Community Services Jobs in Australia
Every year there is an increasing need for people to fill community service jobs in Australia. Working in this industry means providing essential health and rehabilitation services to disadvantaged groups and individuals throughout the community.
What Qualifications are Required?
By completing a Diploma of Community Services, you will learn the skills, knowledge and practices essential for providing advice and support to a variety of people from disadvantaged backgrounds and circumstances. These may include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, refugees, people struggling with addiction and mental health conditions, and people facing homelessness.
What Is the Role Of A Community Services Worker?
The duties and responsibilities of community service workers vary depending on the organisation they work for. A community service worker may be employed to provide physical, psychological or emotional support to clients experiencing mental illness or challenging social situations. They may also offer physical care to the elderly or disabled by assisting with their activities of daily living, providing transportation to appointments or providing social companionship. They may also coordinate group activities to encourage individuals to remain within their community. Community service workers often act as the intermediary between clients and their local services, referring services that might benefit the client.
Why Work In Community Services?
Here are just some of the many reasons to work in the Community Services sector:
- You have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, impacting the welfare of the most vulnerable people in society, and helping those who are struggling to have hope for their future.
- Unlike a lot of other job sectors, community services provides it’s employees with a huge variety of jobs across a broad range of areas to work in.
- You get to watch people grow from your advice, advocacy and support.
- You have the opportunity to advocate for the rights of those who are unable to fight for themselves.
- The Healthcare industry in Australia is the country’s fastest growing sector, with predictions that this trend will continue to rise in following years.
- There is a nationwide demand for staff in regional, remote and city regions.
Community Services Jobs
Some of the most popular community services job in Australia that we will present in this article include:
- Community Support Worker
- Support Worker (Homelessness Services)
- Recovery Support Worker
- Disability Support Worker
- Disability Support Worker (Accommodation)
- Outreach Worker (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders)
- Aged care worker
- Child protection worker
- Youth and family services worker.
Community Services Worker
A Community Services Worker provides individuals with connections to personal, social, physical and mental support services within their community. They also assess the goals of clients in order to provide them with the right services to improve their well-being. A community support worker can often work within the health sector as a caseworker, care team leader, and community services coordinator.
Community Services Workers may be required to advise, support and help a variety of people from disadvantaged backgrounds and circumstances. Some of these backgrounds include vulnerable individuals from Aboriginal and Torres strait islander communities, people struggling with addiction, and those with mental health issues within their community. You may also work with clients in a legal and ethical environment that promotes inclusion and growth within diverse communities.
Community Services Workers are essential for providing holistic care to clients. They work as part of multidisciplinary teams, that may include general practitioners, allied health professionals (i.e. nurses), and mental healthcare workers within the health/social services sector. They can often be seen interviewing patients and keeping records of their mental health needs whilst providing them with support and services best suited to their needs.
Community Services workers may need to be familiar with word processing and desktop publishing software as they may be required to write reports and submissions for funding. These tools will also be useful when developing programs and promoting them in their communities.
Types of Clients
Community Services Workers help plan, develop and deliver a range of programs and services to a broad range of clients, including family support services, resettlement programs for migrants and refugees, community and adult education, counselling services and programs for children.
Housing Support Worker (Homelessness Services)
The Housing Support Worker role works across different programs and provides intensive outreach support to individuals and families to obtain and maintain long-term accommodation while also providing informal counselling, advocacy, tenancy support, health and well-being support and parenting support. A Housing Support Worker helps people in need find suitable housing options. They might source appropriate accommodation and liaise with tenants and housing providers. Housing Officers may work with people at risk of homelessness and assist them with the application process.
The primary purpose of Support Workers in Homeless Services is to support tenants in the provision of support activities, which contribute to the outcomes of the overall service. Support Workers aim to build constructive and non-judgemental relationships with tenants based on respect and understanding and encourage tenants to make positive changes to address the issues influencing their homelessness, including developing connections to family, community and culture.
Support Workers might be utilised in temporary accommodation settings that are a stepping-stone for people to develop the skills needed to move from chronic homelessness into sustainable independent housing and enable them to participate in economic and social aspects of community life.
Types of Clients
The types of client Support Workers in Homelessness Services are expanding exponentially in Australia with the current rental crisis. Record numbers of people of all ages and walks of life are experiencing homelessness at the moment.
Record numbers of people are experiencing short-term or chronic homelessness as a result of unemployment, underemployment, illness, financial issues, drug addiction, lack of access to affordable rental properties and domestic violence are all seeking help to achieve a sustainable housing situation.
Recovery Support Worker
Recovery Support Workers provide practical and emotional support and assistance to people on their ‘personal recovery’ journey. Recovery Support Workers work as a part of a team to create a person-centred recovery environment that enables people to embark on a journey toward building the life they desire.
Recovery Support Workers provide practical and emotional support and assistance to people on their unique personal recovery journey. They work as a part of a team to create a person-centred recovery environment that enables people to embark on a journey toward building or rebuilding the life they desire.
Types of Clients
Support workers work with a varied range of people, including people with disabilities (physical and/or intellectual), neurodiverse people (eg: those on the autism spectrum), people with injuries, people with illnesses, and the elderly. People of all ages need support, and every person has different support needs and may employ different support workers for different requirements.
Support workers will often connect with people who share similar interests and personalities: if you have a particular skill or interest, you’ll probably find that someone is looking for that expertise! For example, if you like sports, you may pair up with someone who needs exercise help. This matching of interests and outlook provides an immensely rewarding experience for both parties.
Disability Support Worker
The primary role of a disability support worker is to provide care and help people in the community living with mental health conditions or physical disabilities. As a qualified support worker, you will help empower and encourage your clients to improve their quality of life.
The responsibilities of a disability support worker vary depending on the client’s needs. However, there are three main areas of support: household, personal care and emotional support.
Disability support workers regularly provide support services for their clients in their homes. Depending on the nature of the client’s disability, support in the household may include assistance with domestic chores such as shopping for food, cooking, cleaning and assisting with transport.
Another aspect is to provide daily personal care, maintain general hygiene, dress or support the client through their disability programs.
Being a source of emotional support in the form of friendship and companionship is the third area of support provided by disability support workers.
Types Of Clients
Disability support workers provide physical and emotional support to those in the community with a disability. As mentioned previously, the level of care required depends on the individual client’s needs. Some may require 24/7 care, while others only require assistance with more complex activities of daily living, such as budgeting, grocery shopping or attending appointments.
Outreach Officers work with many different groups and organisations within a community, and as the name suggests, their primary goal is to reach out and provide a link with the vulnerable and disenfranchised members of the community. You can find them in churches, schools, government organisations, and businesses, with the intention of connecting with people and educating the public about issues within the community.
They do this by communicating with various organisations about certain issues (such as mental health, youth, domestic violence, and alcohol and drug abuse) whilst also creating bonds between people and groups in the community. They can ultimately help provide support programs and community resources which can help individuals in need.
Outreach Workers raise awareness and educate the general public about issues in the community, such as mental health, then build relationships with key organisations and individuals (churches, schools, businesses, local government officials, and community leaders) to overcome the problems together. They are employed by government departments, healthcare and community service organisations, charities, and churches.
Types of Clients
As an Outreach Worker, you could specialise in drug and alcohol, youth, nutrition, domestic violence, LGBT issues, mental health, and homelessness, but your core role will be communicating, connecting and building relationships.
Aged Care Workers
Aged care workers provide personal, physical and emotional support to older people who require assistance with daily living, either in a client’s home or in a residential care setting. In some situations, the care worker may be required to live with their client. They carry out their duties under direct or regular supervision within clearly defined care plans or organisational guidelines and work as part of a larger care team that will include doctors, nurses and allied health staff.
Aged Care Workers assist with activities of daily living such as showering, dressing, shopping, preparing and eating food, and they often assist with outings, entertainment and social activities. The level of assistance provided will depend on the ability and health of the client.
Types of Clients
The clients who most need assistance are frail and aged who are in residential care or in the home setting and are striving to maintain some degree of physical independence. Occasionally, younger clients with physical disabilities, such as para- and quadriplegia, may require the assistance of a support worker to maintain the independence of continuing to live at home.
Child Protection Worker
A Child Protection Worker responds to concerns about a child’s well-being by making enquiries as to whether action is required to safeguard or promote the child’s well-being. They may conduct assessments and investigations to determine parental or carer capacity to protect the child.
- Taking intervention if a child needs protection, collecting evidence, preparing documents and participating in proceedings.
- Engaging with children and families of children in care to promote and ensure their safety, well-being and development.
- Creating and maintaining care plans for children in care.
- Completing assessments of families and foster families to determine the appropriate placement options for children in care.
- Ensuring that children in care receive appropriate treatment and support services that address their individual needs.
Types of Clients
Child Protection Officers work with vulnerable children under 18 years, who have been or are at risk of being abused, neglected, or harmed, or whose parents are unable to provide adequate care and protection.
Youth and Family Services
Youth and Family Support Workers identify and build relationships with at-risk children, young people, and their families to create a safe family environment and protect them from abuse and harm.
- Building relationships with children and young people in care to promote placement stability
- Providing support, advice and services to children and young people in care
- Provide support, advice and services to the families of at-risk children
- Working with at-risk young people to provide role modelling and mentoring opportunities that positively influence their behaviour and choices
- Develop positive working relationships with key youth service agencies to identify and enable an effective response to the most at-risk young people and to participate in strategies to increase the safety of the most at-risk young people in the community.
Types of Clients
Youth and Family Services provide community and youth services to people who are experiencing disadvantage, particularly young people, their families and those with mental health issues, to improve their health and well-being. These may include, but are not limited to, youth from lower socio-economic groups, indigenous groups and youths vulnerable to or experiencing homelessness.
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There are many opportunities to contribute through jobs in Community services in Australia. You can match your specific personal skills with the job requirements through these employment opportunities to achieve a highly rewarding career position.
A Diploma of Community Services (Case Management) is an ideal qualification for furthering your career in Community Support. There are also certificate-level courses available that might increase your skills and knowledge, such as Certificate IV in Mental Health or Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs.
If you decide to advance your career further, you could enrol in a university degree such as a Bachelor of Social Work or a Bachelor of Human Services. This will expand your knowledge of community services issues and allow you to apply for a greater range of career roles. A university degree may also allow you to take on a case management position with more responsibility.