Community and Social Services Specialist

What is a Community and Social Services Specialist?

A Community and Social Services Specialist helps those in need find government and private assistance programs. They coordinate activities like community outreach and social service programs.

What they do depends on where they are employed. They may work with people with psychological or addiction problems. They may just work on helping lower income families get access to affordable housing or money for food and clothing. It all depends on the employment setting.

These specialists typically work under the supervision of upper level managers such as program directors or directors of social services.

Job Responsibilities

In general, they help facilitate the delivery of support and services to clients, which may be individuals or groups. Given the wide variety of places where Community and Social Services Specialists work, their specific day-to-day job responsibilities also vary greatly. Some examples of those responsibilities include:

  • Assisting adults and/or children with developmental disabilities.
  • Providing physical and psychosocial care to clients.
  • Providing information to clients on social service programs.
  • Interviewing clients and assembling information to determine eligibility for services.
  • Helping clients locate community services and resources, such as housing and housing programs, healthcare services and specialized assistance for seniors or individuals with disabilities.
  • Helping to plan and conduct special events, services and programs, such as health education, health screenings, mentoring, tutoring or drug prevention programs, public safety, and crime prevention
  • Interpret and apply statutes, rules, regulations, municipal codes, and other procedures

Community and Social Services Specialists: Career Outlook

Workers in these occupations promote wellness to help people cope with or overcome challenges.

Overall employment in community and social service occupations is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations from 2022 to 2032. About 16,000 openings for social and community service managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade due to employment growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupations permanently.

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information can be helpful in gaining perspective on career options, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is simply meant to provide insight on occupational opportunities. That data should not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in this or any other field of work.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Your business associate degree will prepare you for a career as an administrator. You will learn business communications, sales, marketing, accounting, business law, information technology, management principles and more. This well-rounded curriculum will provide the platform from which you can enter the diverse field of administration. Some of the industries open to you are finance, human resources, marketing operations, information systems, office management, healthcare administration, manufacturing, insurance and more.

Having gone through the business associate degree program, you will understand global business issues. Your verbal and math skills will be in line with the current business environment. You will understand the most important functions of management and their application to decision-making. You will acquire the information technology skills necessary for common business applications. And, you will develop important information literacy skills through the effective use of technology and information resources and apply these to problem-solving.

Although you could enter this career with a high school diploma and related work experience, distinguishing yourself early with a business associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College can help you edge out the competition.

Becoming a Community and Social Services Specialist

Getting a start as a Community and Social Services Specialist means earning a degree. A combined Human and Social Services associate degree from Bryant & Stratton College can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to begin your career. In this degree program, you will develop the ability to identify and address the needs of patients and clients, gain a solid foundation in the ethical and legal procedures relevant to Community and Social Services and explore the various functions of the human and social services field. Cultural competence, crisis intervention, public health issues and counseling and case management strategies are also areas of study in this program, as are computing skills, healthcare information system, and research and writing for the workplace.

Additional Training/Requirements

Training and requirements over and above earning a degree depend largely upon the particular employment setting. Many employers and workplaces may require that Community and Social Services Specialist job candidates pass a criminal background check and drug screenings. If a position you’re applying for entails working with children or developmentally disabled individuals of any age, a background check that looks for any history of abuse/neglect complaints may be necessary for hire.

Some employers may prefer to hire candidates who have earned specialty certifications in their field. Examples of in-demand credentials include Case Manager Certification and Certified Peer Specialist, among others. Some positions may require applicants to meet work experience requirements, either as paid employees or via internship programs. Some positions and/or employers may require that newly hired employees complete on the job training programs as a condition of continued employment. The Human and Social Services associate degree at Bryant & Stratton College does not align with or lead to a professional certification. Check with the certifying entity for eligibility and testing fees required.

Given the wide variety of employment settings and positions available to Community and Social Services Specialists, this is not an exhaustive account of the additional training and requirements candidates may encounter as they seek employment in the field.

For more details on the Community and Social/Human Services Field, please visit the Degree Insights section on the Bryant & Stratton College blog. By exploring the blog and our website, you’ll find lots of helpful, career-focused information to help you create a career path that suits your needs and goals, along with a solid plan to pursue it.

Employment Settings

Community and Social Services Specialists work in a wide variety of settings. They are found in places like:

  • Individual and family service programs
  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Residential care facilities
  • Substance abuse treatment centers
  • Social advocacy organizations
  • Senior service agencies
  • Public health services

They may work in community food and housing, emergency aid and other types of relief services agencies. Many are employed by governments, working in state or local social services, child protection, public health, mental health and probation departments, and public and private schools also employ them. These are just a few examples of the many job settings in which Community and Social Services Specialists can be found.

While these projections can help career-minded people evaluate potential employment fields, it is important to note that job market data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook is only intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities. It should not be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. Neither BLS nor Bryant & Stratton College can guarantee employment in any field.

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