Social and Community Service Workers

(NOC 4212)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Social and community service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and help clients deal with personal and social problems. They work for social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centres, school regions, prisons, and other organizations.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Stable employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 145 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all 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 remain largely the same over the next few years. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Social and Community Service Workers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 58% 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)

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$21.00

Median

$32.45

Maximum

Annual Pay

$8,266

Minimum

$38,472

Median

$66,189

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Social and community service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and help clients deal with personal and social problems. They work for social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centres, school regions, prisons, and other organizations.

Job duties

Social and community service workers:

  • Review client background information, interview clients to get case history and prepare intake reports.
  • Assess clients' relevant skill strengths and needs.
  • Help clients sort out options and develop plans of action while providing necessary support and assistance.
  • Assess eligibility for social benefits.
  • Refer clients to other social services or help clients locate and use 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 help 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.
  • Help evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs by tracking clients' behavioural changes and responses to interventions.
  • Advise and aid social assistance and pensions recipients.
  • Provide crisis intervention and emergency shelter services.
  • Implement service delivery within the community.
  • Maintain contact with other social service agencies and health care providers involved with clients to provide information and get 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 use in evaluation and research.
  • May supervise social service support workers and volunteers.

Sample job titles

  • addictions worker
  • child and youth care practitioner
  • community mental health worker
  • community services officer - social services
  • crisis intervention worker
  • group home worker
  • life skills coach
  • mental health support worker
  • parent navigator
  • psychological assistant
  • social services worker

Skills

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 in speaking and in writing. Leadership, reasoning and decision-making skills are also necessary. An understanding of human nature is also important. You shall be able to establish relationships with and provide appropriate and culturally responsive interventions for clients. Effective mediation and conflict resolution skills are important. You will need to maintain and promote confidentiality as the norm.

Job requirements

  • 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

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. Movement to professional occupations in social services like family and marriage counsellors, social workers, and probation and parole officers, is possible with additional training and experience. First Aid and CPR as well as a valid driver’s license may be required for some of these positions. Many positions require the ability to work effectively in flexible situations with variable hours.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,825

employed in 2016

77.3%

employed full-time

1.7%

self employed

76.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
23.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
41.4

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

39.5%

Halifax

18.7%

North Shore

16.3%

Cape Breton

14.1%

Annapolis Valley

11.4%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

68.0%

Health care and social assistance

17.2%

Public administration

5.8%

Other services (except public administration)

3.1%

Educational services

1.2%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

25-34

23.0%

35-44

23.0%

45-54

15.0%

55-64

10.0%

15-24

4.0%

65+

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

34.8%

Bachelor

$42,361 median annual income
34.2%

College Diploma

$36,794 median annual income
14.5%

High school

$33,204 median annual income
4.8%

Master

$46,956 median annual income
3.7%

Diploma Below Bachelor

$43,428 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Applied Behaviour Analysis

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying principles of learning and behaviour to enhance the development, abilities, and choices of children and adults and prepares students to address the behavioural needs of individuals, especially those with developmental disabilities and autism. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Biological and Physical Sciences

College or University Program

This includes 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.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Child and Youth Care

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare individuals to be primary providers of home, family, residential, or institutional-based child care services. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Eastern College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Child Development

College or University Program

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.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Community Health Services/Liaison/Counselling

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to serve as facilitators, advocates, and referral professionals linking health care and related social services with affected recipient communities. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Community Organization and Advocacy

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus 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. They prpare students to apply such knowledge and skills in community service positions.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Developmental Service Worker

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare 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. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

Sydney, NS

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Island Career Academy

Sydney, NS

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Family and Community Services

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus 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. They include courses in family systems, human development, social services, community social and economic development, social policy, voluntary sector activities, and outreach and community education.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Forensic Psychology

College or University Program

These programs preapre students to apply clinical, counselling, school, and neuropsychology skills to the provision of psychological services within the criminal justice and civil legal systems, including consultation, assessment, and interventions. They include courses in the epidemiology of mental/behavioural disorders, risk factors for violence and criminality, profiling and patterning, psychological testing, prediction and intervention measurement, forensic assessment, criminal and civil law and procedures, secure environments, forensic treatment and intervention skills, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Human Development and Family Studies

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on basic human developmental and behavioural characteristics of the individual within the context of the family. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Human Services

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the general study and provision of human and social services to individuals and communities and prepare students to work in public and private human services agencies and organizations. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on the dynamic social relations between and among majority and minority groups and different minority groups, and ways to promote mutual tolerance, inter-group cooperation, and the leadership and management of diverse groups and diversity issues in family, educational, recreational, and work settings. They include courses in ethnic and cultural studies, group psychology, sociology, anthropology, conflict resolution, human services and resources, and applications to various functional environments.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Mental Health Counselling

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to provide evaluations, referrals, and short-term counselling services to help people prevent or remediate personal problems, conflicts, and emotional crises. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Neuroscience

University Program

These programs focus on the interdisciplinary scientific study of the molecular, structural, physiologic, cognitive, and behavioural aspects of the brain and nervous system. They include courses in molecular and cellular neuroscience, brain science, anatomy and physiology of the central nervous system, molecular and biochemical bases of information processing, behavioural neuroscience, biology of neuropsychiatric disorders, and applications to the clinical sciences and biomedical engineering.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Psychology

College or University Program

These programs focus 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. They include courses in the principles of the various subfields of psychology, research methods, and psychological assessment and testing methods.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Social Work

College or University Program

These programs prepare students for the professional practice of social welfare administration and counselling, and focus on the study of organized means of providing basic support services for vulnerable individuals and groups. They include courses in social welfare policy, case work planning, social counselling and intervention strategies, administrative procedures and regulations, and specific applications in areas like child welfare and family services, probation, employment services, and disability counselling.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Sociology

College or University Program

These programs focus on the systematic study of human social institutions and social relationships. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Youth Services/Administration

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, manage, and implement social services for children, youth, and families. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Jane Norman College (Truro)

Truro, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Child and Youth Care Practitioner

Professional Designation: Professional designation exists and shows that the holder has met the standards for the job. Employers may require professional designation, but professional designation is not necessary to do this work.

Regulating body:
Child and Youth Care Certification Board
1212 Orr Street
College Station, TX, USA 77840
(979) 764-7306
(979) 764-7307

Contacts

Nova Scotia Department of Community Services
Various, NS
Nova Scotia Child and Youth Care Association
Nova Scotia, Canada
Association of Black Social Workers
Dartmouth, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.