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Age Groups

Individuals who have needs and interests in common because they fall within a specific age range.

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Benefits Recipients

Individuals who qualify for and are receiving basic maintenance in the form of cash grants and in some cases, social services, from a governmental source; or who are entitled to benefits based on their own or their employer's contributions to a social insurance program.

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Caregivers

Professionals, paraprofessionals and/or family members or friends who assume responsibility for attending to the daily needs of individuals who are temporarily or permanently unable to completely care for themselves due to general frailty; illnesses, injuries or progressively debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or mental illness; or other incapacitating problems.

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Citizenship

Individuals who have needs and interests in common on the basis of their status as citizens of a particular country or nation or on that of their legal presence in that country on a permanent or temporary basis.

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Disabilities and Health Conditions

Physical, sensory, developmental, cognitive, mental or emotional impairments, illnesses or injuries that prevent or interfere with an individual's ability to perform intellectual or physical tasks that are normally within the range of human capability, or which significantly limit one's mobility or level of activity.

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Educational Status

Individuals who are students, school dropouts or graduates of a particular level within the formal education system or who have needs and interests based on their exceptional intellectual abilities or the level and type of education they have received.

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Ethnic Groups/National Origin

Subgroups within the larger culture or social order that are distinguished from the majority and from each other by their national, religious, cultural, linguistic and sometimes racial backgrounds.

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Families and Individuals Needing Support

The parents, children, spouses, partners, siblings, friends or significant others of people who have specific disabilities, medical diagnoses, personal losses or other problems whose own patterns of personal, social and familial coping have been significantly affected by ongoing interaction with and concern about the individual or who are dealing with the crisis or the ongoing effects of the situation. Also included are people who, because of a multitude of factors, are at risk for experiencing problems that threaten their health, safety, personal development, economic security or other aspects of their well-being.

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Family Relationships

Individuals who have needs and interests in common on the basis of their connection by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or cohabitation, or by their lack of familial or intimate relationships.

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Income/Employment Status

Individuals who have needs and interests in common based on similarities in their job situation and/or annual earned income.

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Military Personnel/Contractors

Individuals who are affiliated with one of the branches of the armed forces as active duty enlisted men/women or officers, retired career military or veterans; or are contracted by the military to perform specific duties.

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Occupations

Individuals who have needs and interests in common based on their roles and responsibilities in their working environment.

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Offenders

Individuals who are involved in legal proceedings, including administrative hearings as a defendant; or who have committed acts that have been defined as indictable offences and summary conviction offences by federal or provincial laws or municipal or local ordinances and are currently under required supervision by the criminal justice system.

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Organizational/Practitioner Perspectives

Organizations and individual practitioners who have a particular religious, political or philosophical orientation that influences the types of services they offer and/or the way their services are delivered.

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Religious Groups/Communities

Voluntary organizations whose members adhere to, profess or entertain the same religious creed, persuasion or tenets and usually meet on a regular basis for the purpose of worship, religious instruction and support for the group's ministry. Religious beliefs usually include a system of ethics, a philosophy of life, dogma regarding the nature and role of one or more deities, and a body of doctrine which governs religious observances and practices.

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Sex/Gender

The biologically determined (or surgically adopted) sex of individuals which may be the foundation for commonalities among people of the same gender as a result of similar experiences, concerns or expectations. "Sex" refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. "Male" and "female" are sex categories, while "masculine" and "feminine" are gender categories.

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Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

The emotional and sexual focus an individual has concerning the gender of people she or he looks to for social and personal need gratification, the feelings a person has about his or her gender, or the preference one has concerning his or her sex role appearance.

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Transients

Individuals or families who are present in the community on a temporary or itinerant basis or who are homeless and have no fixed residence at all.

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Urban/Rural Location

Individuals and families who have needs and interests in common based on the population density and other related characteristics of the area in which they live.

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Victims/Survivors

Individuals who have suffered physical injury, emotional distress and/or loss of property as the result of an actual or attempted criminal offence by another person or through a destructive act of nature.

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Volunteers

Individuals who offer their services and work on a full or part-time basis without remuneration.

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Topical Identifiers/Issues

Programs that publish directories, distribute pamphlets and other literature, conduct outreach campaigns, offer technical assistance and training or provide other services which deal with a particular topic, issue or problem area.

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The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.