Community Service Worker

Community Service Worker Diploma helps Lara kick start her new life

After being trapped in an abusive marriage for 16 years and imprisoned in her home surrounded by 14-acres of land, there’s no denying Lara Niessen is an Academy of Learning Career College graduate with a story to tell. In 2017, 47-year-old Lara and her four children escaped their abusive past with nothing but backpacks and the determination to start afresh. 

Fast forward just a few short years and Lara has completed her Community Service Worker Diploma and recently found a job as a community support worker, helping people who suffer from mental health issues. This is a stark contrast to her previous life as a secretary for her now ex-husband, who ran a business from the home in which she was trapped. Here she developed selling and admin skills but at the same time was denied leaving the house for fresh air for months at a time.

“I knew I needed to get out, not just for me but for my children. We were all being abused. My kids still suffer from PTSD after what happened to us. My daughter was so traumatized after the escape that she would scream for hours at a time – it was heart-breaking. 

“Once we were free, we found refuge in a basement suite which, as you can imagine, was a bit cramped. Luckily, we have now moved into a place just a street over which has three bedrooms. A year after our escape, welfare wanted me to get back into work. I was reluctant because I needed to look after my children well and expected I would only get a low-paid job with my existing qualifications. So, I applied for income assistance in the Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) category, which gave me a two-year window before being required to start work. It was at this time that I found Academy of Learning Career College in Abbotsford.” 

Lara was welcomed by the Academy of Learning staff and after she had expressed a desire to learn to access a career, the team helped her to make the right decisions for her future.

“The team was so welcoming and encouraging. I explained my story to them, and they couldn’t have been more helpful when choosing a programme of study. I had set my mind on working with the homeless and people with mental health issues, so the Community Service Worker Diploma was the one for me. Initially, I struggled to find funding to take the course, but the Academy of Learning team helped me approach the Opportunities Fund, which granted the support I needed to take my diploma. 

“Because of the pandemic, I was able to study online from home. I studied for up to six hours a day whilst I cared for my daughter. The fact that Academy of Learning offers such a flexible schedule for study was a huge benefit for me. Having the ability to work from home allowed me to reassure my family that I was there for them. I don’t know if I’d have been able to complete the diploma without that.”

As well as Academy of Learning’s flexibility on where students choose to work through their course, you also receive help from a learning coach. The learning coach’s job is to provide students with extra help when they need it. It doesn’t matter if a student chooses to learn on campus or from the comfort of their home; a learning coach will be on hand whenever they are needed.

“My learning coach was always available to help me with technical issues or when I was stressed and needed an extra bit of a push. All the Academy staff had a caring and warm attitude, taking into account my personal circumstances.

“I have always risen to a challenge. I never wanted to rely on welfare, so moving forward was my only option. My message to people looking to start a new life is that no matter what you’ve been through, you can always change your life for the better. Today is a new day, and you can do something you have never done before. My experience with Academy of Learning has changed my life, given me a new direction and boosted my confidence. Remember, we only get one life, so make the most of it.”

If you’re interested in developing yourself personally or professionally in a supportive and flexible learning environment, get in contact with with us. We are accepting students for our Community Service Worker Program. Call us at 905-273-6788 or Email sunita@aolmississauga.com

 

No comments
wp_aolmissCommunity Service Worker Diploma helps Lara kick start her new life
read more

Do you like helping people? Consider being a Community Services Worker!

What is Community Services Worker?

Community Services Workers are also known as Social Services Workers or Human Services Workers; they administrate numerous types of social assistance programs and community services to help people deal with personal or social difficulties. Community Services Workers work in a variety of professional areas, ranging from child and youth service, rehabilitation, veteran service, addiction service, to senior care, personal care, and other social works. It is their responsibility to provide care, support and counselling for individuals dealing with issues such as addiction, substance abuse, human relationships and rehabilitation.

Most Community Services Workers are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centers, school boards, correctional facilities, or other organizations with a focus on community outreach and personal care. Their responsibility may be associated with one single client or a community group depending on the type of services required. Most of Community Services Workers’ duties are conducted in an office environment, with possible involvement of home support under housing programs supported by local government or group homes.

What does Community Services Worker do?

According to Service Canada and National Household Survey data, in 2011 approximately 58% of community and social service workers worked in the health care and social assistance sector. About 15% worked in public administration, primarily as income security program administrators, mainly in the provincial civil service, but also in municipal government. Another 14% worked in associations, especially civil and social organizations (8%).

As a Community Services Worker, it is your duty to arrange face-to-face appointments for individuals or group gatherings for communities; you need to provide professional counseling for clients who need advice or guidance in dealing with psychological, biological, or behavioral issues. In addition, providing emotional support for clients is another essential part of this role. Even though Community Services Workers operate during standard business hours, they are also required to take on the responsibility of emotional support during weekends and after-hours when needed. Being a Community Services Worker, no only do you help others improve their lives, you also make a crucial impact on their lives and eventually become a part of their lives.

How to become a Community Services Worker

In order to become A qualified Community Services Worker, you need to obtain knowledge of the basic social work practices and social services; you need to have the ability to understand and accept the needs and rights of others and to work with a wide range of service recipients; you need to have the ability to express ideas effectively; you also need great communication and interpersonal skills to maintain a supportive social service relationship with your clients.

Generally, you need a diploma in social service work, special care counselling or correctional intervention to become a Community Service Worker. Previous experiences in the social services sector as a volunteer or a former service recipient may also help increase you chance of future employment.

How much does a Community Services Worker make?

According to PayScale Canada, A Community Services Worker earns an average wage of C$16.90 per hour. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this field. Pay for this job does not change too much by experience, and skills in Counseling are associated with high pay for this job. The national average salary of Community Services Workers in Canada ranges from $27,389 to $46.414 per year, with extra overtime pay from $13.94/hr to $34,93/hr.

The job outlook for Community Service Workers

According to Service Canada, over the past few years, the number of Community and Social Services Workers has risen very sharply, resulting from the large increase in social service needs. Associated with this growth, more and more communities and organizations are actively looking for Community Services Workers to fulfill their clients’ needs. Since the community network is now well established and the number of income security claimants should continue, the number of Community and Social Services Workers is expected to grow sharply over the next few years, but at a more moderate pace than before.

At our college, a well-trained Community Service Worker (CSW) is equipped with a flexible, adaptable career path. Our CSW program provides students with the base knowledge, skills, and work experience to become permanently employable in a CSW setting. As the largest career college in Canada, Academy of Learning has been changing lives since 1987. Browse our program listing by province and discover the best Community Services Program for you!

Our college is now accepting students for Community Service Worker Diploma Program.See full program information here. Call us today at 905-273-6788

 

No comments
wp_aolmissDo you like helping people? Consider being a Community Services Worker!
read more