Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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Unit Group

4212 Social and community service workers

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.

Example Titles

Aboriginal outreach worker
addictions worker
child and youth worker
community development worker
community service worker
crisis intervention worker
developmental service worker
drop-in centre worker
family service worker
group home worker
income maintenance officer – social services
life skills instructor
mental health worker
rehabilitation worker – social services
social services worker
veteran services officer
welfare and compensation officer
women's shelter supervisor
youth worker

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Main 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
  • Co-ordinate 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.

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.

Classified elsewhere

  • Activities leaders – seniors (in 5254 Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness )
  • Educational counsellors (4033)
  • Family, marriage and other related counsellors (4153)
  • Instructors of persons with disabilities (4215)
  • Managers in social, community and correctional services (0423)
  • Social workers (4152)

Classification Structure - 4