careers.novascotia.ca

Social and Community Service Workers

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NOC:4212
Occupation:Social and Community Service Workers
Category:Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

About the job

Nature of work:

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.

Job duties:
Social and community service workers perform 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 half-way 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.
  • Coordinate the volunteer activities of human service agencies, health care facilities and arts and sports organizations.
  • May maintain program statistics for purposes of evaluation and research.
  • May supervise social service support workers and volunteers.
Sample job titles:
  • addictions worker
  • child and youth worker
  • community mental health worker
  • community services officer - social services
  • crisis intervention worker
  • group home worker
  • life skills coach
  • mental health support worker
  • psychological assistant
  • social services worker
Skills:

To work in this field, you should have an interest in the welfare of others and a desire to help them. Patience, maturity, and good listening skills are important. You must be able to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. Leadership, reasoning and decision-making skills are also necessary. An understanding of human nature is also important.

Job 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.
  • Social service workers may be required to be a member of a provincial regulatory body in some provinces.
Other considerations:

Previous work experience in a social service environment as a volunteer or in a support capacity may replace formal education requirements for some jobs in this group. 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Social and Community Service Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 60% of Social and Community Service Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $44,343. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Social and Community Service Workers4,345Moderate growth260Moderate
Minimum: $15.50
Median: $21.00
Maximum: $33.33
Minimum: $8,266
Median: $38,472
Maximum: $66,189
Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services55,420Moderate growth4,880Low
Minimum: $14.00
Median: $26.88
Maximum: $46.15
Minimum: $5,616
Median: $44,335
Maximum: $92,599
Social and Community Service WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
Percent employed full-time80%79%
Percent self-employed49%6%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentSocial and Community Service WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern11%$34,28312%$30,581
Northern19%$32,03316%$33,660
Cape Breton16%$29,55113%$32,974
Halifax39%$32,22247%$41,209
Annapolis Valley14%$35,93013%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeSocial and Community Service WorkersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
15-2417%N/A
25-3427%5%
35-4422%37%
45-5423%29%
55-6410%24%
65+1%5%
Median Age4144
GenderSocial and Community Service WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% Employed% Employed
Female76%64%
Male24%36%
EducationSocial and Community Service WorkersCompared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school2.7%x2.8%$11,346
High school14.5%$35,20914.3%$25,801
Trades certificate3.7%x4.2%$35,678
College certificate or diploma34.4%$42,34121.5%$28,183
University certificate or diploma3.5%$48,6072.6%$35,967
Bachelor's degree35.3%$38,81329.2%$43,533
University advanced certificate or diploma1.4%$26,5073.4%$47,801
Master's degree0.2%x17.2%$35,978
Doctorate4.5%x4.6%$60,991
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.2%$83,456
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
PO Box 696
Halifax, NS B3J 2T7
Tel: (877) 424-1177

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Applied behaviour analysis
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of principles of learning and behaviour to enhance the development, abilities, and choices of children and adults; and that prepares individuals to address the behavioural needs of individuals, especially those with developmental disabilities and autism. These programs include courses in behaviour analysis and learning, behavioural and functional assessment, developmental psychology, applied behavioural analysis in developmental disabilities and autism, applied behavioural analysis in mental health and aging, research methods, evaluation of interventions, and professional and ethical issues.
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Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Biological and physical sciences
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that is either a general synthesis of one or more of the biological and physical sciences, or a specialization which draws from the biological and physical sciences.
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Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Child care provider/assistant
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to be primary providers of home, family, residential, or institutional-based child care services. These programs include courses in child growth and development; nutrition; recreation; planning and supervision of play and learning activities; child abuse and neglect prevention; parent-child relationships; and applicable legal and administrative requirements.
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Eastern College - Halifax
6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111
Halifax, NS B3L 0B7
(902) 423-3933
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Child development
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This program engages students in practical training and theoretical explorations in child and youth work, early childhood education, as well as early intervention and inclusive development.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Program Name:Community health services/liaison/counselling
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to serve as facilitators, advocates, and referral professionals linking health care and related social services with affected recipient communities. These programs include courses in public and community health, human and social services, health services administration, group counselling, health education, group advocacy, cross-cultural and multilingual communication, and applicable laws and policies.
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Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Community organization and advocacy
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the theories, principles, and practice of providing services to communities, organizing communities and neighbourhoods for social action, serving as community liaisons to public agencies, and using community resources to furnish information, instruction, and assistance to all members of a community. Prepares individuals to apply such knowledge and skills in community service positions.
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Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Developmental service worker
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply practical knowledge and skills to support individuals with a variety of physical, mental or developmental disabilities in a family or community setting. These programs include courses in health care, basic nutrition, pharmacology, nursing, autism, mental health, psychology, sociology, behavioural analysis, communication, intervention, counselling and community services, and developmental services, such as literacy and life skills training.
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Maritime Business College - Dartmouth
45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6
(902) 463-6700
admissions@maritimebusinesscollege.ca
Island Career Academy
721 Alexandra Street
Sydney, NS B1S 2H4
(902) 564-6112
admissions@islandcareeracademy.ca
Program Name:Family and community services
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the development and implementation of public, private, and voluntary support services for individuals, families, and localities and that prepares individuals to function in a variety of occupations promoting family life, and family/community development. These programs include courses in family systems, human development, social services, community social and economic development, social policy, voluntary sector activities, and outreach and community education.
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Academy of Learning - Halifax
6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre
Halifax, NS B3L 4P1
(902) 455-3395
careers@aolhrm.com
Program Name:Human development and family studies - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on basic human developmental and behavioural characteristics of the individual within the context of the family. These programs include courses in the conditions that influence human growth and development; strategies that promote growth and development across the lifespan; and the study of family systems.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
Program Name:Human services - General
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general study and provision of human and social services to individuals and communities and prepares individuals to work in public and private human services agencies and organizations. These programs include courses in the social sciences, psychology, principles of social service, human services policy, planning and evaluation, social services law and administration, and applications to particular issues, services, localities, and populations.
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Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute
80 Mawiomi Place
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5
(902) 491-1100
waterfront.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Mental health counselling/counselor
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to provide evaluations, referrals, and short-term counselling services to help people prevent or remediate personal problems, conflicts, and emotional crises. These programs include courses in human development, psychopathology, individual and group counselling, personality theory, career assessment, patient screening and referral, observation and testing techniques, interviewing skills, professional standards and ethics, and applicable laws and regulations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Success College
800 Sackville Drive
Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8
(902) 865-8283
Program Name:Psychology - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific study of individual and collective behaviour, the physical and environmental bases of behaviour, and the analysis and treatment of behaviour problems and disorders. These programs include courses in the principles of the various subfields of psychology, research methods, and psychological assessment and testing methods.
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Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Social work - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the professional practice of social welfare administration and counselling, and that focuses on the study of organized means of providing basic support services for vulnerable individuals and groups. These programs include courses in social welfare policy; case work planning; social counselling and intervention strategies; administrative procedures and regulations; and specific applications in areas such as child welfare and family services, probation, employment services, and disability counselling.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Program Name:Sociology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of human social institutions and social relationships. These programs include courses in social theory, sociological research methods, social organization and structure, social stratification and hierarchies, dynamics of social change, family structures, social deviance and control, and applications to the study of specific social groups, social institutions, and social problems.
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Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Substance abuse/addiction counseling
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to help prevent substance abuse, counsel individuals and families with drug and alcohol problems, and perform intervention and therapeutic services for persons suffering from addiction. These programs include courses in individual and group counselling skills, psychology of addiction, sociology, crisis intervention, substance abuse identification methodologies, substance abuse treatment modalities, substance abuse prevention and treatment resources, pharmacology and behavioural aspects of abused substances, treatment evaluation, patient observation and education, group dynamics, professional standards and ethics, and applicable laws and regulations.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Youth services/administration
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to plan, manage, and implement social services for children, youth, and families. These programs include courses in child development and psychology, adolescence, family studies, social work, social services administration, juvenile and family law, program and facilities planning, youth leadership, counselling, probation, casework, applicable procedures, and regulations, and professional standards and ethics.
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Jane Norman College (Truro)
60 Lorne Street, Suite 1
Truro, NS B2N 3K3
(902) 893-3342
Additional resources: