Social Service Workers: Occupational Outlook and Job Responsibilities

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    Mar 31, 2014
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Social Service Workers: Occupational Outlook and Job Responsibilities Photo by Pamela Wendell

Social service workers help individuals and families deal with a variety of personal, social and mental health issues. They assist people in improving their emotional and physical wellness, enhancing the overall quality of their lives.

They recognise diverse needs and experiences of people and help them develop skills and abilities to fulfill their needs and goals. The professionals work in a variety of settings and are committed to social justice and equality to people regardless of their religion, ethnicity, class, gender, race and sexual orientation.

The job of a social worker is stressful and emotionally charged yet fulfilling and satisfying. A formal education and training is required to enter the industry and build a career in community service. Students learn how to recognise and address the needs of individuals, groups and communities, while adhering to the law.

Career Prospects

The social service professionals work in a variety of setting with wide range of populations including children, youth, seniors, women and people with mental illnesses, physical disabilities and homeless and under housed children, women and seniors and assaulted women and children.

They can find employment with schools, hospitals, community service agencies, NGOs, non-profit organizations, psychiatric clinics, substance abuse facilities, home healthcare agencies, child protection agencies, developmental disabilities agencies and old age homes.

Apart from this, they can also assist human services professionals and administrators, social workers and psychological counselors and bring a difference in the lives of people who need emotional, medical, social and legal support to enhance the quality of their lives.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of social workers vary widely depending upon the organizations they are employed with and their experience in social/community service. However, typical work activities, regardless of their job title and employment, include:

  • Interacting with individuals and groups and recognising their specific needs
  • Preparing case reports and funding proposals
  • Providing counseling to emotionally unstable individuals
  • Understanding current social policy and relevant legislation and their impacts on social delivery
  • Developing plans and strategies that promote self-care, improved job performance and enhanced work relationships
  • Working in communities to advocate for change strategies that promote social and economical justice
  • Challenging patterns of discrimination and oppression

Social Service Worker Program in Canada

Although there is no need to have a diploma or degree to serve the community but it leads you to the right career path. Formal education and training helps individuals in understanding about human psychology, social policy, power and social movements.

Centennial College's two-year post-secondary social service worker program in Toronto combines classroom learning, guest lectures, group labs, experiential and collaborative learning and intensive field seminars and placement. The students study a wide range of subjects including developmental psychology, power, privilege and oppression, social research and data management, social policy, fundamentals of interviewing and counselling, community development and report presentation.

The program helps students understand how values and ideologies contribute to the construction of social problems and prescribed solutions. They learn to collaborate with people to develop and improve resources that assist people in resolving their problems.

Enrolling in a Social Service Worker Program

In order to apply for this program, you need:

Secondary School Diploma certificate or University or equivalent

English Grade 12 C or University or equivalent

Prior to beginning field placement, you also need to:

Submit a criminal reference check

The post secondary program in social service prepares you to the world of work in community service.

Author's Profile

A two-year post-secondary social service worker program in Toronto is designed to prepare students for working in stressful and emotionally challenging situations when serving the community.

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