Determinants of Vulnerable Populations

The paper identifies and critically examines a vulnerable group/population in the society that would be interesting to work with as a human services professional. In my identification, I have chosen the military veterans as a vulnerable group. The analysis below will define the group, assess the contemporary challenges/disparities faced by the group, and determine the historical characteristics associated with the population. As well, further analysis of the engagement at both the community and client level as a human services professional will be extensively conducted and discussed. The military veterans form an integral part of society owing to their massive selflessness and sacrifice they have offered to society. Hence, require substantial and professional care and assistance to aid in dealing with their day-to-day lives after service.

Military Veterans as a Vulnerable Group

The military veterans comprise ex-servicemen and women that are off duty. They are constituted in one group regarded as the Veterans Affairs (V.A.). In the U.S., the V.A. has strict mandates to cater to the needs and grievances of ex-servicemen and women (Olenick, Flowers & Diaz, 2015). The VA is a major component of the U.S.’s governance and administrative feature that requires continuous valuation and attention. Military veterans are referred to as a vulnerable group in society due to the challenges discussed below.

Contemporary Challenges/Disparities Faced by The Group

Military veterans are exposed to a myriad of challenges that affect their overall health and wellbeing. This prompts the need for society to pay special attention to the V.A.s to improve health care delivery and catering to the needs of the military ex-servicemen and women. Military veterans face challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of years of service and exposure to gun violence, bombings, and other psychologically destabilizing experiences (Olenick et al., 2015). Military veterans are vulnerable to developing brain damage, depression, and anxiety disorders that directly affect their health. Also, from the social perspective, military veterans are at risk of unemployment, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse, and lack of capacity to reconnect with society (Short, Dickson, Greenberg & MacManus, 2018). Furthermore, challenges of physical disability lead to severe problems among military veterans.

Historical Characteristics Associated with the Identified Population

Throughout history, military veterans have experienced similar characteristics as time changes, and military action engagement becomes more advanced and application of technology—for example, the potential of suffering physical damages such as loss of a leg, arm. Or breaking of limbs or other body parts is a major characteristic of the V.A.s experience. Also, the development of depression, mental and anxiety disorders, and PTSD is a fundamental characteristic that has affected the V.A.s (Oster, Morello, Venning, Redpath & Lawn, 2017). The social loss and inability to readjust and integrate into society is a crucial characteristic that affects the V.A.s connection with society. Due to the years of service, military veterans are likely to experience unemployment opportunities. Thus, indicate a myriad of characteristics that indicate the suffering and challenges V.A.s have had to endure throughout history (Parasidis, 2016).

Engagement in Community Worth with the Population as a Human Services professional

Dealing with V.A. issues is a vital aspect of society. As a human services professional, that capacity to pay close attention to the issues affecting the V.A.s community would be a major approach to solving their problems. Uniform measures are essential to deal with the problems of military veterans (Kondo et al., 2017). This approach is essential to show the affected persons that they are not alone, rather a community dealing with similar problems. Furthermore, the higher number of affected persons creates a sense of need and urgency to respond to the needs of the V.A.s.

Engagement with a Client Deriving from the Identified Population

At the client level, make every military veteran feel appreciated, honored, and respected is a paramount approach to engaging with them. This requires dedication to offering the most qualified and high standards of care to the individual. Demographic differences such as age, gender, race, religion, or any other have no place in offering professional human services to the V.A.s.


Kondo, K., Low, A., Everson, T., Gordon, C. D., Veazie, S., Lozier, C. C., … & Paynter, R. (2017). Health disparities in veterans: a map of the evidence. Medical Care55, S9-S15.

Olenick, M., Flowers, M., & Diaz, V. J. (2015). U.S. veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness. Advances in medical education and practice6, 635.

Oster, C., Morello, A., Venning, A., Redpath, P., & Lawn, S. (2017). The health and wellbeing needs of veterans: a rapid review. BMC psychiatry17(1), 414.

Parasidis, E. (2016). The Military Biomedical Complex: Are Service Members a Vulnerable Population. Hous. J. Health L. & Pol’y16, 113.

Short, R., Dickson, H., Greenberg, N., & MacManus, D. (2018). Offending behaviour, health and wellbeing of military veterans in the criminal justice system. PLoS one13(11), e0207282.


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