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State of Illinois

Illinois Human Service Providers Have a New Communication Strategy


Human service agencies across Illinois are taking a new approach to get their message across to lawmakers and the public.
Sherrie Crabb is executive director of Family Counseling Center in Vienna. She says instead of talking in fatalistic terms about how a budget impasse affects them, research shows they should talk in positive terms about human potential.
"Metaphorically, when we compare it to construction, like constructing a building, that people actually started to understand what human services are. So, we're building well-being in our communities, so that individuals in our communities can reach their full potential."

Crabb says the research found even the term human service does not resonate with the public.

"The general public has values in education, security, opportunity, health. But, often times they don't understand what human services are, what we do and why we're an integral part, an important part, to all of those values that they have."

Crabb says the human service sector will also work on reframing language with lawmakers so they can better present its importance in budget discussions.