Health Through Human Services
The Massachusetts community-based human services sector is essential to the overall health and well-being of the Commonwealth. The human services sector employs over 150,000 individuals in nearly 180,000 jobs in virtually every community. The workforce provides vital services to one in 10 residents with human services workers protecting, teaching, nurturing, rehabilitating, housing and otherwise supporting individuals and families across the Commonwealth, helping them to reach their full potential.
The human services sector serves and supports individuals of all ages, families, veterans, people with intellectual or physical disabilities, individuals and families struggling with mental health and addiction issues, children as well as those seeking economic independence and affordable housing. The work of the Massachusetts human services system has long focused on helping people improve their health by addressing immediate needs, but it also addresses factors influencing economic stability, education, social connection, housing, safe neighborhoods, and food access. In doing so, individuals and families across the Commonwealth rely on human services to enhance, maintain, and protect their well-being.
This report summarizes the significant challenges to the human services sector. Many of these challenges have been discussed in previous reports. However, unlike previous reports, this effort examines these challenges in the context of the increasing focus on community population health as a driver in reducing healthcare costs and addressing health disparities.