Explore Community Services Worker Jobs and Career Options

Photo: Community Services Worker students and instructor at Herzing College Ottawa (2019)

Community services workers (CSWs) play a very important role in society.

They work directly with vulnerable people who need immediate support, including at-risk youth, survivors of domestic abuse, refugees and people suffering from addiction and mental health issues.

Community services workers connect people with resources, provide counselling, and arrange treatment programs depending on each person’s needs.

It can be an incredibly rewarding career path for anyone looking to work with others and help address social issues.

Without the support of community services workers, many at-risk people would have nowhere to turn for help. CSWs make a real difference in the community.

Interested in this career?

In this post, we’ll show you six examples of community services worker jobs along with descriptions of each position.

These are the jobs our own CSW graduates are often hired to fill.

Learn exactly what makes this a rewarding career and the training you’ll need to get there.


Community services job #1: Mental health worker

Mental health workers provide mental health, crisis, and facilitation supports to residents of substance abuse centres, clinics, group homes, and other facilities.

They often work closely with nurses and medical staff. Responsibilities for mental health workers may include:

☑️ Monitoring and recording residents' strengths, needs, and progress

☑️ Crisis intervention strategies

☑️ Facilitating group-based workshops on mental health, addictions and life skills

☑️ Providing mental health, trauma, addictions and harm reduction supports

☑️Teaching behavior management skills and motivational interviewing

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker program prepares you for this role:

☑️ Training in the fundamentals of human psychology, behavior, learning, motivation, and personality theory

☑️ Studying the symptoms and treatments for common mental health disorders

☑️ Training in how to write intake and progress reports

 

Community services job #2: Youth worker

Youth workers work closely with at-risk children and youth in group homes, drop-in centres, community centres, and youth employment organizations.

They develop trusting relationships with youth, provide early intervention programming and develop personalized plans to address each child's needs.

Responsibilities for youth workers may include:

☑️ Supervising activities in group homes, halfway houses, detention and custody facilities

☑️ Preparing assessment reports and case histories

☑️ Supervising children's visits with parents to ensure safety

☑️ Providing suicide and crisis intervention

☑️ Accompanying youth to appointments and social outings

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker program prepares you for this role:

☑️ Certifications in First Aid and CPR

☑️ Crisis intervention strategies

☑️ Studying the effects of addiction on individuals and society

☑️ Training in how to analyze family dynamics and relationships

 

Community services job #3: Group home worker

Group home workers help provide a safe, supervised living environment for people with special needs.

This includes individuals with developmental or physical disabilities, individuals recovering from substance abuse, youth in care, victims of domestic violence and others.

Responsibilities for group home workers may include:

☑️ Developing, prioritizing, and implementing daily activity plans for residents

☑️ Assisting all residents with their daily routines

☑️ Providing a home-like atmosphere with a high quality of care to residents

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker program prepares you for this role:

☑️ Studying the symptoms and treatments for common mental health disorders

☑️ Certifications in First Aid and CPR

☑️ Counselling techniques for those in need of assistance

 

Community services job #4: Addiction counsellor

Addiction counsellors work with people suffering from addiction and support them throughout their recovery.

Addiction counsellors will often work alongside medical staff at clinics, rehabilitation centres, and other community-based facilities.

Responsibilities for this role may include:

☑️ Supervising and monitoring residents

☑️ Transporting residents to appointments and meetings

☑️ Ensuring approved medication is taken by residents

☑️ Performing substance abuse testing

☑️ Implementing substance abuse treatment programs and counselling

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker training prepares you for this role:

☑️ Training in the fundamentals of human psychology, behavior, learning, motivation, and personality theory

☑️ Training in addiction and mental health

☑️ Training in how to write intake and progress reports

☑️ Counselling techniques for those suffering from addiction

☑️ Training in life skills coaching, setting and achieving new life goals

 

Community services job #5: Family service worker

Family service workers provide outreach, support and programming for families in need, particularly those experiencing significant parent-child or parent-adolescent difficulties.

Family service workers act as part of a care team alongside social workers and early childhood development workers.

Responsibilities for this role may include:

☑️ Facilitating family meetings

☑️ Providing in-home support services

☑️ Serving as a liaison for families with other community agencies and professionals

☑️ Supporting families to identify and build natural support networks

☑️ Developing support plans to reduce barriers and prevent intrusive actions such as child apprehensions

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker program prepares you for this role:

☑️ Training in how to write intake and progress reports

☑️ Training in analyzing family dynamics and relationships

☑️ Individual and group counselling techniques

☑️ A complete overview of the Canadian social welfare system, including how to identify and use available social programs and resources

 

Community services job #6: Shelter worker/supervisor

Shelter workers and supervisors help run community shelters and housing for vulnerable populations in need of a place to stay. They work with people fleeing domestic abuse, homeless populations, at-risk youth, and others.

Responsibilities for shelter workers may include:

☑️ Interviewing and counselling shelter residents

☑️ Administrative duties, answer incoming phone calls and emails

☑️ Supporting health and housing-focused efforts

☑️ Fostering positive relations with other community social services agencies and resources

☑️ Participating in program planning and development

 

How Herzing’s Community Services Worker program prepares you for this role:

☑️ Certifications in First Aid and CPR

☑️ Training in identifying at-risk populations in the community

☑️ Training in how to approach and support a person in crisis

☑️ Interviewing and counselling techniques

☑️ Mental health and addiction training

 

What are the training requirements for community services workers?

In job postings for community service workers, many employers require a Community Services Worker certificate or diploma.  Experience as a community worker or volunteer is also considered an asset.

Experience can include supporting people with special needs, participating in community outreach, and helping run community service programs.

Community Services Worker training programs usually include an internship. This helps students can gain practical experience in the field prior to graduation.

Herzing College’s Community Services Worker program runs for 12 months and includes an 8-week internship at a community organization.

Our CSW graduates are hired by clinics, not-for-profit organizations and rehabilitation centres throughout Ottawa.

 

Have questions about CSW training, jobs, or how get started?

Your next step is to speak with an Admissions Advisor. An Advisor will explain how to apply, what to expect in class, financial aid options, class schedules, and more.

Click below to explore the Community Services Worker program in more detail, and chat live with an Advisor. We're here to help!

Explore the Community Services Worker Program