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Community and Social Service Workers

What they do?

Community and social service workers perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Meet with clients to assess their progress, give support and discuss any difficulties or problems

B. Refer clients to other social services

C. Advise and aid recipients of social assistance and pensions

D. Provide crisis intervention and emergency shelter services

E. Implement and organize the delivery of specific services within the community

F. Implement life skills workshops, substance abuse treatment programs, behaviour management programs, youth services programs and other community and social service programs under the supervision of social services or health care professionals

G. Assist in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment programs by tracking clients' behavioural changes and responses to interventions

H. Maintain contact with other social service agencies and health care providers involved with clients to provide information and obtain feedback on clients' overall progress

I. Co-ordinate the volunteer activities of human service agencies, health care facilities and arts and sports organizations

J. Maintain program statistics for purposes of evaluation and research.

K. Interview clients to obtain case history and background information

L. May supervise social service support workers and volunteers.

M. Assess clients' relevant skill strengths and deficits

N. Assist clients to sort out options and develop plans of action while providing necessary support and assistance

O. Assist clients in locating and utilizing community resources including legal, medical and financial assistance, housing, employment, transportation, assistance with moves, day care and other referral services

P. Prepare intake reports

Q. Counsel clients living in group homes and half-way houses, supervise their activities and assist in pre-release and release planning

R. Participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs

S. Assess and investigate eligibility for social benefits

Where they find work?

1. Health care and social assistance - 68.0%
2. Public administration - 14.0%
3. Other services (except public administration) - 11.0%
4. Educational services - 4.0%

What education do I need?

1. To be a community or social service worker, you usually need a university or college program in social work, child and youth care, counselling or other social science/health-related field.

2. For some occupations in this group, previous experience in a social service environment as a volunteer or in a support capacity may replace formal education requirements.

3. To be a social service worker, you may need to be a member of the provincial/territory regulatory body in your province/territory.

4. With additional training and experience, you may move up the ranks to become a family and marriage counsellor, social worker or probation officer.

5. Most recent entrants have a community college diploma, and almost 2 in 5 have an undergraduate university degree.

High School Subject that will help:

1. English
2. Computer-related courses
3. Family Studies
4. A Second Language

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Community and Social Service Workers is $16.69/HR, which is below average for occupations in the social science, education, government service and religion and are below average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Community and Social Service Workers wages

Expected Wage by Age

Community and Social Service Workers Wage By Age


4% of Community and Social Service Workers are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Community and Social Service Workers Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Community and Social Service Workers Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Community and Social Service Workers is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($16.69) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (4%) is close to the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be above average because of ongoing trends--increased government funding for health/social services and an aging population requiring these services.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Community and Social Service Workers are found in British Columbia and Manitoba while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick, Quebec and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (45%) is close to the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Communication skills

2. Client/customer needs assessment

3. Reporting

Part Time Workers

Community and Social Service Workers Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

22% of Community and Social Service Workers are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 86,500 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 60% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Community and Social Service Workers Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average influenced by a similar-to-average retirement age (62).

Self Employed

Community and Social Service Workers Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 2% of Community and Social Service Workers are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Community and Social Service Workers Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

77% of the individuals employed as Community and Social Service Workers are women. Compared to other industries, this is Above average.