, and regressions prevented."4 Appendix A of the decree details standards for the care of retarded people: ."The staff shall prepare residents to move from 1) more to less structured living: 2) larger to smaller facilities: 3) larger to smaller living units; 4) group to individual residences 5) segregated from the community to integrated with community living and programming; 6) dependent to independent living." It decrees that "the institution's rhythm of life shall be modified to conform with practices in the community."5

In the area of services to the aging, a committee of the Florida State Senate has estimated that 30 percent to 70 percent of the aging now in institutions could be independent or semi-independent if foster homes, day hospitals, services to families, etc., were provided. Institutional care is not only the most expensive form of ongoing care, but it results in desocialization and may finally lead to senility. Furthermore, "many elderly persons dread and resist institutionalization as long as possible, and the dignity and happiness of these persons should be a primary consideration. "6

In the field of child welfare, a study prepared for the State Board of Social Welfare estimates that over 55 percent of the children in foster care in New York City last year were initially assigned to the wrong kinds of programs. It recommends among other things that families should be aided to keep their own children.7 Bernard Shapiro, Executive Director of the Board, says that besides "enormous savings in human terms," a reform of the foster care system would produce savings of "at least one or two million dollars" annually.

In the area of corrections, while not everyone agrees that work-release programs, halfway houses, etc., are acceptable alternatives for offenders, overcrowding and the enormous costs of institutionalization are likely to force a greater use of alternate solutions. In a speech at Smith College, Jessica Mitford said, "One of the first things I was told when I began my work on prisons . . . was that it costs as much to keep a man in San Quentin as it would to send him to Harvard--which suggests the interesting thought of possible exchange scholarships between these institutions."8

A major thrust of the new directions that have been discussed is individualized programming, and this is true also in the area of special education. In 1973, New York State Commissioner Ewald Nyquist, in the Riley Reid decision, ordered New York City to provide appropriate educational services for all its handicapped children. This mandate has now been enacted at the Federal level in the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142), which establishes the right of all handicapped children to an individualized education in the least restrictive environment feasible.9 The concept of individualization expressed in this Act and in State laws calls for a deemphasis on "stereotyping and self-actualizing labels." The Public Education Association, in a statement on special education, has asked that the Board of Education act on the principles embodied in the law by providing a "continuum of services," including counseling, resource rooms, undifferentiated classes for the handicapped in regular schools, and day treatment, as well as residential programs. According to the Public Education Association, PL 94-142 "has something more: it has a point of view, a conceptual framework, a philosophy that many believe may lead to the answers that have escaped us for the last 20 years."10

Excessive rigidity and fragmentation in the organization of service are a particular cause of complaints by the public, and these complaints are slowly being addressed. In commenting on the present organization of services to the handicapped in New York City, the Public Education Association says. "Centralization is expensive and inefficient. It requires layers of duplicate administrative, supervisory, and program development staffing, has a reduced capacity to use local school and community-based resources, and depersonalizes the service process."11 The Queensboro Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children speaks just as strongly about the fragmentation of services: "There are cases where as many as twenty-two agencies are involved--day care, public school, child protection, special school. police, hospital, court, addiction services, public assistance, housing, foster care, mental health, residential facility, homemaker services, youth services, vocational training, legal aid, community services, et al."12

These developments imply tremendous changes in how persons in the second category--those who are not yet self-sufficient and must be helped toward empowerment--are limited by society's responses. Institutions that maintained people with minimal care, for example, are now expected to provide educational and training programs for them with the goal of eventually returning them, if possible, to their communities.

To work cooperatively with individuals and help them toward empowerment involves a different type of practitioner, one who might be called a "human service professional."* Such a professional is involved in "direct care," working cooperatively, for however long is necessary, with the citizen in need, and one who deals with all the interrelated problems a citizen may have. This professional does not take the place of the social worker, counselor, psychologist, physical therapist, or classroom teacher. Such a person maximizes the resources offered, shares workloads, and acts as a coordinator in the life of the citizen in need of help, working together with that citizen to determine courses of action, to resolve differences, to reach consensus and to coordinate services. Encouraging, teaching, respecting and helping the citizen move toward greater independence and assumption of responsibility are the aims of the human service professional.

*The June 1974 Conference to Found a New Profession, sponsored by the College for Human Services and held at Columbia University, New York City, marked the formal establishment of the human service profession. It was at this conference that the new professional role was first defined and that a broad spectrum of national decisionmakers voiced their support for the profession and its practitioner, the human service professional.

Self-Help Groups

The need for this kind of profession is evidenced by the recent proliferation of citizen self-help groups. In response to a growing feeling among consumers that professionals do not base their practice on the needs of citizens, many have turned to organizations which stand for the power of individuals to help themselves. According to Leon Levy, there are five criteria for a self-help group:

1. Purpose. Its primary purpose is to provide help and support for its members in dealing with their problems and in improving their psychological functioning and effectiveness.

2. Origin and sanction. Its origin and sanction for existence rest with the members of the group themselves, rather than with some external agency or authority.

3, Source of help. It relies upon its own members' efforts, skills, knowledge, and concern as its primary source of help, with the structure of the relationship between members being one of peers, so far as help--giving and support are concerned. Where professionals participate in the group's meetings .... they do so at the pleasure of the group and are cast in an ancillary role.

4. Composition. It is generally composed of members who share a common core of life experience and problems.

5. Control. Its structure and mode of operation are under the control of members although they may, in turn, draw upon professional guidance and various theoretical and philosophical frameworks.13

According to Levy, "the members themselves, rather than professionals, have primary control over group functioning."14 In general, the thrust of self-help movements stems from a growing dissatisfaction with professional educational structures which do not posit the centrality of the citizen. The five criteria indicate that citizens with specific problems feel they can be better helped by their peers than by professionals trained to assist them.

The human service profession is in agreement with the philosophy of the self-help groups, i.e., that the ultimate goal of the service relationship is the empowerment of the citizen. The self-help groups have accepted this premise as part of the rationale. In the short run, however, there may be a considerable interval before complete autonomy is reached. It is during this time that the new kind of professional is needed--one who accepts as a personal raison d'etre the needs of the citizen. Building on the self-help group's realization that the integrated citizen himself is the key to autonomy, I believe we can construct a new education model which will produce a professional who is truly useful to people.

Need for New Curriculum

Citizen empowerment as the ultimate goal of the service relationship is not part of traditional professional education or of the way in which education is assessed. More important, it is inconsistent with the ever-growing emphasis on specialization and on administrative work as the path to status and economic reward. Let me outline a conceptual framework which incorporates professional preparation, assessment and practice, and could be the foundation for achieving citizen empowerment. All of its components stem from the concept of performance and are based on the integration of theory and practice.

This blend of theory and practice would prevail throughout professional preparation. A student would spend part of each week in formal classroom settings exploring theory from many disciplines for its relevance to practice. The remainder of the week would consist of an agency placement where these theories would be applied, tested and evaluated, and where additional seminars, lectures and other preparation would take place. In this way, agencies would become partners in the professional preparation and adjuncts to formal educational institutions, having made commitments to work towards empowerment and to allow, and in fact demand, that student practitioners structure their practice under a new modality.

With these holistic service and performance goals, a different curriculum is required.15 To develop a curriculum that focuses on effective performance, it is first necessary to identify key aspects of human service work that, quantitatively and qualitatively, make a difference in the lives of human beings. Research has identified eight such areas as essential to human service work.16 Figure 1 indicates the eight major performance areas which have been identified as essential to human service work. The eight areas are:

I. Assume responsibility for lifelong learning.

II. Develop professional relationships with citizens and coworkers.

III. Work with others in groups.

IV. Function as a teacher.

V. Function as a counselor.

VI. Function as community liaison.

VII. Function as a supervisor.

VIII. Act as a change agent.

These eight areas--I have termed them "crystals"--are, in a sense, an inclusive description of effective human service. Most of them will be a part of any helping relationship. If we look briefly at each of them, this becomes clearer.

The first area, becoming a lifelong learner, underscores the responsibility of a practitioner to augment any formal learning program with a program of independent study which responds to the demands of the agency, the citizen and the professional's own special interests and needs. The professional must accept this responsibility and develop and apply the planning. assessment and research skills it involves.

The second, developing professional relationships, speaks directly to a dilemma often faced by the professional--the needs of citizens versus the conflicting expectations of professional peers. Professionals must know how to build a network of positive relationships which have as their purpose and result the empowerment of citizens.

The third, working with others in groups, is not as limited in scope as it is often thought to be. Every citizen is a member of a variety of groups and needs to be perceived, worked with, and empowered not only as an individual but as a participant in these groups. They include families, people living together in a ward or residence, teams of specialized professionals, members of community organizations, and all the other individuals with whom a citizen interacts in various group situations.




















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The fourth, functioning as a teacher, is certainly one of the major components of human service practice. It the aim of human service is to empower, professionals must be ready to share their knowledge and skills. Citizens who achieve a significant degree of empowerment not only become more effective as learners but will themselves become teachers in their important relationships, as sons and daughters. wives and husbands, parents, friends, workers and members of community groups.

The fifth, being an effective counselor, is another basic component of human service practice. This is not limited to those who can pay for special counseling assistance. Human service professionals must be prepared to provide citizens with the kind and amount of assistance they need in order to become self-directed.

The sixth critical area highlights functioning as a community liaison as an important part of human service practice. Each citizen is part of a community. That community is both a resource for the citizen needing assistance and a system with its own preferences and needs. The professional must know how to work in both contexts.

The seventh area of ability, functioning as a supervisor, recognizes that to have the fullest impact on service, professionals must be skilled at helping other professionals work effectively. Practitioners must be ready to share leadership and assume the responsibility of teaching new principles and skills to coworkers while continuing direct service with a citizen.

The final performance area, acting as a change agent, underscores an aspect of service that is implicit in all the other areas. The commitment to empowerment and the effort to help persons become empowered are by their very nature efforts to create change. This change affects agency practice and leads to new approaches which improve service. Professionals must be able to manage change and respond to it in ways that benefit their constituency.

These eight aspects of human service performance are the major areas of work that students would have to master before graduating. They allow a human service practitioner to work in a generic way. In a given week, for example, a practitioner might work in groups or with individuals in a teaching situation or in a counseling situation.

Figure 2 identifies a series of significant dimensions of performance. These have already been identified as forming the parameters of empowerment. That is, in addition to eight major performance areas, there are five major aspects of performance that make a difference in service delivery no matter what the situation and must be reflected in a new curriculum.

The first dimension relates to purpose, it underscores the ability to establish goals and work toward them. Many practitioners do not work with this clear sense of purpose, but in short-term, fragmented ways. This dimension focuses on determining purpose, on working toward it and on knowing if it has been achieved.



Copyright Ó by the College for Human Services

The second dimension is the area of values and ethics. It is the ability to know our own values, those of the citizen with whom one is working, and those of other professionals. It underscores the relationship of these values to action. Many of us are very much in touch with the personal value base which we bring to a human intervention. We may, however, be less concerned with the values of the person we are trying to help. The human service professional is conscious of both and of the critical role which values play in service delivery.

The third dimension, self and others, means understanding oneself as a practitioner in relation to others. It requires a very conscious understanding of any human being with whom one is working in a professional relationship, both colleagues and persons in the community.

The fourth dimension, systems, focuses on the micro- and macro-systems which the practitioner must be aware of and able to utilize in order to help the citizen.

Dimension five relates to skills--significant skills that must be developed in each of the eight performance areas. These are discrete skills that one needs in order to be successful in a service intervention. If one is working in the context of groups, for example, one has to be able to take process notes, to know when to intervene in a group situation, or when to be supportive of the group. These are all skills which need to be developed in a group context.

These dimensions act as a frame of reference for the total educational and practice experience. They describe classes students would attend as they learn and are assessed from the perspectives of these constants. In this way, students would then develop a way of analyzing performance. Work areas might shift, but the dimensions would remain firm. They cut through learning, professional development and professional assessment.

Dimensions give us a concrete tool to help identify theory for human service practice. By using them, we can begin to see how we might use major knowledge from the sciences, social sciences and the humanities on behalf of human service work. For example, in the purpose dimension, aspects of logic and philosophy are critical. For the values area, philosophy and ethics are two major bodies of knowledge from which material ought to be extrapolated and brought to bear on service. Self and others includes a great deal of psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Systems draws from political science, public administration, law, economics, and history. The final dimension pulls together key skills from various professional areas. Such a curriculum can be called transdisciplinary, for it shows learning and knowledge come from a wide range of sources, not from self-contained disciplines. Organizing knowledge around areas of ability and dimensions of performance is a totally new, exciting and practical concept.

The intersection of areas of performance or "crystals" and dimensions in Figure 3 illustrates the general concept of the human service profession and of human service practice. Whether one is working in a hospital, a day care center, or a mental retardation facility, this concept would facilitate integrated service rather than a fragmented approach. Human service professionals would perceive their work as a totality not only meeting the needs of the citizen but also as a learning process which helps the same citizen become empowered.


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Figure 4, is a performance grid, or a way of looking at this generic curriculum. The eight major areas of performance are charted horizontally; vertically, there are the five dimensions. Together they make up a grid, which constitutes the new educational model. The student focuses on one major performance area at a time. Each is developed through the integration of theory and practice. As they move to each new area, students integrate earlier performance areas and thus begin to work generically.

To show how such a design might function. let us take one of the "crystals" of ability, "to function as a counselor." and attempt to illustrate how a student practitioner might move through this area (See Figure 5). Values and moral issues will be dealt with, suggesting certain questions and areas of discussion. To what extent is it possible or desirable for the counselor to remain neutral in assisting people to recognize their feelings and make decisions about their lives? To what extent can values and behavior be attributed to cultural influences? To deal with such questions, one must know the underlying concepts relating to mental and emotional development. One must be familiar with major counseling constructs and modalities, including their aims, assumptions and value implications. Students must consider the implications of cultural and role differences for counseling processes, and examine arguments for and against the thesis that counseling is most effective when carried out in a compatible cultural milieu.

Certain value premises are inherent in this dimension of the counseling crystal: by recognizing and dealing with their feelings, people enhance their ability to lead rewarding and productive lives; every person has both the capacity and right to understand individual feelings and needs, to find ways of working with them and to contribute to individual growth and satisfaction without infringing upon the rights of others; a continuing effort to identify and deal with one's own feelings and needs is essential if a human service counselor is to be effective; citizens have a right and practitioners an obligation to make social systems and institutions responsible to their needs, as long as this does not interfere with the rights of others.

The prospective reading list for such a dimension is substantial and could include such selections as: Baldwin, Sonny's Blues; Baier, The Moral Point of View; Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents; Fromm, Man for Himself; Hellman, Pentimento: Maslow. Farther Reaches of Human Nature; Rogers, Client Centered Therapy and Personal Power; Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions; New York State Mental Hygiene Law; recent Supreme Court decisions.

Self-knowledge as a process and a tool in counseling is certainly one aspect of the dimension which focuses on understanding oneself and others. Inherent in this area is knowledge and experimentation with various approaches to becoming aware of, understanding and articulating feelings; the ability to take risks; the nature of relationships; choices and decisions in areas of concern and conflict. Readings might include: Adorno et al., The Authoritarian Personality; Alvarez, The Savage God; Butler, Why Survive: Being Old in America; DeBeauvior, The Second Sex; DeTocqueville, Democracy in America; selections from Emily Dickinson; Erikson, Identity and the Life Principle; Laing, The Divided Self; Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Illych.








Group Work






Community Liaison







Establish appropriate purposes;
Plan strategies;
Assess results.

Assume responsibility for lifelong development of professional competence.

Develop professional relationships at the worksite with citizens and coworkers

Work with people in groups, helping to establish clear goals and achieve optimum results.

Function as a teacher, helping people to define and achieve appropriate learning goals.

Function as a counselor, helping people meet their needs and resolve their problems m ways that promote their growth and independence.

Function as community liaison. working with individuals and groups to identify community needs and deliver services that meet those needs.

Function as a supervisor. teaching. encouraging. and enabling other workers to make good use of their abilities on behalf of citizens.

Act as a change agent planning, researching. and promoting programs to improve human service delivery



Clarity your values and work for them; Understand and respect the values of others; Deal productively with value conflicts.



Self and Others

Understand yourself, your experience and needs; Understand others, their experience and needs; Use your understanding to help yourself and others grow.




Understand the systems that affect your life and work;
Make the most of their resources:
Minimize their constraints.




Make good use of necessary skills:

  • Problem-solving;
  • Learning/ assessment;
  • Research;
  • Interpersonal;
  • Communications

Copyright Ó by the College for Human Services








Group Work






Community Liaison






Establish appropriate purposes;
Plan strategies;
Assess results.

How can I assist citizens to:

a. become aware of/and articulate their feelings?
b. identify areas of concern and/or conflict?
c. establish a contract for service)
e. develop and consider alternatives?
f. make choices?
g. accept responsibility for those choices?
h. negotiate larger systems?





Clarity your values and work for them; Understand and respect the values of others; Deal productively with value conflicts.


What are my values with regard to:

a. Helping people understand and adjust to their environments?
b. Helping people to cope with or change their environment? c. Helping people to meet basic human needs?
d. Helping people to develop their potentiality?
What are other people's values with regard to the above?


Self and Others

Understand yourself, your experience and needs; Understand others, their experience and needs; Use your understanding to help yourself and others grow.


What are the positives and negatives of each of the following types of counseling intervention: behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, client-centered theory of personality and therapy, existential-phenomenological therapy, gestalt therapy. community mental health approach, medical treatment.




Understand the systems that affect your life and work;
Make the most of their resources:
Minimize their constraints.

What are the rights and responsibilities of citizens and professionals vis-a-vis the public systems that have an impact on their lives, e.g., public assistance, mental health, schools, courts, police, employment, etc.




Make good use of necessary skills:

  • Problem-solving;
  • Learning/ assessment;
  • Research;
  • Interpersonal;
  • Communications

What interpersonal and communication skills are necessary to counsel citizens successfully?











When counseling is approached through the systems dimension, the focus is on macrosystems and the way these are used to help manage and/or isolate people, and on microsystems--techniques for evaluating and working with individual institutions. Readings include Bettelheim, A Home for the Heart; Blau, Bureaucracy in Modern Society; Galbraith, The Affluent Society; Goldstein, Freud and Sohit, Beyond the Best Interests of the Child; Klaw, The Great American Medicine Show; Mitford, Kind and Unusual Punishment; Moynihan, A Guaranteed Income; New York State Mental Hygiene Law; the U.S. Budget.

Skills contributing to effective counseling certainly include identification of background data, identification of needs, establishing priorities, exploring alternatives, and assessing results. The interpersonal skills include making effective use of nonverbal and verbal behavior; understanding the communications of others; conveying warmth, acceptance, trust; and terminating the relationships. Communication skills include process recording--background data, interventions, observations, summaries, plans, record keeping--determining essential information, using it and conveying it, as well as maintaining confidentiality. Readings and theoretical materials could include Axline, Play Therapy; Dominick, The Art of Listening; Fagan and Shepard, Gestalt Therapy Now; Getz, Fundamentals of Crisis Solving; Plath, The Bell Jar; Parad, Crisis Intervention; Maier, Problem Solving Discussions and Conference.

Figures 6 and 7 show the week by week integration of classroom studies and field experience. Integrating the two areas and focusing on service to the client is what I call the constructive action assessment process. This is a key component in my view of preparation, assessment and practice. Because we are talking about effective performance, empowerment and service delivery, the student, through the performance of a constructive action, must demonstrate competence in all three areas. Therefore, it should be a major piece of service illustrating mastery of the crystal in point, done in conjunction with the citizen in need, and demonstrating a movement towards empowerment for that citizen. In other words, not only would each constructive action encompass a service activity, not only would it allow practice, not only would it mean working to clarify and orchestrate goals, but it would also build toward citizen empowerment. It would be the mechanism through which the practitioner integrates theory with practice. It would bring together what is covered in seminars with what students encounter in their agencies. Many programs stress either theory or practice. Virtually none facilitate the blending of the two, or force the two to come together; the constructive action does.

To demonstrate mastery of each crystal area, a student would be required to perform a constructive action, the delivery of a human service in accordance with a plan. A constructive action has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is the working out of a plan answering to the goals and needs of a citizen (or several citizens). The planners are the citizen, the student or professional-in-training, the faculty member, and the agency supervisor. The middle is the carrying out of the plan, with such modifications as are appropriate. The end is the examination of the action and a comparison of its actual results with the goals proposed at the outset. Movement toward empowerment is the ultimate test of the success of a constructive action, which is assessed at each stage by the four participants. The . purpose of the constructive action is to provide the student with an opportunity to test his ability to plan and carry out a sample of service for and with the citizen in which the student makes central use of the skills and theory pertaining to the crystal at hand. Performing a constructive action gives the student the chance to think about and plan for goals of varying magnitudes, to develop further one's capacity to perform human services by applying theories and research discussed in the classroom to the needs of actual human beings--in short, to link theory with practice. The constructive action, in other words, would identify academic success with professional accountability. This reflects the principle that classroom learning could be considered successful only if it helped the student to facilitate empowerment of the citizen.







Group Work






Community Liaison










Function as a counselor, helping people meet their needs and resolve their problems in ways that promote their growth and independence.






Theories of Counseling: Arbuckle. Counseling and Psychotherapy. Jones. Black Psychology; Rogers. Client-Centered Therapy. On Becoming a Person; Tyler, The Work of the Counselor.




Types of counseling intervention: Rimm and Somervill, Abnormal Psychology; Haas. Understanding Adjustment and Psychological Development; Leo, Physical Factors in Growth and Development; Joyce and Meyer, Counseling Psychology: Theories and Case Studies.




Macro-systems as resources for the citizen: ACLU publications on The Rights of.: the Poor, Young People, Mentally Retarded Persons. Women, Suspects; Goffman, Asylums; Fuchs. Service Economy.




Building the counseling environment: interpersonal and communication skills: Brammer, The Helping Relationship: Jackins, The Human Situation; Axline. Play Therapy, Listening; Benjamin, The Helping Interview.











as carried
out to the
field and discussed

Review agency as an environment for counseling. the resources it provides, the constraints it imposes Analyze your counseling functions in agency Make final decision as to citizens you will work with on your constructive action

Work with citizens to become aware of and articulate their feelings, help them to identify areas of concern and/or conflict: establish a contract for service Explore values you and they bring to the counseling situation

Assist citizens to determine goals for greater self-actualization, help them to develop and consider alternatives and begin to make choices Identify long-term goals. counseling strategies. systems resources and constraints. research areas, needed skills.

Work with citizens toward accepting responsibility for their choices. Test counseling strategies. modify as necessary. Explore literature related to specific field situation.

Assist citizens to negotiate larger systems. Work with them to assess outcome of constructive action, their performance, your performance. Discuss objectives and strategies for the future.

Meet with supervisor and coordinator teacher to discuss your and their assessment of the constructive action.

Begin to prepare for Crystal v1. Function as a Community Liaison

In Field Focus Groups

Begin logs Continue logs Write plan of action Continue logs Write analysis of c.a. Revise or edit c.a.

Schedule field observations -- record as required

Values Seminar

An examination of the counselors attitudes. roles. and behaviors which tend to promote counselee's self-esteem. growth. and dignity. (Rogers. Brammer)

Beginning exploration, clarification, and examination of personal concepts and philosophies of counseling, and the value implications of the resultant counseling goals. (Arbuckle)

A review of the following philosophical bases of counseling: helping people understand and adjust to their environment; to cope with or change their environment: to meet basic human needs, to develop their potentiality. (Freud. Dewey, Fanon, Freire, Fromm, Towle. Maslow, Allport)

An exploration of the impact of cultural and role differences on counseling processes: an examination of the black psychologist's view that counseling practices in U.S. have been instruments of racism. (R. Jones)

An exploration and development of codes of ethics for counselors: an examination of possible ethical issues facing counselors. (Arbuckle)

A review of the value implications of the counseling modalities as follows: eclectic,

phenomenological, psychoanalytical, behavioral, transactional, physiological (Aril. Roberts. Tyler)

Self and Others Seminar

This dimension will identify and understand differences and similarities between seven different counseling interventions to order to clarify the student practitioner's individual approach to counseling. For each, the basic assumptions of the approach, its techniques, and research findings will be reviewed. The seven are as follows:

Behavioral Therapy

Psychoanalytic Therapy

Client Centered Theory of Personality and Therapy

Existential-Phenomenological Therapy

Gestalt Therapy

Community Mental Health

Medical Treatments

(Adorne. Allport. Lander, Haas. Meyer, Deutsch)

Systems Seminar

Maximum citizen empowerment can result from knowledge of one's legal rights. Student practitioners who are counseling citizens need to be informed about the rights of citizens vis-a-vis the public systems that have an impact on their lives:

An introduction of the differences between the rights people "ought" to have and the rights they do have and the process by which a moral right becomes a legal right.

The rights of the poor of all ages.

The rights of young people as children, students, workers, offenders. spouses


(ACLU Handbook Series on The Rights of the Poor.... of Young People. of Mentally Retarded Persons. of Women. of Suspects; New York City Humor. Fights Law; Constitution of me United Stares. Galbraith: Burkhardt. Brody, Moynihan

The rights of mentally retarded and other handicapped persons

The rights of women as citizens. workers, parents, wives

The rights of suspects and ex-offenders

Skills Laboratory

Nature of the counseling process: citizen-centered counseling towards self-actualization for the citizen, including identification of background data; encouraging of citizen exploration and articulation of feelings: identification of needs and areas of concern: setting the contract; establishing priorities; exploring alternatives; powerlessness and taking charge of the situation; making choices; assessing results. (Grammer, Jackins)

Interpersonal skills: making effective use of nonverbal behavior; establishing and maintaining safety and trust; understanding the communications of others; conveying warmth, acceptance, genuineness and trust; reflection and exploration of techniques in the interview; terminating the relationship (Arnett, Tyler)

Communication skills: advanced process-recording (background date, dialogue, interventions, observations. summaries, piano); record-keeping

(essential and non-essential material, using and conveying information, maintaining confidentiality) (Brill. Ivey, Kagan, Benjamin

Analysis of model constructive actions _____________

Analysis of model constructive actions ______________________________

Empowerment from the Viewpoint of the Citizen

The following is a hypothetical example of a constructive action,17 which will permit us to analyze the kinds of knowledge, attitudes and points of view which might be entailed in the movement of this particular citizen towards empowerment. In this example, the prospective human service professional is trying to help the parent of a five-year-old child who has been labeled as retarded by 17 her kindergarten teacher. The mother has come to school worried about her child's slow development. She questions the teacher's diagnosis and yet--because she herself is extremely retiring, unskilled, dependent on welfare, living in decaying quarters--she seems incapable of acting to improve anything in her own or the child's life. The constructive action becomes the act of building an environment in which the mother can be effective and can deal realistically with both her needs and the needs of her child. Let us now trace this process.

In this situation, the teacher in the classroom, who labeled the child, had scant time for the mother and was primarily concerned with the fact that the child did not fit in with the other kindergarteners. Having decided that the child was retarded, she so informed the mother and felt that her professional duty was discharged. The mother visited the agency, anxious to talk to someone. She was told to speak with the human service professional-in-training who was assigned responsibility for meeting this family's spectrum of needs. The student practitioner could do this because her concept of service did not allow her to draw neat lines excluding problem areas that affected the citizen. After meeting with the mother a few times, the human service professional recognized the complexity of the situation. However, as a would-be human service professional, she realized that she had a process to follow--the constructive action. This required particular and carefully delineated patterns of action and thought, devised, agreed to, and acted upon both by mother and the human service professional. It offered a process, constantly guided by the dimensions of effective performance, for effecting positive change in the lives of both mother and child.

The mother, finding the human service professional and individual able to relate to her problems, began to share her anxieties and talk about herself and her life. Together they began to discuss the potential of the child and the mother's view of the child. They talked about the changes they would like to see, what they might realistically accomplish together, and how to go about it. In between these sessions, the human service professional, with the help of her faculty supervisor, began to lay out a course of action that could help both parent and child. The human service professional and the parent discussed and agreed upon certain actions. The human service professional arranged for the child to be tested and diagnosed. Although found to be a slow developer. the child was not judged retarded.

Working with the human service professional, the young mother began to learn to be aware of herself as an individual with her own human potential. She became aware of her rights as a parent and of her child's rights. At her request. she was helped to begin to learn a skill with which she could earn a living. She was put into contact with agencies and people who could help both the child and herself. Simultaneously, the human service professional worked with the mother and the child to strengthen the child's motor coordination and language skills through special exercises, both in the school and at home. As the mother saw change in her child, she began to believe that she might after all have it within her power to make changes in her and her child's life.

Notice how service is sharply and continuously examined in terms of the dimensions. None of this came about by chance or merely through the interest of one sympathetic human being in another. From the human service professional's point of view, it was the result of a carefully planned constructive action which required a particular and constant process of probing, a thinking out of alternatives which could help the citizen, a learning about the systems in the city that could work for the citizen, a valuing of the citizen's attitudes, a learning about the skills the student could use to help the child directly, as well as the agencies the student could use to provide specialized help. Even as the mother reached out to other sources, she returned to the human service professional to discuss the actions they both were taking. Instead of being shunted from one agency to another, the mother was able to maintain a continuing relationship with one individual with whom she could review the interacting events and problems. The human service professional saw herself as helper, manager, theorist, planner, and advocate. The mother, with the human service professional's help, began to see herself in these same empowering roles.

In the process of carrying out the constructive action, the human service professional was learning to ask the right questions of both herself and the citizen. Equally important, the client was learning to ask the right questions not only of the human service professional but of the agencies she began to come in contact with. Guided by the human service educational design and her teacher, the human service professional-in-training put the issues confronting herself and the mother into perspective through a series of critical questions that emanated directly from the dimensions and the generic crystals.

In dealing with goals, she had to ask herself: Whom am I helping--primarily the mother? The mother and the daughter? Anyone else? What needs do they see? What needs do I see? What factors may help and hinder them? What goals can we mutually agree on? What strategies could we use to achieve these goals? Which of these strategies are likely to be most effective? What theoretical approaches are going to help us and to support our plan? How will we judge the results?

In relation to values: Do any of my values conflict with the citizen's values? If so, how will I deal with this? In what areas do I or can I expect the mother to clarify or modify her values in order to increase her effectiveness and independence? What theories have been useful in clarifying my values, understanding other values and dealing with the value issues relating to my work with the citizen?

In relation to understanding oneself and others: What special counseling needs are there? What special factors have affected the development of the citizen as an individual? How has the citizen's potential been judged by others, and what effects may such assessments have had? What ways of learning are most successful for me? How has my own experience in situations like my citizen's influenced my outlook? What approaches shall I use with the mother and little girl? How do these relate to my needs, their needs, and the resources available to all of us? What am I doing to help the mother develop a better understanding of herself and others in order to increase her effectiveness and independence? What theorists have helped me understand my citizens and develop an approach to working with them?

In terms of systems affecting people's lives: What kind of learning environment does my agency represent? What resources does it provide? What constraints does it impose? What other systems affect my clients, and are these effects positive or negative? What is my plan for making the most of resources and diffusing the effects of constraints? How will I help them deal most effectively with these systems? What knowledge can help us deal with these systems?

In terms of skills: How shall these citizens develop problem solving skills? How do we work together to establish objectives, plan and carry out strategies, and assess the results? How do I work with them to evaluate their growth and my effectiveness? How can I help develop the citizens' ability to assess the service they receive? What are my methods for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment? How do I help citizens develop the interpersonal skills they need? What methods do I use to find appropriate resources? Are these successful for me? Would the same research methods be useful to my citizens? How effective are my communications skills? What are my methods for transmitting information?

If true empowerment is to take place, the reviewers of service have to be aware that something happened to them in the very dimensions that affect the professional's performance. The citizens should know whether the purpose of service has been met, whether there has been a clarification as to values, whether system:: have been responsive, and what skills have been learned. In other words, the citizen should be able to state, "This is what has happened to me because of the service you have rendered."

All of this and more would be recorded in the process of constructive action, for all plans, observations and results would be logged and discussed with the citizen, the faculty at the educational institution, and agency staff. (See Appendix A for more information on the constructive action and for an overview of one student's work in all eight crystals from the perspective of the constructive action process.)

At every point in the service process, the citizen must analyze his own actions and also the actions of the professional or professionals that have become part of the service delivery process as that citizen had helped define it. This analysis can be conducted through a self-empowerment guide, as a series of questions regarding the results of the service he has sought (see Appendix B). For example, with regard to purpose, some of the questions might be as follows: Was I clear about my reason for seeking service? What were these reasons? Did the professional listen carefully and help me to have a clearer idea about my problems? How did the professional do this (or not do this)? In asking me about my problem, were the questions helpful, and were they questions I could answer? What were some of these questions? Were there times when the professional understood my problem, but was unable to help me? If this was the case, did he put me into contact with a person or agency that could help me? What contacts were suggested? Was there any follow-up on these contacts? Did I take part in planning what I ought to do in solving this problem? Did the final plan include my ideas of what I hoped would happen? How did the plan take account of the things that I wanted to happen to me? As a result of my dealing with the professional, did the things that were supposed to happen in the plan, actually happen? How? If not, why not?

In terms of values, the problems differ. For example, were the conclusions that the professional drew about me and my problems true? Specifically how did the professional show that he reached careful and accurate conclusions about my problems? Did the professional respect my feelings and opinions? How? Did the professional see my problems in a different way than I saw it? How did the professional show understanding of my views? Did I question the professional's judgment of what was most important? If I accepted the professional's judgment, on what basis did I accept it?

In terms of understanding oneself and others, other questions are raised: What did I learn from the professional about myself that will help me in solving my problems? Did the professional try to cooperate with me? How? Did the professional really help me to solve my problems? How did the professional do this?

In terms of systems, the citizen must ask such questions as the following: After meeting with the professional, did I know more about how a particular agency operates and how I could use that agency to the best advantage? What did I learn that would enable me to do this? What did I learn about any particular agency and what that agency expects the professional to do, and what the professional's job really is? Do I know now what I should expect from a professional who is helping me? What do I expect? In what ways am I now prepared to utilize any agency I come in contact with?

In terms of skills, an analysis of service from the citizen's point of view: Did I understand my own problems? What did I learn? Did I come away with the skill to take long-range care of my problems? What was this (or these)? Why do I think I am able or not able to investigate resources for myself? In what ways did I learn to deal with this and similar problems? Can I give specific instances of what I have accomplished? Can I write a record of each day's events, and indicate how any of those events might be part of my problems?

The final questions in such a guide might be: Were there ways in which f think this service could have been improved? How have I become better able to solve future problems because of this service process?

These questions are based on faith in the citizen's capacity to be coprovider of service, on the citizen's rights to be respected as a whole person and not regarded as simply someone who needs specialized assistance, and on the citizen's right to be consulted prior to. during and after services are rendered. It is also based on the premise that the learning process between professional and citizen will be reciprocal. Such a guide assumes a positive and cooperative role for the citizen in the service process and provides a tool for making this a reality.

The Scope of Change

In terms of empowerment, one basic premise is critical: empowerment can only be achieved if three groups whose goals and values have often been distinct from one another are brought together. These groups are the educational institution which undertakes the professional preparation of both the human service professional and the specialized professional, the agency in which the professional is employed and which has a commitment to the citizens It is set up to help, and the participating citizens who accept the premise of citizen empowerment as the ultimate criterion for service. Moreover, this cannot be tacit acceptance. It must be reflected both in one total system of education and as a basic change in agency structure and practice.

In somewhat general terms, I have described a professional curriculum in harmony with a service ethic that mandates empowerment as the ultimate goal of human service practice. Now I wish to become more specific. This service ethic cannot be limited to professional education. In subsequent pages, I want to examine its implications for assessment and initial credentialing of professionals, for agency-specific goals of service, and in broader terms, for all of education. Furthermore, I see this service ethic as the cornerstone of professional promotion and of productivity in the human services. In the final pages of this monograph, I will suggest a new system to measure such productivity and offer a way of eliminating civil service abuses.

Changes in Assessment Criteria

The criteria for determining the degree of empowerment achieved by citizens are the same as those used in the assessment process for practitioners. They also permeate the operating structure of agencies and provide the educational framework for professional preparation. At the core of all three are the same dimensions of effective performance that together define empowerment. Professionals, educational institutions and human service agencies must structure their practice, educational preparation and service delivery systems. In doing so, they should consider the following: purposes, values and value conflicts of self and others, the systems that impinge on our lives, and methods of developing and utilizing specific skills.

The level of empowerment which a citizen has reached can be measured to the extent that an individual and a professional achieve results within the context of these dimensions. It is possible to draw up citizen-specific, immediate and Intermediate criteria under each of the dimensions as these relate to the situations of that citizen. If a specific value can be placed on each of these goals, the results of service can be measured in relation to each of these goals. If, for example, the goals that citizens and professionals agree on for different levels leading to empowerment are found to be only minimally met, there is a deficiency in the system. Either the goals themselves are unrealistic and must be re-examined, or the service delivery system affecting these goals is unable to deal with them. Usually, it will be evident where the failure lies and what must be done to make agencies and professionals citizen-responsive, as well as what must be done to enable a citizen to determine appropriate goals.

Empowerment Examples

If we consider what actually constitutes empowerment, we see that it differs from one situation to another. For example, a youngster who knows his own responsibilities, who is able to allot time for these responsibilities, and who carries them out satisfactorily, is, within the context of age and financial dependence on family, relatively empowered. A youngster who can organize the various resources necessary to satisfactorily complete school projects or to get needed personal or scholastic assistance is empowered.

Take a totally different instance: If a mentally retarded adult can work in an occupation providing some measure of financial independence, can live either with his own family or in a group home with minimal supervision, or totally independently by knowing who to approach for help, such a person is empowered within the context of his own ability to live a self-sufficient life.

Abusing parents represent a category of citizen so far from empowerment and so beset by frustrations and difficulties that continued direct care and help are essential. It often seems impossible to imagine such citizens ever reaching a level of empowerment where they can effectively manage their own lives and provide a warm, secure home environment. Yet, over a period of time, it may be possible. With the guidance and the teaching of a professional who becomes a stable force to such a family, the family may be able to utilize all the specialized services that will relieve their problems or, at least, bring these problems to manageable , proportions. In such an extreme situation, an enormous variety of services and skills are called for. To actively involve the parents in decisionmaking processes, to encourage them to take responsibilities in seeking to change their lives, to teach them how to do this, to counsel them, to respect them as individuals-all of this defines a new way to deliver human services.

Changing Human Service Delivery Systems

A growing trend in human service delivery is the emergence of comprehensive human service agencies through which many kinds of services are forthcoming. Part of this reorganization is an effort towards economy and efficiency. Part of it also recognizes that citizens cannot be compartmentalized as to their various problems, as if they are unrelated. If we have what might be called interdisciplinary agencies to deliver many kinds of services, and if we recognize the capacity of citizens to act ultimately as integrators of their own services, the need for an interdisciplinary professional practitioner--the human service professional--is apparent. With empowerment, i.e. self-sufficiency, as the focus, and with professionals who perform direct service as well as a critical coordinating role within emerging comprehensive delivery systems, it may finally be possible to measure human service delivery against standards of productivity. These standards will concentrate on citizen outcomes and on the movement of citizens toward empowerment. I will come back to this point shortly.

Implication of the Service Ethic for Education

Thus far, I have described a human service profession based on a totally different mode of practice and an educational model which prepares such practitioners. A broader perspective would be to view the structure as an overall model of education whose principles can permeate learning from kindergarten through graduate school and underlie the kind of education that is accountable for achieving results. Such an education is based on the purpose of empowering the citizenry so all of us can move toward self-sufficiency and the realization of our potential. Such an education is performance oriented and performance assessed. It actively involves people and the world outside the schoolroom. It imbues education with a new standard of productivity.

Service means purpose beyond oneself. It signifies an ethic where caring values are central. These caring values influence the nature of our lives when work with others is the prime occupation of the labor force. Values that enhance such work include compassion, empathy, human fulfillment, and sensitivity. Power and money are replaced as a paramount concern by sensitivity to and compassion for one another, for these are the values central to a service ethic. Improving the life of others, as well as improving the quality of one's own life, is the peal in a service society. American education should prepare people for both work and leisure, to live in a humane and caring society, and for useful and satisfying work in a service society in which they will know that there is equality for all.

Through the incorporation of these values into the education system, young people will learn that to care about other human beings is important and satisfying, that their lives will in all likelihood be concerned with working with others, and that rewards will come because they do a good job for others. This is the antithesis of the current social ethic which stresses individualism and self-interest. The extremes of self-interest which prevail today are inappropriate to a service ethic. If we continue to travel that old road, the end result will be a fragmented, self-serving, self-destructing society.

To achieve the new service ideal, education should be organized around major areas of activity that relate to and are important to how we will be spending our lives. In a service society, for example, much work will involve group activities. It would be useful for a young person not just to comprehend the theoretical concept that working with a group has a positive value. but to begin to see how one could strengthen one's real ability to accomplish purposes by knowing how to work effectively in a group. Thus, if theories from psychology. anthropology history and literature were brought together and studied in relationship to actual purposeful activity that helped a student understand how to work effectively in a group, learning would be accelerated and personal accomplishment would be achieved.

At each level of a child's development, the comprehensive areas that must be mastered will, of course, be different, and they will become more complex. However, young people will learn from the start that their ability to effect positive changes in the human condition is the core of their purpose in learning; this is as true for technical and vocational education as it is for service. Skills in mathematics, skills in reading and writing, must be learned in the context of purpose.

To test for accomplishment in an educational system structured in this mode enabling us to see how successful we are in achieving our purpose, we would utilize the constructive action. While discrete skills may still be examined, the continuously applied criteria that will determine the success of the educational experiences is the utilization by a youngster of multiple skills and theory to help others become self-sufficient. Thus, when the young child is learning to read or write, the performance of a constructive action--the practical effort to apply knowledge even on a primary school level to the empowerment of one or more citizens outside the classroom--ties these skills into the world in which the child lives by asking for immediate practical applications.

This holistic approach is just what present education lacks. It rarely, if ever, allows us to see the usefulness of the humanities and the liberal arts in real life, to cite only two examples. Thus, traditional education-those enormous blocks of time we spend in classrooms throughout our formative years--can largely be termed a wasted effort as far as it influences what we do in and with our lives. It does not create a sense of lifelong learning. It does not impart a conviction that knowledge can be a support to one's actions in life On the other hand a model grounded in a well-defined purpose, supported by the service ethic, and reorganized around dimensions of knowledge which permeate society, begins to rectify the glaring inadequacies of current education.

The Service Ethic in Elementary Education

Even at an early age, children can begin to develop a strong sense of community and caring about others. They can learn what helping others really involves. Simple projects that would normally be considered as self-contained activities can take on a new meaning if they are ongoing, tangible evidence of service that affect people's lives indefinitely. Such undertakings involve almost every aspect of academic study put to immediate and practical use. Seen from the perspective of a lifetime of learning to support one's community and the quality of life in that community, these activities--and even in the earliest grades they can be construed as constructive actions--become part of a large, purposeful context where cooperation, unselfishness, and service to others are paramount and are the basis for rewards. A "clean block" or "clean park" campaign, for example, organized by children and involving every group in the neighborhood, would not be a one-time experience, but something to be continued and valued for it affects the quality of community life--increased pride in a neighborhood, pleasure to be gained from its park. This process never stops.

As the child progresses through school, his capacity for learning increases and becomes more sophisticated. So, too. the ability to apply theory to societal improvement. Thus, perhaps, a fourth or fifth grade child might apply learning to planning and building a small dam for water power, understanding the changes this could bring about in an isolated, rural community. This might be done as a group and involve sharing roles in planning, development, construction and evaluation. It means applying math, writing up analyses, learning the rudiments of drafting and so on. It also gives the child or group of children a strong feeling of satisfaction to realize they can do something which directly benefits people.

As children grow, the political arena might offer many opportunities for constructive actions. So might the social service agencies within the community. Research has shown that "teachers" in a peer relationship not only have the satisfaction of seeing their "students"' performances improve, but the teachers also improve their own skills.18 Theory combined with practice is an exciting way to promote real learning.

Throughout the constructive action assessment process, one point remains central and paramount. Students will always be evaluated on the impact their constructive actions have on the people with whom they work. The constructive actions themselves will be grounded in purpose directly related to actual needs. These are not hypothetical activities--the "projects" that characterized progressive education. The constructive action is holistic, directed towards a real purpose, involving mastery of broad areas of knowledge as well as the dimensions, and predicated, on improving the lives of individuals or groups. The constructive action is assessed in these same terms.

The Professions

The model of education just described in a kindergarten through college framework also has practical applications in professional education. Applied in medical schools, it might eliminate the problem of the doctor who stands at the foot of the sick person's bed and talks across that person to the nurse, as if the bed were occupied by a retail store mannequin. Medical schools are already beginning to see the necessity for better educated doctors who know something about humanistic ethical traditions (not just medical ethics) and understand how the humanities relate to their work. Constructive actions as the focus for medical school education and internship practice would be a logical improvement over the fragmented tour-of-duty method currently in vogue. A constructive action could result from each aspect of medical education, and thus bring the student-physician into hospitals and clinics much sooner than is presently the case. It would help students still in the early stages of medical education to evaluate themselves and to ask en important question: "Am I really going to make a good doctor?" This question is often asked too late, when the answer is irrelevant because the commitment of time and money dictates continuation.

The medical student undertaking a constructive action might deal with one patient, or with a group. The prospective doctor might help them to achieve not merely the alleviation of illness, but also a set of goals to maintain good health. This would logically lead to the question of how to go about such maintenance and would result in the planning in cooperation with the patient(s) of appropriate strategies. Assessing the value of this approach would mean determining how effectively the patient was then able to focus on prevention or recurrence of illness.

The same process could be used in legal education. One constructive action in law school, for example, could deal with the design and organization of a corporate entity. The prospective attorney would have to be competent to deal with all the legal issues that might come into play--the processes for incorporation, applicable tax law, real estate codes, the law of contracts and so on--and relate them to ethical concerns. The study of law would be as interdisciplinary as its practice. For each constructive action--and there would be one for each area of legal competence--material would be pulled together from various strands of legal practice and organized around the dimensions. Questions like the following could permeate and humanize the legal process: What is the purpose of the corporate entity and how should it be set up so that it adds to the community rather than undermines it? Does it build on ethical and humane values? How will it affect the lives of those it touches? What systems will it relate to? What legal skills have to be mastered to make this project a success? These issues would have to be addressed in both legal preparation and in assessment of this preparation.


Returning now to the concept of empowerment, I propose to show that helping the citizen become more self-sufficient and take responsibility for making others more self-sufficient is the key to productivity in the human services. In the past few years, the United States in general--and urban areas in particular--has been faced. with unprecedented economic problems. These give no promise of lessening. On the contrary, rising costs in all areas of our economy will continue to be a fact of life in the foreseeable future. It is generally agreed that the solution to rising costs lies in increased productivity--greater efficiency and greater output from the same, or fewer, workers. Yet, in some areas, what actually constitutes increased productivity is elusive. Agreed upon standards for measuring productivity are available only where specific, concrete undertakings are involved--i.e., garbage collection, pothole repair, tours of police duty, numbers of firemen who can handle a specific number of calls. In production, too, definitive measures can be set up. An increase in output combined with a decrease in production errors constitutes increased productivity.

Statistical criteria cannot be applied to all types of work. Much of service employment--particularly human service employment involving people to people relationships--is impossible to analyze on a numerical basis. Yet human services are critical for they directly influence the quality of our lives. As a result of the economic squeeze, we face a paradox: human service needs are escalating dramatically: human service costs are rising sharply; service budgets and personnel are being slashed. Unemployment for the middle-age worker, no real work opportunities for young people, upward mobility literally cut off--these are some of the conditions under which service needs swell. Educational statistics reveal a less and less literate population. Crime rises. Ghettos proliferate, and within these ghettos, violence explodes. Here in the human services the crying need for productivity eludes us.

It is my belief, however, that productivity in the human services is measurable, that it is possible to develop criteria against which this measurement can be made. Through work in developing and designing the performance-based professional curriculum at the College for Human Services, my colleagues and I have begun to formulate a theory for measurement of productivity in the human services and to develop a design and methodology for such measurement.

In the human services, counting the number of persons treated, spoken to, or carried as part of a caseload has no meaning with respect to productivity because it does not focus on either results or quality of service. A definition of productivity in terms of human service must do both. In my opinion, productivity in the human services has been achieved where service results in empowerment of the individual.

As indicated early in this monograph, the parameters of empowerment are drawn by five dimensions of effective service. Let me repeat them. A citizen is "empowered" when that citizen is able to 1) establish and achieve appropriate purposes, 2) clarify personal values and deal with value issues, 3) effectively understand him or herself as well as others, 4) negotiate and work through the systems which effect his or her life and 5) develop and use needed skills.

By defining human service productivity in these terms, we look directly at the citizen who seeks help and at progress achieved by the citizen (under each of the five dimensions) as a result of the delivery of human services. It is these results that are the crux of productivity measurement. Thus, for the first time, the citizen-consumer forms a major component in the assessment process and in the determination of how productive service has been.

What we then sought was the methodology which would allow us to do this--that is, 1) to determine a citizen's growth towards self-sufficiency in terms of the dimensions and 2) to weigh and measure that movement. A combination of several approaches makes this possible.

The major mechanism that we use to gather data and to define the parameters of service is the constructive action process which has already been described. The measuring system that we use is a ranking and valuing of outcomes under each dimension. These are combined in the Citizen Empowerment Chart (Figure 8).

1. The Constructive Action: The constructive action encompasses a method of practice, a framework for assessment and a source of research data which will help determine how far the student has moved toward empowerment. It forces the practitioner (and citizen) to consider the total service needs involved.

2. The Assigning of Ranks and Values to Objectives: In our research to determine a way to measure outcomes, we first considered using traditional MAUT--Multiple Attribute Utility Analysis--but developed a simpler process more closely related to the constructive action which was better in terms of determining real measurement towards empowerment.19 This process enables the citizen, the agency or program and the practitioner to see, in numerical terms, how closely they have come to achieving desired outcomes. Ranking would be determined by the citizen, agency and practitioner, individually and in collaboration. (Incidentally, such a measurement scale will help build a more effective program or agency by pointing up both service weaknesses and service strengths.)

Data from the constructive action and from the ongoing service relationship between citizen and professional are used in the:

3. Citizen Empowerment Chart: The chart is designed to show the progress a citizen makes over a period of time towards self-sufficiency as defined by mutual agreement. The top horizontal line on the chart identifies the various criteria which represent full empowerment. Each criterion is then charted vertically under each heading according to possible levels of goal achievement. The higher the value, the more optimistic the objective.

The ultimate, unchanging goal of all human service no matter what the agency or the specific situation, remains empowerment. This goal represents level 6 on the chart. It is defined as the total of the five dimensions of effective service and entered into the chart in the horizontal boxes which specify these constant level 6 goals. A weight is assigned to each of these dimensions. Since each is equally important in our definition of empowerment, each is assigned the same weight. The actual number is arbitrary. For the sake of clarity, a weight of 20 is used for each dimension.

The vertical, left-hand column identifies the various positive objectives which the citizen, and practitioner are expected to agree upon as desired achievements which would contribute to the increasing self-sufficiency, or empowerment, of the citizen. They are ranked in order of difficulty, with 0 representing the actual state of the citizen entering the service relationship with the practitioner, and 6 representing the optimum result. (There is also a -1 level which represents the worsening of the citizen's situation.) The number of goal levels may vary, depending on the situation. What is important is that whatever the number of objectives selected, the ultimate goal represents optimum, real empowerment. Its definition remains constant. It carries the highest number rank. Zero indicates the baseline, or condition of the citizen at the beginning of service and -1 the worst that could happen to this citizen.

The following example, will illustrate the usefulness of the empowerment guide. The citizen is a male, 40 years old and poor. He has attempted suicide, is still suicidal, and has come to a local mental health agency reluctantly, under pressure from his wife and parish priest to whom his wife has turned in desperation. The human service professional has spoken to him at length. The horizontal line indicating 0 shows his present condition. He despairs of ever being able to find a job, and yet, feels that a job would solve all his problems. He is demanding at home and resents his wife and children. Though when asked why, he cannot answer. He cannot deal with his marital problems or his family problems and cannot get or hold a job. Certainly he does not understand the sources of his anger or despair.


Agency __________________________________
Division _________________________________
Supervisor Citizen __________________________
Practitioner _______________________________

PERIOD COVERED ____________ TO ______________


Attainment levels

Scale A


Scale B


Scale C

Self & Others

Scale D


Scale E


Unknown possibilities in service situation which might influence objectives –Examples

Ultimate criteria


Establishes appropriate. satisfying goals: works effectively and persistently to achieve them

Recognizes and acts on own values: respects values of others: handles value conflicts

Understands own experience and needs. Interacts successful with others: has rewarding friendships

Understands systems relevant to own life; utilizes their resources; minimizes their constraints

Identifies & develops skills needed to carry out goals

Note: The order of listing is not important, nor is the juxtaposition to the various levels of objectives. It is being aware of the many contingencies which affect service that is critical; it is to have a process that enables both the professional and Citizens to identify these areas that is important. (These should be read from bottom up.)

Optimum agency goals for all citizens


Is economically independent; happy in work; is realistic about long term career opportunities & direction

Knows where value conflicts may occur within the family &, community; is prepared to handle these rationally

Is self-confident: aware of abilities: takes a positive, active role in family, community, job: respects & can deal with other points of view, compromising or remaining firm wherever necessary

Knows health & family service facilities available to himself & family; knows how to negotiate these systems for maximum benefit

Is articulate both orally & in writing: has or is obtaining skills necessary for career goals; can analyze factors contributing to his well being; can cope

Did family meeting with school authorities resolve anything? If not, what is next step?

Optimum goals for this citizen during this time period


Identifies long term career goals: identifies a lob or training program which fits in with these objectives

Clear commitment to a system of values relating to family, community & potential work situation

Is living in far greater harmony with family & friends: begins to share family responsibilities; is much less upset by differences of opinion

Formulates a plan for reaching maximum career goals

Knows what skills he needs to achieve vocational goals; has identified ways of attaining those he tacks; is building those skills needed for family & community living




Discards idea of suicide

Articulates most important values. Begins to articulate what this means in terms of wife, family, job

Encourages children to bring friends home; admits wife's desire to work

Identifies realistic employment opportunities

Enumerates specific skills that might be needed vocationally, thinks about a begins to develop skills he needs to solve specific family problems




Identifies a work objective as a specific way to support family

Beginning awareness of where there are value conflicts both within himself & between himself and family

First real attempts to communicate with wife & children; first attempts to understand sources of family conflicts

Identifies health care facilities to help meet family needs

Enumerates specific skills that might be needed vocationally; thinks about developing skills he needs to solve specific family problems

In meeting family, daughter is obviously frightened of father. What are her perceptions? Will her tensions ease when family situation is improved. or does she need particular help?

Why is husband so opposed to wife's working? Why does he refuse to write a letter for a lob application? Does citizen have a problem writing? Citizen mentions son's school difficulties; is there a medical problem? Should we be thinking of meeting with school persons?

Are there job skills citizen is unaware he has?

Minimum objectives for this citizen during this period


agrees not to attempt suicide for next 12 weeks

Articulates values re: his own life, wife, children, work; recognizes value conflicts there: refrains from hitting children

Thinks about what part of his troubles has to do with own behavior and not outside world; recognizes his demands for perfection may be unrealistic

Begins to identity systems that will help him in his life - i.e.. what systems will he have to negotiate in order to improve things re: family, job, community

Begins to think about concrete skills for employment



Attempted suicide: despairs of getting a job; feels problems would be over if he could get job

Overconscientious: expects perfect wife, perfect home; expects children to be submissive to his wishes at all times; strikes children frequently; threatens wife

Resents wife & children but does not know why; alternate love-hate feelings about parents; blames others for his failure

Has no idea how to find a job; does not know where to turn for help

Cannot deal with family & marital problems: cannot hold job; does not understand sources of anger and despair

Will wife provide psychological support to husband?

Are there medical problems in the family? Are these capable of solution. or is there, any case or cases, no solution? Is citizen's depression related to a physical condition?



Commits suicide

Increased physical abuse towards wife and children

Withdraws from family

Is convinced he will never find a job

Anger and despair totally out of control


*this level would be filled in as the service relationship progresses. Obviously. It would be impossible at the very beginning of that relationship to identify objectives at every level. Much would depend on what happened during the course of service. In this chart, we have filled out level 3 in italics ... this shows these objectives were defined as service progressed. It also indicates what kinds of objectives could become apparent

Copyright © 1977, College for Human Services. All rights reserved.

The Citizen Empowerment Chart is intended to evaluate progress and service effectiveness over a period of time. This facilitates a concentration on outcomes rather than processes. It is not sufficient for an agency to say, for example. "We referred client to clinic," or "Client attended therapy group." Unfortunately. such generalizations are too often precisely the terms that agencies and professionals use to define services. The Citizen's Empowerment Chart forces a change of focus from processes to outcomes. The professional and the citizen are expected to specify both the narrowest and most optimistic goals which could contribute to this citizen's empowerment. Such an emphasis focuses on what one would like to make of one's life. This is an important distinction. Predictions, rather than purposes, usually dominate service delivery. They tend to be narrow, restricted events that are almost certain to happen. Predictions are often self-fulfilling prophesies, as Rosenthal's Pygmalion in the Classroom study 20 confirmed. Because a classroom teacher was told a certain group of unexceptional children were extremely bright, she expected these children to perform as "gifted" children, and they did. This "prediction" was purposely optimistic. It was intended to show the detrimental effects of limited expectations.

Purposes, on the other hand, have no such limiting effect. Establishing purposes and setting goals requires optimism, a belief in the human capability rather than a negative mind-set based on past failures. Identifying one's purposes produces forward movement based on faith. hope and rejection of arbitrary limits which place human beings in categories. Minimal or pessimistic expectations ought not to be accepted as norms.

The citizen in need of assistance and the human service professional have met. He has indicated a willingness to address his problems. Together he and the professional have agreed upon a reasonable period of time during which they will work together to try to deal with some of the problems contributing to the citizen's despair. Six weeks is the initial time span agreed upon as a minimal amount of time, to be expanded as necessary.

The human service professional will use the constructive action process as the framework through which the professional and citizen will design service and through which data will be recorded. It will, of course, be the practitioner's responsibility to show in the constructive action record why certain avenues were taken and why other approaches were rejected, and to cite theories, experiences, and other rationales that support such actions.

The citizen and professional are expected to determine what minimal objectives might be achieved over the initial 6-week period. A set of these hypothetical objectives is entered horizontally in the chart's level 1 boxes, under the appropriate dimension. It is essential to have an objective under each dimension.

Continuing up the chart. levels 2 and 3 represent more demanding objectives which may or may not be met. It is important to consider the most positive achievements possible and not to narrow that scope. This evaluation system accepts, as a given, that what once might have been considered impossible, may in fact occur. To make service effective, to make empowerment the goal of service. a belief and adherence to this principle is critical.

On the chart, level 4 represents the most optimistic prognosis for the citizen at the time the chart is first formulated. In the case of the example, if the citizen reached level 4 by the end of the service period. he would have identified his long-term career goals and begun to meet them. He would have a clear commitment to a system of values, he would have understood why he raged at his wife and children and know how to communicate his thoughts, feelings, desires and make these positive forces in his life. The citizen has found the resources which will help him attain the skills he needs so that his career goals can be met.

Level 5 on the chart is very different. On this level, the entries under each dimension represent optimum agency objectives for all citizens--in the case of the example, this would be optimum agency service goals related to mental health. These objectives state in concrete terms the principles under which that agency operates. Like level 6, they too remain constant, whoever the citizen.

At the start of the service relationship, there will, in all likelihood, be a large distance between the level 5 agency goals and the level 4 possible citizen objectives, even though the latter represents the most optimistic vision of what the citizen might accomplish in a relatively short period of time. However, level 4 objectives may change as service progresses. In fact, it is desirable that they do so.

The final "Indicators" column which clarifies the actual and potential positive and negative elements influencing service, helps to make this change possible. It continually subjects service objectives to analysis so that positive and negative forces that have a direct bearing on the citizen's life, and therefore on the service objectives, can be identified. For example, in the case of our hypothetical suicidal citizen, elements teat might have made his job hunting fruitles3 and contributed to his despair--elements that he might not even have been aware of and which might not have become immediately clear to the human service professional--might include his poor reading and writing skills. This final column in the Empowerment Chart requires constantly seeking elements which may not have been identified as critical to the service design, but may be essential since some of the service objectives cannot be met unless these realities are addressed. Because the human service professional functions as a coordinator of service, that professional can seek out special help on behalf of the citizen, or better yet, teach the citizen how to seek such assistance for himself.

To take another example, it is possible that the way an agency is structured can, in itself, make progress difficult. Through the final column on the chart, it is possible to identify--and change--the agency elements that have hindered effective service delivery. It will help us to know where modifications should be made, or conversely, where current practice is effective.

The Empowerment Chart should be viewed as a service method, not as a time consuming process. It is a way of setting goals and of carrying out the necessary tasks that will move the citizen and the practitioner (together or singly) toward the desired result. Goals should be realistic at one end of the scale and sufficiently optimistic at the other end. They should reflect the range of possibilities and provide a checklist of elements that must be taken into consideration.

One of the advantages of this assessment system is that the methodology for service delivery--the constructive action process--is in harmony with the goals of an agency whose staff accepts empowerment as the basic purpose of service. To repeat, service design and delivery are cooperative processes. Together, citizen and professional work to set goals; they work to promote an atmosphere where "impossible" achievements become possible.

At the end of six weeks, or the agreed upon time period, an evaluation of progress takes place. While the goals have been agreed upon together, both citizen and professional ought to evaluate service outcomes separately. This step provides a way to check the reliability of the evaluation. It would also be important to have a third person (possibly the agency administrator, or better still, an outside human service evaluator who supports empowerment and is trained in the constructive action methodology) examine the data and make an independent judgment.

It is now possible to formulate a numerical indicator that shows the degree of success achieved through the service design. Maximum achievement at a particular level is shown by multiplying the dimension weight (20) by the level number. That is, total realization of the minimum goals enumerated under one dimension would be 20 x 1, or 20. If level 1 goals were thought to only have been achieved, the figure would change to 20 x .75, or 15. Similarly, total achievement of level 2 goals under any of the dimensions would be computed by multiplying 20 x 2, for a numerical indicator of 40. Achievement of half the level--two objectives--would give us a number 30(20 x .50), and so on.

Let us return to our objectives. The 6-week service period has ended. The citizen, the professional and a third person have evaluated service. Numerical indicators have been computed and these show to what degree service has been successful. Theoretically, both the citizen's evaluation of service and the professional's evaluation should be similar. If not, the goal setting process may have been one-sided rather than cooperative or may not have reflected mutual agreement and understanding. Possibly, the professional, in an attempt to improve his or her image may have exaggerated achievements. Or, the citizen may not have been realistic in assessing results.

The fault, in such cases, is probably not the assessment system. More likely it lies in not following the clear parameters of the constructive action process, in not working consistently with the citizen in terms of dimensions, and in not making the citizen an equal partner in the service delivery experience. Again, the last column is invaluable in determining where problems exist and how to deal with them.

Once the first time period is over, another can be agreed upon and another service design worked out. Objectives will now have changed. Those originally on levels 2 or 3 may now be minimal goals in terms of the progress which has been made. Level 4 goals will move closer to level 5. Eventually, the expectation is that level 4 objectives for a citizen who has continually moved towards empowerment will become the same as the optimum agency objectives--or, level 5. At this point one can truly say that the citizen has become empowered.

Our numerical indicators will show us how productive the practitioner has been, and consistently defining service according to the specified dimensions will keep it humane and complete as well.

Results of service, together with the numerical indicators of success, should be stored in the service agency's computerized information system for each citizen, as well as added to the file for each professional. In this way, a professional's personnel record will reflect real achievements and give a strong indication of how effective performance has been. Here is a rational system on which to base promotions and salary increases. Conversely, results of service will pinpoint those professionals who are ineffective, who do not contribute to empowerment and whose practice methodology must change dramatically if they are to remain in the human service field.

Under such a system, agencies would adopt a common definition of empowerment, criteria for empowerment, and a set of agency-specific goals (level 5) that would make it possible for agencies to compare their work with other agencies in the same field. Exploring, clarifying and experimenting with goals are critical to this assessment process. That is why it is so important the evaluation process be in harmony with the practice methodology that is taught.

There are additional advantages to such a system. First, the process provides a framework for goal setting that, from the very beginning, helps people arrive at an expanded definition of their goals. This is possible because a set of "ultimate goals" defines empowerment. These are inclusive categories under which each person--or service team (citizen and professional) --will write their own outcomes or indicators.

Secondly, the system assumes a successive refining and upgrading of goals, a forward movement by the citizen. Using a Citizen Empowerment Chart, a citizen could easily start with one set of outcomes, and as time goes on, modify, refine or augment them, perhaps adding new ones at a higher level. Such a chart would record rising expectations as well as actual progress, both of which are fundamental to empowerment.

Third, using the constructive action provides us with an approach that is appropriate to practice and seems likely to produce useful results. In the constructive action, the outcome is evaluated in accordance with a definite set of standards, and the service method can be as varied as needed to produce this outcome.


With a common, overall goal of citizen empowerment as the ultimate criterion for service and with that criterion reflected in professional preparation and assessment, we will have a powerful tool with which to address social problems. We can begin to move people out of dependency and into the community mainstream. If we can make inroads into the problems of crime, ignorance and poor health, and if we can bring people closer to self-sufficiency so they can deal with their own needs, we can move once again towards our national goal of improving the quality of life for all citizens. The old ways have not been successful in reaching this goal. A new design for professional education, a new concept of citizen empowerment and productivity measures based on higher standards of performance--these are promising tools toward this end. They have been tried and tested on a small scale. It is now time to implement them on a large scale. The risks are negligible. The possible dividends are enormous. Can we refuse?



A critical part of the educational model for human service practitioners is the constructive action. For each of the eight crystals, practitioners-in-training perform and document a piece of work in an actual service setting. Each constructive action must conform to the following guidelines:

1. It must demonstrate the practitioner's attempt to help a citizen become empowered;

2. It must be formulated and analyzed from the perspectives of the five dimensions: purpose, values, self and others, systems and skills;

3. It must be a legitimate piece of work which fulfills part of the agency's service mandate;

4. It must demonstrate practice which is supported by a theoretical base.

The constructive action has a uniform structure which consists of three parts: the proposal defines the scope of the activity--its purpose, its proposed methodology, its assessment; the log documents all activity with or on behalf of the citizens involved; the analysis examines and evaluates the activity from the perspective of the original proposal as well as within the context of the theoretical assumptions of the respective crystal.

There are several types of constructive actions in terms of citizen focus: in the first type. the focus is on an individual citizen and his or her concerns; in the second, on a group of citizens who share a concern; in the third, on a new program within an established agency to meet a need which the agency has not been able to address; and in the fourth, on the creation of a new agency to help citizens not being served.

A. An Overview of One Student's Work in Eight Crystals

Before examining one specific constructive action according to the above guidelines, a general overview of the practitioner's work will be given in order to indicate the kind of work which human service professionals undertake so that citizens may become empowered.

Carole R., the human service practitioner-in-training, is a 33-year-old, divorced mother of three children.* During the College's admission screening she told a staff person that she wanted to become a human service professional because when saw "a desperate need" in New York City. Her experiences with the Social Services Department lead her to the conclusion that it is severely understaffed and--more important--that frequently the people who are supposed to help are not "able to distinguish a person's individuality and do not have the ability to deal with it." Before she becomes acquainted with the educational model, Carole R. posits the need for two qualities in professionals: compassion for their clients and care in performing duties. She is especially drawn to the plight of homeless children; in this area, she states, "workers are needed to help place these children in proper homes. They have to be sure the children are not mistreated and are given the proper attention that they need."

*All quotations are taken from the unpublished work of the student practitioner and printed here with her permission. All names have been changed.

Carole R.'s profound interest in children is an important factor in the decision to place her at an agency which is responsible for establishing foster homes for children. During Crystal 1, "assume responsibility for lifelong learning," she explores two broad areas in terms of her own preparation for a professional helping career. first, she assesses herself for skills. attitudes, and knowledge which she has acquired from life experience; second, she examines educational and professional resources which she can draw upon in order to improve the service relationship. Her constructive action for Crystal I is a move toward self-improvement; It is essentially a plan in which the practitioner outlines a commitment to lifelong learning by indicating, according to the five dimensions, the content and skills which she must acquire. In Crystal II, Carole R. learns to "develop professional relationships with citizens and coworkers." Her constructive action focuses on a collaborative relationship with a 15-year-old, unwed mother who is in the process of making a decision about giving up her child. Carole R. helps the mother analyze the problem by identifying issues through the perspective of the dimensions; In terms of the crystal content, Carole R. learns to establish relationships with other workers in the agency as well as to identify theoretical resources which will help her to help the citizen.

During the course of the constructive action, the young mother implies that the decision is especially difficult to make because of the ambivalent feelings of her parents. With the approval of the agency supervisor, Carole R. suggests that what is needed is the establishment of a familial context so that the mother can feel more secure about her decision. Hence, for Crystal III, "work with others in groups," Carole R. and the mother expand their relationship to include the mother's parents and social worker. For Carole R. the development of the group represents a step on the mother's part to grapple with one of the serious issues which she has identified; the group will also afford the practitioner the opportunity to develop skills and to test theories about group formation and group process. As the group forms, it becomes apparent that one of the reasons for the feelings of ambivalence on the part of the unwed mother's parents is their lack of knowledge about certain issues, such as teenage pregnancies. Carole R. recognizes that Crystal IV, "function as a teacher," will give her the opportunity to address some of the issues not only for the parents in this particular case but for others who come to the agency as well.

In the first four crystals, therefore, the practitioner-in-training frames her work according to the needs of a particular citizen. The knowledge areas and skills which she internalizes flow from the needs of the citizen as she moves toward empowerment. At this point in time, the fiscal crisis which began in 1975 and affected New York City reaches this agency dramatically: funding is completely cut off and the agency ceases to exist. The practitioner, however, is able to secure a placement in a second agency, one whose population and goals are very similar to the first. The new agency is a temporary shelter for children who need emergency or short-term care. It is a community-based project whose "belief is that the family is of vital importance in the development of the child and that children temporarily separated from their families can rejoin them more quickly when there are supportive services in the local community."

Before moving into Crystal V, Carole R. has to review her previous learning. As in the first crystal, she begins to examine her skills and knowledge--this time, after having mastered and been assessed on the beginning crystals. When she moves into the new agency, she has to "establish professional relationships"; she also initiates working with the children and staff in groups and as a teacher. At first, the new setting causes inconveniences but it does build Carole's confidence in her ability to establish a helping relationship in more than one type of agency. With this frame of mind, Carole R. proceeds to the advanced crystals in the human service curriculum.

The constructive action for Crystal V, "function as a counselor," will be examined in depth shortly. In general terms* Carole R. is assigned to work with a 14-year-old male who has difficulty adjusting to the death of his mother. His father referred him to the center because of his inability to communicate with his son.

In Crystals VI, VII, and VIII, Carole R. focuses her efforts on establishing a new program for the shelter. After a few days in her new placement, she notices that there are several observers who spend hours in the center but who do not interact with anyone--either the children or the staff. Upon inquiry, she learns that they are students at the local community college who are observing as part of their educational program. Several express frustration at the inability to participate. Carole R. also recognizes the agency's need for more staff, especially during the evening hours and on weekends. With the encouragement of her supervisor, she organizes a learning practicum for the volunteers. In Crystal VI, "function as a community liaison," she meets with the president of the community college, explains the philosophy of the human service curriculum, and initiates a collaborative relationship in which she assumes responsibility for the onsite training of the observers. For Crystal VII, "function as a supervisor," she supervises four volunteers. The initial program is so successful that she proposes, as part of her work for Crystal VIII, "function as a change agent," that it be incorporated into the permanent structure of the agency. The program is today a part of the shelter's program. The observers have broadened their role in the agency, and they are providing useful service to the children.

The work of the human service professional-in-training, therefore, has specific as well as general impact. At a personal level, the professional works with people to help them become empowered, i.e., to take control of and manage their own lives through an examination of purpose, values, relationships with others, a knowledge of systems, and use of specific skills. At a broader level, the human service worker examines agencies in terms of their mandates and creatively attempts to help them improve the quality of service delivery. Whether specific or general, the intent is always empowerment.

B. A Constructive Action For Crystal V

The following is a detailed examination of Carole R. 's constructive action for Crystal V, "function as a counselor." The analysis will be guided by the five principles which are stated at the beginning of this appendix. The citizen involved is a 14-year-old named Tom whose mother died during the previous year. Since her death, Tom's father has had "a difficult time" with his son. because his work takes him long distances from home, the father asked his daughter and her husband to accept some of the responsibility for Tom. They have agreed, but Tom has recently begun to drink and stay away overnight. The father has referred Tom to the shelter and asked for help in communicating with his son. One of the problems, he feels, is that Tom has not been able to express his feelings about the death of his mother.

The constructive action must demonstrate the practitioner's attempt to help a citizen become empowered.

In her first conversations with Tom, Carole R. listens for indications of his terns. In an hour-long discussion, Tom talks "about himself, the center, his life In Jersey, his family, prejudice, his father." For Carole, the most important part of the conversation occurs when Tom states, "You know I really love my father, I just don't know how to show him." Carole offers examples of times when she has noticed Tom's care far his father, and Tom begins to crystallize his purpose: he laughs and asks Carole if she thinks that hid father notices--"he wanted to show his father, not me," Carole writes. At a later meeting, the issue of the dead mother is introduced; Carole is pursuing Tom's relationship with his father when she asks, "How do you think your father would know that you cared?"

Tom: I guess if I did what he wanted me to. Coming in on time, not acting smart. Do you know my father never hit me? I can't remember if he did, but I never remember him hitting me.

Carole: Maybe he feels you are old enough to understand what he expects from you and doesn't think hitting would help.

Tom: Yeah, do you think I look like him?

Carole: No one could look as handsome as . . (We both laughed.) But, yes, I guess you . . . no, I don't know. . . . Maybe you look like your mother?

Tom: (Staring, amazed.) People say I do, I have her eyebrows. Yes, I do look like her too. But my father and I have the same walk, don't we?

During the course of the constructive action, Tom identifies activities which he feels would indicate care for his father. At one point, for example, he earns and saves money by doing extra chores at his sister's home. He assumes responsibility for playing with some of the younger children at the shelter. He begins to confront his drinking as a deteriorative influence in his life.

A few weeks later, Carole reads in the agency's log that Tom and his father visited his mother's grave. She writes in her log: "When I saw Tom later, I told him I read about his visit."

Tom: It brought back a lot of good memories for me. I felt good doing it. My father went too; I think he felt good; i know I did.

Tom's father was close to the target when he identified the death of the mother as the primary cause for his son's behavior. Tom, however, felt an additional concern--his relationship with his father. Carole's efforts in counseling helped Tom to identify his needs and to work purposefully to meet them. To that extent, he was beginning to move toward empowerment as the constructive action concluded.

The constructive action must be formulated and analyzed from the perspectives of the five dimensions of empowerment.

Dimension A--Purpose: This dimension was described in depth in the previous section. Essentially, the overall purpose is empowerment. The process for counseling is as follows; the practitioner will assist others:

1. To become aware of and articulate their feelings.

2. To establish areas of concern and/or conflict.

3. To establish a contract for service.

4. To determine goals for empowerment

5. To develop and consider alternatives.

6. To make choices.

7. To accept responsibility for those choices.

In working with Carole R., Tom moves through the process and begins to understand his relationship with his father as an area in which he can become empowered. Early in the constructive action, he acknowledges his need to indicate his love for his father: the first step is accomplished when he becomes aware of and articulates his feelings. He then identifies behavior--e.g., his drinking, his staying out all night--which are areas of concern and establishes a contract with Carole in which he commits himself to improve in these areas. With Carole's help he determines that he will be empowered when he has established an ongoing relationship with his father; part of that relationship will result from a shared ability to accept and cope with the death of his mother. In working with Carole, Tom recognizes that there are alternatives for him, at least on a short-term basis; that is if he needs more than the 90 days which the shelter will work with him, he will have another agency as a resource to help him work through the issues with his father.

At the end of the constructive action, Tom makes his choice--he realizes that he needs more time, that his relationship with his father is still in the process of being established; therefore, with the help of Carole and with the encouragement of his father, he accepts another agency setting to pursue the work which he had begun with Carole at this particular setting. Tom, in other words, is aware of his needs as a person and chooses to pursue the building of a positive relationship with his father. To that extent, he has become empowered.

Dimension B--Values: In this dimension, the practitioner explores the philosophical bases of counseling--the helping people to understand and adjust to their environment or to change it; to meet basic human needs; to develop their potentiality. From the values perspective, Carole attempts to help Tom identify the feelings and goals which are important to him and those which are important to his father. She then has to help him identify the compatabilities and conflicts in the two value systems and work toward a meaningful relationship between the two. If addition, Carole has to explore her own values about counseling people and then develop a personal philosophy of counseling which will encourage and promote the citizen's self-esteem, growth, and dignity.

Dimension C--Self and Others: This dimension focuses on the concept of self-knowledge in relationship to knowledge of others. In order to build a helping relationship, Carole has to understand her feelings about certain issues; for example. she has recently experienced the death of her mother and has to examine some of the issues for herself before attempting to open them up with Tom. In attempting to assist the citizen to become aware of value issues and value conflicts, the practitioner must first be aware of those issues and value conflicts it her own life. If Tom is to deal with the ways in which the death of his mother is influencing his relationship with his father, Carole must know that her personal feelings about her mother's death are not interfering with her perception of Tom.

Tom's empowerment in this dimension occurs when he and. his father visit the mother's grave for the first time together and are able to acknowledge to themselves and to each other their feelings about the event. When Tom says to Carole, "My father went too; l think he felt good; I know I did!" he has indicated that he and his father are beginning to relate to each other through an issue which is important to them both.

Dimension D--Systems: In systems, the practitioner explores the citizen's concern on two levels--the macrolevel and the microlevel. On a microsystemic level, Carole works with the other professional staff members in order to gain insight into Tom; as the constructive action progresses, she seeks advice from her supervisor and from the college faculty by discussing her logs as well as predicting possible developments. Also on this level, Carole is able to help Tom develop a sense of responsibility by involving him in activities with the other teenagers and young children in the shelter. During the period of the constructive action, Carole constantly reinforces Tom's responsible behavior with such comments as "That was a nice thing to say," "Thanks for not starting that fight, although I know you were annoyed with him." Tom begins to feel responsible for the well-being of the group and engages in activities which will demonstrate this new responsibility to his father.

On a macrosystemic level, Carole is aware that the agency's stipulation for a maximum 90-day period for. each child may result--as it did in this case--in the need for a different system to assume responsibility for the child. After the allotted time period, Tom and his father realize that they need more time to work on their differences. They decide--with the help of the agency--on a new setting for Tom. During the constructive action, Carole spends hours exploring possible alternatives; when one is selected, she spends much time with Tom and gives him the opportunity to discuss his move so that when the time comes he is emotionally ready. Tom's lack of resentment reflects a mature coping with the situation; he indicates that he is not yet ready to return home.

Dimension E--Skills: In this dimension, the practitioner tests different techniques of counseling and attempts to improve her nonverbal and verbal behavior, self-involving behavior, and communications skills. In addition to developing her own skiffs in these areas, Carole attempts to encourage communication and helping skills in Tom. She helps him to identify those issues which concern his father and encourages him to discuss them; she helps him to communicate with other people in the shelter and develop his interest in working with young children.

By the end of her constructive action for counseling, therefore, Carole R. has helped Tom become empowered. He is able to define and work toward purposes, understand his values, the relationship between himself and others, function within systems, and use relevant skills. Naturally, Tom is more adept in some of the dimensions than in others. The point, however, is that he has been introduced to--and has begun to internalize--a concept in which he assumes more control over his own life. Of course, he is not a totally autonomous person, but he has begun to recognize the parameters of his existence in terms of his responsibilities as a member of society. The constructive action offers citizens the opportunity to assert this control through the concept of the dimensions.

The constructive action must be a legitimate piece of work which reflects the agency's service mandate.

In this particular case, the assignment to work with Tom was made by Carole's supervisor. On occasion, practitioners-in-training are confronted by agency personnel who resist the concept of a constructive action. In both agencies where she worked, Carole's superior ability to communicate with children and young adults quickly convinced the agency personnel that she was able to develop a legitimate helping relationship even if she was being trained by a new educational model.

The constructive action must demonstrate practice which is informed by a theoretical base.

As she initiated, implemented, and analyzed the constructive action, Carole consulted many resources--ranging from books which explored theories of counseling, such as Leona Tyler's The Work of the Counselor; Carl Rogers' Client Centered Therapy and On Becoming a Person, and R.D. Laing's Self and Others, to texts on specific techniques, such as Naomi Brill's Working with People and Lawrence Brammer's The Helping Relationship. In order to deal with the issue of death, Carole consulted Ronald Taylor's Black Youth and Psychological Development.

In the analysis section of her constructive action, Carole R. reflects upon the theories which helped her most in her work with Tom. One concept, from Lawrence Brammer's Therapeutic Psychology, was particularly useful. Brammer writes:

"Each of us behaves in a competent and trustworthy manner if given the 'freedom and encouragement to do so. We must communicate to the helpee our faith and trust in his ability to move toward goals best for him and for society. I, as a helper, take the responsibility for creating conditions of trust, whereby the children can respond in a trust manner and can help themselves.

Carole responds, "Most important to me was having Tom trust In me, in order that he would then respond and finally help himself."

This, then, is the constructive action--a piece of work which enables the citizen to become increasingly self-sufficient. It is a learning tool which allows the practitioner-in-training to identify issues, skills, and knowledge which will enhance the helping relationship. It is an assessment tool which permits the practitioner to measure his understanding of a specific crystal as well as his ability to function within the context of that crystal. The human service professional has as a primary goal the empowerment of the citizen; the constructive action is a vehicle which moves the professional and the citizen to that end.




Work on this guide was sponsored in part by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

This version is based on an original version developed by Audrey Cohen, Barbara Walton and Sylvia Hack for the Habitat Conference At Columbia University, February 1976. An earlier version was also prepared by Stephen Sunderland for use at the Pacific Sociological Association Conference in San,' Diego, March 27,1976 and at the American Society of Public Administration National Conference in Washington, D.C., April 20, 1976. Other members of the College staff, students and consultants also contributed to the different versions. These people were Deborah Allen, Elizabeth Schneewind, Philip Wendell, Linn Shapiro, Olive Cohn, Delores Ross and Naomi Doyle. The College continues to revise and attempt to improve this Guide.


This guide was prepared to assist citizens in their relationships with professionals. It is used as a teaching and assessment tool for student-practitioners at the College for Human Services, but it can be adapted to a wide variety of professional-citizen relationships in other professional fields. Further questions can be added; existing ones changed or deleted.

This guide is based on faith in the citizen's:

• capacity to be a coprovider of service as well as a recipient

• need to be respected as a whole person and not simply a person needing specialized assistance

• right to be consulted prior to, during, and after the services are rendered • ability to be a teacher of the professional as well as a person in need of learning

• skill to be an ally of good service delivery and not simply a critic of poor workmanship and policies

As an educational tool the guide should serve as a mechanism for assessment and learning such that the citizen and the professional can continually improve their performances.

Sometimes people feel so rushed during a meeting with a professional, or so frightened or confused, that they leave the encounter feeling that their major points have not been made or heard at a serious enough level. This guide is suggested as a method for preparing people for the encounter and for examining, perhaps along with the professional, whether their goals were met.

Copyright Ó April 1976 by the College for Human Services. Revised and Copyright Ó January 1977. All rights reserved.



a) Were you clear about your reason for seeking service?

Yes____ My reasons were




b) Did the professional listen carefully and help you to have a clearer idea about your problems?

Yes____ S/he did so by




c) The professional asked you questions about your problem. Do you feel that they were helpful questions that you could answer?

Yes____ These were the kind of questions s/he asked




d) Were there times when the professional understood your problem but was unable to help you?

Yes____ No_____

If the answer is "yes," did s/he put you in contact with someone or some place that could help you?

Yes____ The contacts suggested by the professional were these:



e) Did you take part in planning what you ought to do to help you solve your problem?

Yes____ No_____

f) Did you feel that the plan included your ideas of what you hoped would happen to you?

Yes____ The plan took account of the things that I wanted to happen to me by doing the following:




g) As a result of the professional's services. did the things that were supposed to happen to you in the plan actually happen?

Yes____ How?



No_____ Why not?




a) Did the professional draw conclusions about you and your problem that you felt were not true? Yes____ No____ The professional showed that s/he drew careful and accurate conclusions about my problem by:



b) Did the professional respect your feelings and opinions? No____ Yes_____ S/he did so by:


c) Did the professional see your problem in a different way than you see your own problem?

Yes____ No____ S/he showed understanding of my views by:



d) Did you question the professional's judgments of what is most important or did you just accept there? Yes____ No____

If you accepted them, why did you do so?




a) Did the professional try to cooperate with you? No____ Yes____ S/he

did this by:



b) Did you learn anything from the professional about yourself that would help you to solve your problems? No____ Yes____ I learned



c) Did the professional really help you to solve your problem? No____ Yes____ S/he really helped me to solve my problem by:




a) After the meetings you had with the professional, did you feel that you knew more about how (XYZ Agency) operates, and how to use it to your own best advantage? No____ Yes____ I learned that



b) Did you learn what XYZ Agency expects the professional to do? Do you know what his/her job is? No____ Yes____ I learned that s/he is expected




c) Do you know now what you should expect of a professional who is helping you? No____ Yes____ I learned that



d) Do you feel better able to deal with your own problems now than you were before? No____ Yes____ Can you be specific about how you can handle your own problems better now?




a) Did you come away with the skill to understand your problem? No____ Yes ____ I learned



b) Did you come away with the skill to take long-range care of your problems? No____ Yes____ I learned



c) Did you acquire any of the following skills:

1. to guide yourself through similar problems? No____ Yes____ I learned



2. to investigate resources for yourself? No____ Yes____ I learned



3. to plan ways and carry them out for dealing with this and similar problems? No____ Yes____ I learned



4. Can you give specific instances of what you have accomplished? No____ Yes____ I learned



5. Can you write a record of what is happening to you each day, and indicate how any of those events might be part of your problem? No____ Yes____ I learned



1. Overall, I appreciated this service for the following reasons:



2. It could have been improved in the following ways:




1Daniel Belt, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1973.

2 William S. Bailey and John F. Pyfer, Jr., "Deprivation of Liberty and the Right to Treatment," Clearinghouse Review, 7, no. 9 (1974).

3Wyatt v. Stickney, 344 F. Supp. 373, 384 (1972); O'Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975).

4New York State Association for Retarded Children, Inc. v. Carey et al., 393 F. Supp. 715 (E.D.N.Y. 1975).


6Senate Committee on Health and Rehabilitative Services, The Elderly in Florida (A Legislative Study), April 1976.

7The New York Times, 7 Dec. 1975.

8Smith College Alumnae Quarterly, Spring 1974.

9William J. Jesinkey, "A Statement on Issues Affecting Handicapped Children and Children with Special Needs in New York City," Public Education Association Reports 6, no. 17 (1976).

10 "All Children Have Special Needs," Public Education Association Reports 6, no. 23 (1976).

11Jesinkey, op. cit.

12Queensboro Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. "A Study to Determine the Feasibility of Establishing a Coordinating Council in Queens County," (Unpub., Jan. 1976).

13Leon H. Levy, "Self-Help Groups; Types and Psychological Process," Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences 12 (Sept. 1976), p. 311-12.

14Ibid., p:112.

15The curriculum model described in this monograph is a reality at the three locations of the College for Human Services--in New York City, Broward County, Florida, and the East Bay Area of California. As they experience, evaluate, and refine the different aspects of the model, student practitioners and faculty constantly struggle with the issues which arise when new principles of service delivery, such as empowerment, are introduced into traditional settings. Much of the acceptance of the program in these three areas can be attributed to the pioneering spirit of the staff and students who are commuted to the principles of social justice and change in the society.

16The plan for development of a model of fully professional education required the involvement of those who were identified as excellent examples of the kind of professional the program was intended to prepare. For the purpose of gathering and analyzing this material, the College subcontracted the research firm of McBer and Company to interview approximately 60 carefully selected professionals in the area of human service. Meanwhile, a team of planners from the College, working with a group of consultants which included researchers, content specialists, curriculum experts, and agency officials, began to outline ideas for areas of curriculum design. With all of this information, the staff of the College designed the first human service curriculum. After the lengthy process of research and development produced the breakthrough on the model, I decided that the matrix could work only if we abandoned the usual practice of higher education and--instead of the series of fragmented courses--offered knowledge organized around the concept of purpose.

17This example is taken from actual constructive actions performed and documented by student practitioners at the College for Human Services. This particular constructive action was designed to demonstrate mastery of the fourth crystal, "function as a teacher." For a more detailed description of the constructive action process, see Appendix B.

For all of my adult life, I have struggled conceptually with the idea of blending theory and practice. When I organized the Women's Talent Corps in 1964, 1 believed that one of the philosophical principles which would create a sound educational experience for the students was a core curriculum that related as closely as possible to work students performed in agency placements. The Talent Corps enrolled talented adults from low-income communities whose motivation and life experience indicated a potential for human service work. It helped to persuade public schools, legal service agencies, hospitals, and social work agencies to create completely new preprofessional job categories and to help the College train students to fill them. Some of the job titles, which are now firmly established in the schools and other agencies, are as follows: teacher assistant, guidance assistant, legal assistant, rehabilitative assistant, and mental health worker, among others. The Women's Talent Corps was the first complete "new careers" or "paraprofessional" program funded as a 207 Demonstration by OEO (in August 1966).

Having established an educational model which connected work and theory, I felt that the next step was to produce a mechanism which would encourage students to blend the two by framing their work and assessing it from the perspective of this principle. I was determined to find an answer and persisted in the search for a solution. The kernel for the solution--the idea of the constructive action--however, was generated out of an experience which I had as a member of the Newman Task Force on Higher Education. After a dinner meeting In $an Diego, I was returning to the hotel with several other members of the Commission.

We passed the Coronado Bridge and were impressed by its qualities--it was aesthetically beautiful, practical, solidly designed and respectful of its environment. One of the members commented that the bridge was truly the embodiment of the concept that theory can be used to serve people and that the builder deserved a Ph.D. The image of the bridge remained in my memory: it suggested to me that a creative piece of work can be useful. At that time it caused me to think that we should begin to conceptualize work in the social sciences from a similar perspective. Service delivery can be an integration of theory and practice: it should be soundly conceived and implemented with respect for the citizen whom it claims to service. In addition, professional education should award degrees to practitioners who can use theory to help people. The lesson of the bridge had enormous implications for me in terms of higher education. It helped me conceptualize a teaching methodology or paradigm, the constructive action, which directs students in the blending of theory and practice.

18In Peer-Mediated Instruction (New York: Teachers College Press, 1973), Peter Rosenbaum reports on a study which he conducted on peer tutoring: "I gave little attention to the issue of whether the Teacher would learn anything; indeed. I was willing to accept that the Teacher might learn nothing at all. For inasmuch as the time spent by that pupil as a student in the dyad was likely to prove so very productive, or so I had reason to hope, I was willing to see half of that pupil's time devoted to an activity, namely teaching, from which no educationally useful outcome might be derived. On balance. I believed, the pupil would still come out far ahead."

19 See Marcia Gutentag. "Application of Edwards' Multiattribute Utilities to the Evaluation of Training," The Evaluation of Training in Mental Health, New York: Behavioral Publications, Inc.. 1975.

20Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectation and Pupils' Intellectual Development. New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1968.


Bailey, William S. and Pyfer, John F., Jr. "Deprivation of Liberty and the Right to Treatment" Clearinghouse Review 7, no. 9 (1974).

Bell, Daniel. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. New York: Basic Books. Inc. 1973.

Borman, Leonard, ed. Explorations in Self-Help and Mutual Aid. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University. 1974.

Cohen, Audrey C. Citizen Empowerment Guide. New York: College for Human Services, 1976.

_____ Founding of a New Profession--The Human Service Professional. New York: College for Human Services, 1974.

_____ "The Human Service Profession, the Teaching Profession and the Service Society." Unpub. (Keynote address at Conference on Career Education and the Human Services, College of the City of New York, Feb. 10, 1977.)

_____ Prisms. New York: College for Human Services, 1976.

_____ The Service Society and a Theory of Learning that ,Relates Education, Work and Life. New York: College for Human Services, 1976

_____ The Third Alternative. New York: College for Human Services, 1976.

_____ "Women and the Future of Education and Society." Unpub. (1977).

Durman, Eugene C. "The Role of Self-Help in Service Provision." Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences 12 (Sept. 1976): p. 433-43.

Gartner, Alan. "Self-Help and Mental Health." Social Policy 7 (Sept.-Oct. 1976): 28-39.

Gutentag, Marcia. "Application of Edwards' Multiattribute Utilities to the Evaluation of Training." The Evaluation of Training in Mental Health. New York: Behavioral Publication, Inc., 1975.

Holleb, Gordon P. and Abrams, Walter. Alternatives in Community Mental Health. Boston: Beacon Press, 1975.

Jesinkey, William J. "A Statement on Issues Affecting Handicapped Children and Children with Special Needs in New York City." Public Education Association Reports 6, no. 17 (1976).