In focusing on the entire spectrum of computing and its current and potential application to the human services, this book examines computing as a societal phenomenon and as a tool for improving the decisions made in the process of helping clients. It synthesizes available information from the fields of computer science, systems analysis, information management, and communication within the context of the human service environment. The author illustrates the theories and particular tools that make it possible for human services workers to follow the steps within their standard decision-making process - investigating, recording information, formulating alternatives, implementing preferred solutions, and reflecting on results - using the technology available today. He also explores what computing means to clients, practitioners, managers, and policymakers. The book is divided into three parts that build on the premise that human service decision making should be understood before applying technology to it. Part 1 focuses on the human service environment and decision-making process.Part 2 emphasizes the technology of computing, with chapters on hardware, programming and languages, software and data management. Part 3 addresses the applications of computing, including human service software, types of computing systems, the implementation and management of computing systems, and future trends and issues that will have an impact on the human services. This is a practical volume for professionals and students in the human services today. Throughout the book, descriptions of technology and its application are tailored for human service professionals and students with little or no systems, business or computing background. Computing concepts and terms are defined, helping the reader gradually to develop the vocabulary necessary to understand and discuss this highly technical area.
Human Service Computing Concepts and Applications