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Rewarding Careers as a Community Service Worker

April 16, 2014

Community Service Workers help locate or implement medical, personal and other assistance to any number of groups in need. They can be found working with all members of the community, including homeless persons, pregnant teenagers, people with substance abuse problems and so many more. As community services expand, the need for qualified workers becomes greater in a variety of different sectors. Community Service is a challenging but very rewarding career that allows you to improve the quality of life for those who are in need or at risk.

A Community Service Worker guides members of the community towards the services and assistance they require when facing personal or social problems. They must be able to assess and meet a client’s physical, medical, emotional and behavioural support needs. Depending on the type of workplace, these individuals can have any number of additional duties. They may be asked to prepare reports, interview clients to determine their needs, refer clients to appropriate services and provide crisis intervention when necessary. Community service workers counsel clients to determine their progress and resolve any difficulties or problems they may be having. Workers refer clients to residential, in-patient, detoxification or mental health programs, and sometimes accompany clients to treatment programs. Moreover, some positions may require light medical office assistant training.

Career Opportunities

With such a variety of responsibilities, community service is a career that is always evolving and exciting. With the right training, such as a personal support worker course, you’ll be able to quickly find a rewarding career in a wide variety of workplaces, including:

  • Community Legal Centres
  • Mental Health Agencies
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Women’s or Youth Refuges or Crisis Centres
  • Residential Aged Care Services and Community Aged Care Services
  • Juvenile Residential Facilities
  • Alcohol and Drug Services
  • Advocacy Services
  • Aged or Disability Respite Services

The right profile

Community service is a unique career field, in that your demeanor and personal attributes will directly come into play as part of your daily duties. Some of the skills and personal traits that can help you become a successful community service worker include:

  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • An ability to work well under pressure
  • Solid problem-solving skills
  • Significant use of memory
  • Superior ability to multi-task
  • A helpful and positive attitude, even in difficult circumstances
  • Empathy and compassion for clients
  • Good communication skills
  • A desire to contribute to the safety and dignity of clients

Regardless of where your career takes you, you can be sure that community service will provide you with challenging and deeply rewarding work. Through training, including PSW courses, and hands-on experience, you’ll learn about psychology, communications, ethics, diversity, social justice, poverty, addiction, multicultural backgrounds, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, mental health issues, working with families and more. You’ll promote the rights of your clients and encourage them to meet their responsibilities in a way that empowers them. If helping others is in your blood, community service might just be the career you were looking for.


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