Day in the life of a community service worker

Do you have a passion for helping others? Are you looking for a way to give back to your community, make a real, tangible, positive difference in the world and feel good every day? If so, consider a career in the community service sector. Studies show that workers in this industry enjoy higher levels of job satisfaction than in other industries – and who can argue? You get to help others every day, improving their lives and, in turn, improving yours. As the Dalai Lama says, “If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.” Workers in the Community Service sector care for the people throughout their community, including the elderly and the disabled. Your compassionate and empathetic nature can help people face their challenges, live better lives and reach their goals. It can be a rewarding career path where you can really make a difference to someone’s quality of life, and in turn it will also provide you with the satisfaction of helping others.

A wide variety of roles to choose from

The community services sector covers a broad area that includes; home and community care, aged care, disability support, mental health and counselling. As a community service worker, a number of career opportunities are open to you to choose from. Some of the roles that fall under the banner of ‘community service worker’ include; case worker, crisis intervention worker, advocate, counsellor, community program coordinator, personal care giver, child protection officer and halfway house supervisor. With such a wide variety, you are sure to find your passion.

Community service workers; truly caring for others

Community service workers provide care and support to their clients, allowing them to become more independent in their lives, as they assist with everyday activities such as personal care, feeding, household chores and cleaning, amongst others. Community service workers also help those who are marginalised and excluded from society to change their situation. They tackle the problems that face their community, working to ensure that all adults, children and young people with their families have access to nurturing and stimulating environments in which to grow and reach their full potential. It can be a rewarding career pathway, providing personal, social, physical and emotional support when it is most needed. When you choose a career as a community service worker, your actions give others hope for a better and brighter future.

Community service worker; what does your day look like?

So, what does a day in the life of a community service worker look like? This really depends on what area you are employed in, as community service workers are employed in a wide variety of areas and work in many capacities. This is the beauty of working in this industry – there is such variety of roles. You might find employment in a community centre, a group home, long-term care facilities or residential housing units. Some areas you could specialise in include; aged care, disability support, mental health and counselling, child protection or family services.

Community service worker; working at an organisation

Many community service workers are employed by community centres or organisations and their duties are primarily undertaken in an office environment. These duties can involve assessing the needs of clients; planning, developing and implementing support programs; providing a personal level of care to clients, such as grooming and feeding; and providing emotional support to clients. Clients can include pregnant teenagers, homeless people, families or the elderly.

Community service worker; working on a personal level

At a personal level, a community services worker might work with their client at their home, assisting with cleaning, washing, vacuuming, bathing, dressing, feeding and grooming. You may have a variety of different clients and perform a variety of roles for them each day. Your morning might start with an elderly client who is independent but unable to drive, and so you take them grocery shopping and to any appointments. Your day could finish with a client that is socially isolated and you spend some time with them, taking care of their emotional and social needs.

Community service worker; shift work

If you find employment in a long-term care facility or similar, you might find yourself with shift work. You could start your shift with a meeting to catch up on any events from the previous shift staff. Then you’ll work through your day, greeting patients, organising activities and helping them with their needs. By the end of the day, you’ll be ready to write up your daily reports and update the next round of staff as they begin their shifts.

A fast-growing industry

There is a growing demand for Community Service Workers in Australia. The industry is considered Australia’s second-largest employing industry, with over 1.5 million people employed in the industry last year. The Community Services sector is one of the fastest growing industries with a growth rate of five percent year on year. Community service worker jobs have also been forecast for strong growth over the next few years, with job openings to rise sharply at about 6000 per year.

Community service worker; skills and attributes

Employers are on the lookout for employees who have a passion for helping others, are self-motivated, well-presented with good communication and interpersonal skills. If that sounds like you, become a community service worker and get ready to make a real difference to the quality of someone’s life. Consider a course where you can learn how to support the elderly or individuals experiencing issues with alcohol or drugs, and get the skills to support the people around you and be the first point of contact in a crisis situation.

If you’re interested, Industry Skills Training offers training in Community Services. Start your journey in this field by discovering more about getting the skills you need here.