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‘FaithWorks’ by Carla Harris Calls for ‘Humanizing Human Services’
(Black PR Wire) Washington, D.C. -- Citizens ‘living on the margins, living on the sidelines’ must be treated with dignity and be seen as ‘Candidates’ for opportunities, not as clients, not as numbers, and not as a forgotten population by overworked, uninspired bureaucrats, according to Carla Harris, in her new book FaithWorks: An Innovative Approach to Workforce Development.
Harris, CEO of the DC-based firm ImageWorks, boldly contributes to the national conversation about changing human services for the betterment of citizens in transition as part of the evolving shift from welfare to Workforce Development. As ‘comfortable in the ‘Hood as I am in the White House,’ Harris traces her own journey from the margins, and outlines an inspiring approach to ‘humanizing human services’ that views “our fellow citizens as valuable men and women with potential, as neighbors who deserve respectful assistance on their journeys to jobs, careers, and all the happiness they envision for their families.”
Harris’ new book builds on the robust discussions and presentations during ImageWorks’ 2017 Hiring from the Sidelines conference for Workforce Development and human services professionals, which was sponsored in part by the Salvation Army National Area Command.
“In what we call a transformational approach,” Harris says, “Hiring from the Sidelines, and now FaithWorks, demands that Workforce Development professionals create an environment, an ecology, that focuses on prioritizing the HUMANITY in the provision of human services to our fellow citizens in need, our ‘marginalized’ job seekers on society’s economic ‘sidelines!’
Harris asks, echoing the powerful message in FaithWorks: “Who more than Returning Citizens, men and women on public assistance, and mature workers managing the changing economy need imagination, inspiration, creativity and respect for the individual?”
Harris insists that Workforce Development professions must view these “so-called SOFT SKILLS" as critical as polished resumes, practical action plans, and targeted social services. Harris says that human services professionals must move “beyond the data” into a more “dynamic focus on people first,” as part of a Workforce Development approach that “blends the technical and practical with the creative and supple.”
“A job is important, of course, even an entry-level job!” Harris concedes. “But for that job to become a stepping stone to a better life, a more solvent future, case managers, program facilitators, trainers, social workers, job coaches, developers, even agency directors and policy-makers, must all take the time to value and incorporate the personal histories, family stories, of marginalized job seekers, so that their searches for employment become part of a powerful process that builds their capacity to map plans for their self-sufficiency.”
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Special Note: Book Launch is set for June 28, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community College Preparatory Academy, 2405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20020