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COMMUNITY SERVICE WORK - A SAFE PLACE FOR THOSE IN NEED

In 2013, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) have designated November 6 as Community Social Service Workers Appreciation Day, and with good reason. Community service workers work tirelessly to help those in need of access to welfare and health-care programs—these people include those with mental illness, parents in need of child care, victims of domestic violence, and those with substance abuse problems.

It’s no big secret that life and society can be unfair—that is why community service workers are so important to the well being of our communities and society at large. With a booming job market for service workers, a compassionate and competent community social worker will always be in high demand.

Take a look at Eastern College’s community service worker diploma program for more information on how to get started in an exciting and rewarding career as a service worker.

What do community service workers do?

Community service workers may find themselves working in a variety of settings, such as in distress relief counselling, addiction centres, public health, and substance abuse rehabilitation. Social service workers require a varied toolkit to work within these frameworks—a good service worker must be well versed in criminology, group work, sociology, psychology, first aid, and CPR.

Whatever situations clients find themselves in—be it addiction, domestic violence, eating disorders, or other mental health issues—a community service worker must know how to act quickly to help those in need. These unfortunate things can occur to anyone anytime, so it is important for a service worker to act quickly and accordingly to the situation.

However, a simply practical toolkit is not all that is required for a good service worker. People working in social services must be personable, patient, and empathetic to the needs of clients and the community as a whole. It takes a strong person to work in social services, and a person with good interpersonal communication skills. Empathy is also an important factor for social service workers—people always go through hard times, and it is important to establish a kind, caring, and safe space for those who need it.

Beginning your career

Eastern College’s accredited community service worker program, located at our Saint John, New Brunswick campus, offers students an exhaustive education in services ranging from addiction to domestic violence intervention. The 50-week program consists of courses in sociology, criminology, communications, life-span psychology, development psychology, and first aid. Since community service workers are largely needed in underprivileged and at-risk areas, a focus is placed on at-risk populations and how each of the above factors operate in that context.

In addition to these courses, students will partake in an eight-week field placement course to gain valuable first-hand experience with working in community service.

With communities always in need of a helping hand, there’s never a bad time to consider a career in community service. Contact Eastern College today to find out more about our fully accredited program.