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Become A Community Support Worker

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Working As A Community Support Worker

  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Stressful

  • $56,739

    Average Salary

What Does A Community Support Worker Do

Social and human service assistants provide client services, including support for families, in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.

Duties

Social and human service assistants typically do the following:

  • Help determine what type of aid their clients need
  • Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
  • Help clients find assistance with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
  • Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to their clients in their communities
  • Coordinate services provided to clients
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Transport clients—for example, by driving them to appointments or to services within their community
  • Check in with clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately

Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.

Social and human service assistants help clients to identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the intended services and that the services are meeting their needs. They work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or other social and human service workers.

With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that the children live in safe homes. They help parents get the resources, such as food stamps or childcare, they need to care for their children.

With the elderly, these workers help clients stay in their own homes and live under their own care whenever possible. Social and human service assistants may coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help with the clients’ day-to-day needs, such as running errands and bathing. In some cases, human service workers help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to make a job more accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing and making meals.

For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also may find support groups for people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.

With veterans, assistants help people who have been discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as locating housing and finding ways to apply skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They may also help their clients navigate the overwhelming number of services available to veterans.

For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find the appropriate resources to help them cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they may find personal care services or group housing to help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves.

With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help the clients locate jobs and housing. They also may help them find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get various administrative paperwork in order.

With former prison inmates, human service assistants find job training or placement programs to help clients reenter society. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them start a new life for themselves.

With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing for their clients and locate places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also may help homeless people find resources to address other problems they may have, such as joblessness.

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How To Become A Community Support Worker

Requirements for social and human service assistants vary, although they typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers prefer to hire workers who have additional education or experience.

Education

Although a high school diploma is typically required, some employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work experience or education beyond high school. A certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject such as human services, gerontology (working with older adults), or social or behavioral science is common for workers entering this occupation.

Human service degree programs train students to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and handle people who are undergoing a crisis. Many programs include fieldwork to give students hands-on experience.

The level of education that social and human service assistants have completed often determines the responsibilities they are given. Those with a high school diploma are likely to do lower level work, such as helping clients fill out paperwork. Assistants with some college education may coordinate program activities or manage a group home.

Although postsecondary education is important, some employers may prefer or allow for applicants who have related work experience. In some cases, candidates may substitute such experience in place of postsecondary education. 

Training

Many social and human service assistants, particularly those without any postsecondary education, undergo a period of on-the-job training. Because such workers often are dealing with multiple clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, on-the-job training in case management helps prepare them to respond appropriately to the different needs and situations of their clients.

Advancement

For social and human service assistants, additional education is almost always necessary for advancement. In general, advancement to case management or social work jobs requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or a related field.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Social and human service assistants talk with clients about the challenges in their lives and assist them in getting help. These workers must be able to listen to their clients and to communicate the clients’ needs to organizations that can help them.

Compassion. Social and human service assistants often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Social and human service assistants must make their clients feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues. Assistants also need to build relationships with other service providers to become familiar with all of the resources that are available in their communities.

Organizational skills. Social and human service assistants often must complete lots of paperwork and work with many different clients. They must be organized in order to ensure that the paperwork is filed properly and that clients are getting the help they need.

Problem-solving skills. Social and human service assistants help clients find solutions to their problems. They must be able to listen carefully to their clients’ needs and offer practical solutions.

Time-management skills. Social and human service assistants often work with many clients. They must manage their time effectively to ensure that their clients are getting the attention they need.

Some employers require a criminal background check. In some settings, workers need a valid driver’s license.

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Community Support Worker Jobs

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Community Support Worker Career Paths

Community Support Worker
Substance Abuse Counselor Program Coordinator Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Support Worker Home Health Aid Residential Counselor
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Director Registered Nurse
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Specialist Case Manager
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Therapist
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Family Support Worker Communications Specialist Communications Project Manager
Communications Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Ambulatory Care Coordinator Support Specialist Family Support Specialist
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Ambulatory Care Coordinator Program Manager Clinical Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Community Support Specialist Support Specialist Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Family Counselor Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Community Support Specialist Substance Abuse Counselor Mental Health Counselor
Mental Health Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Social Worker Therapist
Mental Health Consultant
7 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Residential Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Social Worker
Social Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Medical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Support Worker Case Manager Child Protective Investigator
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Community Support Worker?

Community Support Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

73.1%

Male

24.9%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Black or African American

13.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.0%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.4%

French

11.1%

Portuguese

6.2%

Japanese

2.5%

Navajo

2.5%

Swahili

1.2%

Irish

1.2%

Nepali

1.2%

Greek

1.2%

Cherokee

1.2%

Hmong

1.2%

Russian

1.2%

Swedish

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Italian

1.2%
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Community Support Worker Education

Schools

Howard University

11.1%

Capella University

7.6%

University of Phoenix

7.3%

University of Maine

6.4%

New Mexico Highlands University

5.3%

University of Vermont

5.3%

Liberty University

5.3%

Webster University

5.0%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

5.0%

East Carolina University

4.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.4%

Grand Canyon University

4.4%

Saint Louis University-

4.1%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

3.8%

Walden University

3.8%

Wichita State University

3.8%

Bowie State University

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

Lindenwood University

3.2%

Boise State University

2.9%
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Majors

Social Work

21.0%

Psychology

18.9%

Criminal Justice

9.2%

School Counseling

5.9%

Mental Health Counseling

5.9%

Human Services

5.9%

Business

5.6%

Counseling Psychology

4.1%

Sociology

3.8%

Nursing

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Education

2.3%

Rehabilitation Science

2.2%

Communication

1.7%

Human Development

1.7%

Elementary Education

1.6%

Special Education

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Family Therapy

1.2%

Clinical Psychology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

39.0%

Masters

33.5%

Other

15.0%

Associate

6.6%

Certificate

3.4%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.8%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Community Support Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Community Support Individual Covenant Children's Home Tucker, GA Jul 11, 2011 $35,479
Bi-Lingual Community Support Individual Family and Children First, LLC Dalton, GA Sep 29, 2014 $34,840
Community Support Outreach Worker North Suffolk Mental Health Association, Inc. Revere, MA Sep 27, 2013 $34,359
Community Support Worker Amanda Luckett Murphy Hopewell Center Saint Louis, MO Apr 03, 2010 $30,000
Community Support Worker Lutheran Family Services of Ne Inc. Omaha, NE Oct 01, 2010 $29,500
Bi-Lingual Community Support Individual Family and Children First, LLC Dalton, GA Jun 01, 2011 $27,000
Bi-Lingual Community Support Individual Family and Children First, LLC Dalton, GA Sep 29, 2011 $27,000

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Top Skills for A Community Support Worker

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  1. Mental Health
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide mental health rehabilitation services to individuals with various cultural backgrounds and ages.
  • Assisted clients to construct and activate treatment plans to address; housing, financial, psychiatric, vocational and health needs.
  • Regulated clients and families in acute and chronic crisis situations by utilizing crisis intervention techniques through behavioral modification.
  • Promote recovery, rehabilitation and resiliency through goals and skill development in independent living, psycho-educational learning, socializing and recreation.
  • Maintained up-to-date knowledge of entitlement programs and benefits for state and federal assistance programs.

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