The Learning Catalog

Human Services Management

Online Courses


This course is designed to help you identify and further develop the skills needed to be effective managers and leaders in human service organizations. Human services organizations are mission-driven organizations created to address individual, community and societal needs and help promote social justice and change. These organizations exist in a rapidly changing environment with complex social, political, technological, and economic issues. These issues and the changes and challenges that result from them, require leaders who recognize that they must work together with staff to build adaptive organizations that balance competing demands from a variety of stakeholders.

In human service agencies, staff are key contributors to achieving the mission of the organization. This can be through their role in the delivery of quality services, planning programs, or assessing community strengths and needs. Managers play a critical role in making organizations more effective by creating an environment that promotes competence in all staff. By understanding and utilizing the technical and people skills necessary to be effective managers, they can help create a culture and climate that strengthens and enhances the capacity of the organization to achieve its mission.


Acknowledgement: Some of the content of this course is based on Boston University School of Social Work’s MSW courses on Human Services Management, Planning and Program Development, and Program Evaluation. This course was also created in collaboration with the Massachusetts Council on Aging (MCOA).



After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the complex nature of human service organizations and the opportunities and challenges facing managers.
  • Describe the factors that contribute to effective and collaborative relationships in the delivery of human services.
  • Identify skills and tools that contribute to the effective management of people and organizations.
  • Describe the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and how inclusive policies and practices contribute to effective organizations.
  • Describe management’s role in the development, maintenance, and effective outcomes of healthy organizations.

Course Outline

Section I: Course Overview

Section II: Background and Scope

Section III: Contributors to Organizational Effectiveness

Section IV: Organizational Governance and Administration

Section V: Critical Skills for Human Services Managers

Section VI: Community Connections

Section VII: The Changing Environment of Human Services

Section VIII: Course Summary, Resources & References

Course Policies

For information about refunds, cancellations, accommodations and to contact us please visit the policies page.

Accessibility Information

All online courses are self-paced and are designed as reading-based and include interactive multimedia components including simulations, video, audio, and discussion boards.

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