Programs that help participants develop or refine their communication skills, usually by focusing on communication in a particular context, e.g., helping parents communicate with their children, helping professionals communicate with their clients and so forth. Training may emphasize active listening skills, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution techniques, body language, empathy, sensitivity to the values and/or cultural background of others, genuineness and other facets of the communication process.
Programs that offer workshops, discussion groups and other types of training which focus on the knowledge and interpersonal skills that participants need in order to work and live comfortably and effectively with people of differing cultural backgrounds. Cultural awareness training typically helps participants clarify their own values and attitudes and understand how these condition their expectations of and reactions to others. Training which addresses cross-cultural competencies focuses on the similarities and differences between two (or more) cultures and helps participants understand the perspectives, customs, history, use of language and other aspects of the other culture in order to help prevent cultural differences from becoming barriers to communication and interaction.
Programs that offer workshops, discussion groups, activities and other types of training that sensitize participants to people with disabilities or others with visible differences such as scarring that set them apart from their peers, help them experience what it is like to have a disability, and share techniques for positive communication and interaction with people who have disabilities.
Programs that offer educational workshops that cover a range of family-living issues and help participants develop the knowledge and skills they will need to better handle life transitions and crises, improve overall self-esteem, promote growth, strengthen coping mechanisms and avert situations that can lead to family dysfunction. Topics may include parenting and step parenting skills, human growth and development over a life span, the physiological and psychological aspects of human sexuality; communication skills, couple and family relations, stress management, intergenerational issues, elder care, family and community relations, family and work relations, the impact of money and time management on daily family life, personal development, self-discovery and self-motivation. Family life education programs are offered by a wide variety of organizations including social and community service agencies, hospitals, schools and after-school programs, employee assistance programs or wellness programs in business organizations, learning centres and religious institutions.
Programs that provide opportunities for individuals of all ages to develop their leadership and management skills through participation in activities which require planning a workscope, organizing ways to achieve planned objectives, motivating members to complete tasks they have agreed to perform and evaluating the group's progress; or through training which addresses these skills.
Programs that offer training which focuses on the knowledge and skills an individual may need to live independently or make a successful transition to independent living. Participants may include runaway youth who are living on their own, youth who because of age can no longer be maintained in foster care, new widows, victims of domestic abuse, people who have previously been homeless, and others who have lived in an environment in which decision making and responsibilities of daily living have been handled by another as well as people currently living independently who want to be more effective. Training may address job search and retention, money management, insurance, taxes, rental agreements, vehicle purchase, nutrition, home management, health care, legal emancipation for teens and other similar topics.
Programs that teach participants competencies that improve their ability to access, enjoy, interpret, analyze, evaluate and produce messages in a wide variety and combination of print, visual and digital formats. Media literacy programs encourage people to develop a critical understanding of the way media messages are constructed; recognize the role of the audience in processing messages and creating meaning from them; develop an awareness of the political, social, cultural and educational role of the mass media in society including knowledge of how media organizations operate; and through these understandings, acquire the ability to assess their own relationship to the media and assign value, worth and meaning to media use and the media messages they encounter. The principles and practices of media literacy education are applicable to all media — from television to T-shirts, from billboards to the Internet.
Programs that explore the meaning of contemporary relationships; the attitudes, feelings and interpersonal behaviours that can facilitate or hinder the development of intimate relationships; and strategies for letting go of past relationships, leaving present relationships that cannot work, enhancing current relationships that have potential for success, and entering into new relationships that are personally satisfying. Workshops may focus on evaluating past relationships, developing the confidence to approach potential partners and initiate new relationships, learning to love and maintain commitments, developing sexual intimacy, problem solving and communication in relationships and other similar topics.
Programs that provide training in social interaction skills for young children, youth and/or adults with the objective of helping them overcome shyness or aggressiveness, engage in constructive play or other group activities, develop positive peer relationships and feel comfortable in both business and social situations. Sessions may focus on politeness, cooperation, negotiation, problem solving, taking turns, sharing, winning and losing, sportsmanship, body language, eye contact, using appropriate language, telephone manners, peer situations, consequences of actions and initiating, conducting and concluding conversations.
Programs that utilize a variety of techniques including demonstration, exercise and discussion to help participants increase their understanding of the conditions and habits that lead to stress, to learn more about the effects of stress on the body, to identify the stressors in their own lives, and to develop better ways of reducing or managing stress in their personal relationships and work environment. The program may include instruction in and practice of physical exercises, relaxation techniques and other mechanisms for coping with stress.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.