The impact of economic upheaval, complex social challenges and changing demographics requires human services leaders to not only help individuals in crisis, but also guide families and communities to a self-sufficient and sustainable future. Meeting these demands means that human services organisations must improve their capacity to deliver an efficient and effective array of services over time—yielding outcomes that are valued by multiple stakeholders. Yet what do "capacity" and "outcomes" mean in human services? And what does it take to make them a reality? How do human services solutions need to evolve? What is the role for the human services IT and eligibility systems of tomorrow?
In October 2011, human services thinkers and practitioners from around the globe gathered at Harvard University for the 2011 Human Services Summit: The Pursuit of Outcomes, to discuss progress towards outcome-focused business models and to share strategies for moving the needle and addressing today’s toughest human services challenges. This report, Human Services: The Pursuit of Outcomes, couples insights from the summit and synthesizes the best practices and participant ideas to help agencies continue to set a strong course for the future.