Schools Training

Integration and Community Service Worker Planning

13 MAR 2013
Career Path : Community Work

One of the most valuable career fields out there is a position with a community outreach program. Working with the impoverished, the physically disabled and other marginalized members of society, a community service worker, or a social worker or personal support worker can be the key to helping many people build a better life.


Social work often has negative connotations. People think about horror stories about foster care and unrequired child remove disputes, but they do not realize that the field no longer relies on removing children as a strategy, and that social work is more than child welfare. Instead the new strategy focused on families and the community they live in. Similarly the association with personal support worker training is that it is mostly about helping wealthy elderly people avoid assisted living facilities.


In reality a significant part of the physically and mentally handicapped population has problems with poverty. Because of the greater accommodations they require, it is harder for them to find and maintain work. Meanwhile problems with child abuse and neglect often come from external stressing factors, and poverty tends to be a generational problem. New methods involve a focus on education and making sure people have the resources to help themselves. For example in the past, a child who was inadequately dressed or failed to attend school might be removed from the home. These days a community service worker will look to see why the child has these problems. Perhaps they have a single parent who is experiencing health problems, but working too hard to get help!


The community service worker might also teach nutrition in schools or run an after school program. These measures also work as preventative care so that problems never become strong enough to need more drastic intervention of the welfare system. Poverty isn’t solved overnight, but investments into the entire community, with good food and good quality education, improve everyone’s quality of life.


In the case of the disabled, personal support worker training also focuses on building independence in the client. They teach clients to build their own accommodations, which can help them more smoothly integrate with the work force and the demands of their daily life. Where possible, the goal can even be to help the client become less or completely un-reliant on care.


Another trend in inclusive social work is trying to integrate the community’s efforts to help themselves into externally applied efforts. Often the people within a community with problems are best suited to figure out a workable solution. It would be very easy to externally insert non-working answers that seem like a good idea, if all the planning is done by people with different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. If it is an immigrant group they might not even speak the language. These days, by and large, everyone is included in every step of the process.



Visit Academy of Learning College Toronto for information on how to get started on helping your community, like psw courses.