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Also known as:
Addictions Counselor Assistant, Case Work Aide, Clinical Social Work Aide, Family Service Assistant, Human Services Worker, Social Work Assistant

Video transcript

Government, community, and charitable agencies offer many services to people in need, but getting in touch with those services can be difficult. Human services workers provide the connection. They are the face of an agency. Their job titles and responsibilities vary and include social service assistant, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, alcohol or drug abuse counselor, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skill counselor, or gerontology aide.

Any one of these titles refer to the person who helps individuals reach the social and health care services they need. At the same time, human services workers help determine whether people seeking help are indeed eligible for benefits and services, so the human service worker might examine financial documents, like rent receipts and tax returns. She or he might visit a residence to check the truth of claims or arrange for transportation to hospitals or clinics.

Other human service workers help people get on track with their lives, providing services such as mental health treatment, drug rehabilitation, or home care for the elderly. They may also help clients fill out insurance or medical forms, as well as applications for financial aid.

A bachelor's degree is usually not required in this expanding field. Instead, certificates or associate degrees in subjects like social work, human services, or social and behavioral sciences enhance your ability to get a job and do it. You'll need effective communication skills, patience, and a strong desire to help people. The job is relatively low-paying, though benefits usually are included, and the work can be emotionally draining. But when the right connection is made between a person in need and a service that can help, you'll feel good.

Assist other social and human service providers in providing client services in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, including support for families. May assist clients in identifying and obtaining available benefits and social and community services. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, rehabilitation, or dependent care.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Interview individuals or family members to compile information on social, educational, criminal, institutional, or drug history.

Advise clients regarding food stamps, child care, food, money management, sanitation, or housekeeping.

Develop and implement behavioral management and care plans for clients.

Assess clients' cognitive abilities and physical and emotional needs to determine appropriate interventions.

Provide information or refer individuals to public or private agencies or community services for assistance.

Submit reports and review reports or problems with superior.

Keep records or prepare reports for owner or management concerning visits with clients.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.