A social service assistant aids other professionals to help the clients they serve connect with community resources and services. They assist professionals working in the behavioral health field, rehabilitation, and social work space by providing the research and logistics necessary to connect clients to the services they find.
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How to Become a Social Service Assistant
Although a college education is not required to become a social and human service assistant, O*NET OnLine indicates that almost 30% hold a bachelor’s degree while almost 20% have earned a master’s degree. Without a formal education, employers may require a candidate to have experience to gain employment. To get your foot in the door, you could also gain your two-year degree in a social science profession and find a program that includes fieldwork or internship opportunities to help you gain the experience necessary to land a job after college.
These workers also have titles such as case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.
Job Description of a Social Service Assistant
Social service assistants connect clients with available benefits and community resources available. They work with other social workers, psychologists, and other professionals to provide resources for clients that may be suffering from substance abuse, domestic violence, and those with longer medical care needs. These workers will have to conduct research into area services or contact area services to inquire about availability and eligibility requirements. They may also meet with clients at an office, off-site, or in their home.
Research and reporting are key tasks. These assistants must thoroughly research the needs of a client while inquiring about the services or benefits that are available to them. They collaborate with the client and the professionals providing services to that client to assist with their treatment plan as well. After assisting the client with available services, they may also follow-up to ensure the client is being taken care of.
Social Service Assistant Career Video Transcript
With a blend of compassion, determination, and strong organizational skills, social and human service assistants help a wide variety of people get the services they need. Social and human service assistants help clients obtain benefits and services in their community, and follow up to ensure services are in place. For example, they may connect families to food assistance or childcare, help immigrants enroll in language classes and job training, or help people leaving prison find jobs and housing.
People in this field work under a variety of job titles, including case work aide, social work assistant or aide, counselor assistant, and human services worker. Typically with the supervision of a social worker or counselor, social and human service assistants serve many different clients such as veterans, the homeless, children and families, the elderly, and clients rehabilitating from addiction or injuries. They work in many types of organizations that provide social assistance programs, including: non-profits, social service agencies, government offices, hospitals, and shelters. Some may visit clients in the community.
Most social and human service assistants work full time. They generally need at least a high school education, and may be required to have a certificate or associate’s degree in a human services field. More education usually qualifies a candidate for higher-level work.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Human Service Assistant.
National Center for O*NET Development. 21-1093.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.