Social and community service workers

Strong job outlook

Overview

Social and community service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and assist clients to deal with personal and social problems. They are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centres, school boards, correctional facilities and other establishments.

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Review client background information, interview clients to obtain case history and prepare intake reports

  • Assess clients' relevant skill strengths and needs

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

  • Assess and investigate eligibility for social benefits

  • Refer clients to other social services or assist clients in locating and utilizing community resources including legal, medical and financial assistance, housing, employment, transportation, day care and other services

  • Counsel clients living in group homes and halfway houses, supervise their activities and assist in pre-release and release planning

  • Participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs

  • 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

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

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

  • Advise and aid recipients of social assistance and pensions

  • Provide crisis intervention and emergency shelter services

  • Implement and organize the delivery of specific services within the community

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

  • Mobilise and coordinate volunteer resources and activities for a range of organizations such as human service agencies, health care facilities, arts and sports centres, etc.

  • May maintain program statistics for purposes of evaluation and research

  • May supervise social service support workers and volunteers.

Job titles

  • Aboriginal centre coordinator
  • Aboriginal outreach officer - social services
  • Aboriginal outreach worker
  • addictions worker
  • addictions worker - compulsive gambling
  • case aide - social services

Employment prospects

Source: BC Labour Market Outlook 2023 edition

Annual salary

Low

$40,794

Median

$52,140

High

$65,175

Job openings

Use this interactive map to explore job openings in different regions across B.C.

Strong job outlook

British Columbia

7,342

expected job openings (5-year forecast)

Education and training

Employment requirements

  • Completion of a college or university program in social work, child and youth care, psychology or other social science or health-related discipline is usually required.
  • Previous work experience in a social service environment as a volunteer or in a support capacity may replace formal education requirements for some occupations in this unit group.
  • Social service workers may be required to be a member of a provincial regulatory body in some provinces.

Additional information

  • Progression to professional occupations in social services, such as family and marriage counsellors, social workers, and probation and parole officers, is possible with additional training and experience.

Certification requirements

Optional: The following certification are optional to practice as Social and community service workers in B.C.

  • Certification through the BC College of Social Workers (BCCSW) - Social and Community Service Workers

Certification through the BC College of Social Workers (BCCSW) - Social and Community Service Workers

Please confirm with the certifying body that your intended program qualifies you for this certification. To work as a social worker in BC, you may choose to become certified through the BC College of Social Workers (BCCSW). Eligibility is achieved through completion of an approved post-secondary program, criminal record checks, and successful writing of a licensure exam.

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Post-secondary programs in B.C.

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