Reframing newsletter

The Final Plot Point in the New Narrative

April 5, 2016

In recent newsletters, we’ve talked about the power of leading with the value of Human Potential at the start of our communications and we’ve shared tips on using Construction metaphors to explain what human services are and why they are important. Now it’s time to transition to the final plot point of the Building Well-Being Narrative, the “Life Cycle” Explanatory Examples.

Explanatory Examples build off of the general explanations of an issue provided by the Metaphor frame element to define for the public the specific activities, programs, and desired outcomes that are included in the scope of human services. FrameWorks Institute’s research found that explaining how human services support well-being through all stages of life was a powerful way to build public understanding and support for the full range of our sector’s work.

If we want our community to thrive and remain vibrant, we have to maximize the human potential of all our residents. Our community turns to human services professionals to tackle the complex job of building well-being throughout people’s lives. In childhood, human services support people by doing things like researching how early experiences affect child development, pushing for high-quality education for all children, and helping teens with drug or alcohol problems. In adulthood, it supports people by studying what affects people’s mental health, working to make housing safe and affordable, or providing literacy programs for adults who cannot read. Human services support older adults by doing things like exploring how social isolation affects people’s well-being, involving older people in tutoring programs so they can remain engaged in their communities, and providing meals to older people who can’t leave their homes. By supporting people throughout their lives, human services construct and maintain, and in some cases repair, well-being.

These Life Cycle explanatory examples illuminate the ways that all people benefit from support at different points in their lives, normalizing the need for human services. They also provide a more holistic perspective of human services by defining the prevention, research, and planning aspects of our sector’s work.