Career Development

What Does a Community Support Worker Do?

Find out what a community support worker does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a community support worker.

Community support workers are the glue that holds society together. They work with people who have a wide range of needs, from those who are physically or mentally disabled to seniors who need assistance with daily tasks.

Community support workers help their clients live as normal a life as possible by providing them with services such as transportation, home maintenance, and social activities. They may also provide counseling or other types of therapy to individuals who are struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse problems.

Community Support Worker Job Duties

Community support workers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Helping individuals with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, walking, and taking medications
  • Providing support to individuals or families during times of crisis such as natural disasters or home fires
  • Helping individuals stay safe in their homes or communities by providing support services such as assisting with medication intake or providing transportation to appointments
  • Working with individuals with disabilities to help them with day-to-day tasks such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and cooking
  • Assisting individuals with job searches, money management, and filing taxes as needed
  • Assisting individuals in accessing social services they may qualify for such as food stamps or housing assistance
  • Providing support to individuals who are recovering from substance abuse problems or who are battling mental illness
  • Helping families who have been impacted by a natural disaster recover by providing assistance with clean up, rebuilding homes, and providing emotional support
  • Supporting families by providing emotional support, education, counseling, and other services to help them cope with a serious illness or death in the family

Community Support Worker Salary & Outlook

Community support workers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of community they work in. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $54,500 ($26.2/hour)

The employment of community support workers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for these workers is expected to increase as the large baby-boom generation ages and people continue to live longer. As more people age, there will be a greater need for community support services, such as transportation and home care, which community support workers can provide.

Related: 25 Community Support Worker Interview Questions and Answers

Community Support Worker Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements for becoming a community support worker, which may include:

Education: Community support workers are typically required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, human services or another closely related field. Community support workers who want to specialize in a particular area of community support, such as health care or housing, may also complete a degree in that area.

Training & Experience: Community support workers receive on-the-job training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their role. This training may include learning about the organization’s policies and procedures, the software they use and the clients they serve.

Community support workers may also receive training in their role during their education program. During these programs, students learn about the various aspects of community support work, including the various populations served, the skills required and the tasks involved.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Community Support Worker Skills

Community support workers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Community support workers must be able to communicate with a variety of people, including clients, supervisors and other support staff. They must be able to clearly convey information and answer questions. They also must be able to listen to clients and understand their needs.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Community support workers often work with people who are facing challenging circumstances, so it’s important for them to be able to relate to their clients and help them feel supported.

Patience: Patience is a necessary skill for community support workers, as they often work with people who have a variety of needs. For example, a community support worker may work with a person who has a developmental disability and a person who has a mental illness. They must be able to understand and meet the needs of both people.

Teamwork: Community support workers often work with other support staff and volunteers to provide services to clients. This can include working together to plan events, transport clients and provide support to each other. Being able to work well with others is an important skill for community support workers.

Time management: Community support workers often have multiple responsibilities throughout the day. They may be responsible for supporting several clients at once, so it’s important for them to manage their time effectively. This may mean prioritizing tasks and setting aside time to complete them. It’s also important for community support workers to manage their clients’ time, so they should be aware of how long each activity should take.

Community Support Worker Work Environment

Community support workers typically work in an office setting, although they may also travel to meet with clients in their homes or other locations. They work regular hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to meet with clients or attend community events. They may also work overtime to complete paperwork or attend training sessions. Community support workers may be exposed to emotionally charged situations and must be able to deal with difficult people. They must be able to handle stress and maintain a positive attitude.

Community Support Worker Trends

Here are three trends influencing how community support workers work. Community support workers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Mental Health Professionals

The need for more mental health professionals is a trend that is being driven by the increasing prevalence of mental health issues. As more and more people are diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and other disorders, there is a growing demand for professionals who can help them manage their symptoms.

Community support workers are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they have the training and experience to provide mental health services to those who need them. By becoming certified in specific therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), they can become even more valuable members of the community.

More Focus on Trauma-Informed Care

As communities become more aware of the effects of trauma, there is a growing focus on providing trauma-informed care. This means that professionals working with children and families need to be aware of the signs of trauma and how to best support those who have been through difficult experiences.

Community support workers are in a unique position to take advantage of this trend, as they are often the first point of contact for families who are struggling. By developing skills in trauma-informed care, community support workers can better help families get the support they need.

Greater Emphasis on Self-Care

The trend of greater emphasis on self-care is having a major impact on the workforce. Employees are increasingly realizing the importance of taking time for themselves, and are looking for ways to do so without sacrificing their productivity.

Community support workers can utilize this trend by finding ways to take care of themselves while still doing their jobs. This may include setting aside time each day for relaxation, exercising, or eating healthy meals. In addition, community support workers can also find ways to make their workplace more comfortable and enjoyable, which will encourage them to stay longer and be more productive.

How to Become a Community Support Worker

A community support worker career can be a great way to get started in the social services field. As a community support worker, you’ll have the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life and help them achieve their goals. You may find that your job changes over time as you learn more about the people you’re working with and what they need.

One of the best things about this career is that it offers a lot of flexibility. You can choose to focus on one area of service or rotate between different areas. You can also choose to work full-time, part-time, or even on an occasional basis.

Advancement Prospects

Community support workers may advance to positions with more responsibility, such as team leader or program coordinator. Some may move into management positions, such as human service program manager. With experience, some community support workers may open their own private practices.

Community support workers may also advance their careers by pursuing higher levels of education. A bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or a related field may be necessary for some positions, such as clinical social worker or counselor. A master’s degree is required for most clinical and counseling positions.

Community Support Worker Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. We are looking for a compassionate and empathetic Community Support Worker to join our team and help us make a difference in the lives of those we serve. As a Community Support Worker, you will be responsible for providing support and assistance to clients with a wide range of needs, including mental health, addiction, financial, and housing. You will also be required to connect clients with appropriate resources and services in the community. The ideal candidate will have experience working with vulnerable populations and a passion for helping others.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist individuals with developmental disabilities in all aspects of their daily lives, including but not limited to personal care, meal preparation, medication administration, and community integration
  • Help clients develop and achieve personal goals related to independence, employment, education, and socialization
  • Promote positive behavior change by modeling appropriate social skills and providing reinforcement
  • Collaborate with other team members to develop individualized service plans and coordinate services
  • Transport clients to appointments, activities, and work as needed
  • Maintain accurate documentation of client progress and services provided
  • Advocate on behalf of clients and their families to ensure that they receive the best possible care and services
  • Keep abreast of developments in the field of developmental disabilities and share relevant information with clients, families, and other professionals as appropriate
  • Attend trainings and meetings as required
  • Participate in quality assurance activities to help improve the overall program
  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Reliable transportation
  • Proof of insurance
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • First aid and CPR certification

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in human services, social work, or related field
  • Bilingual
  • Experience working with at-risk populations
  • Experience working with children and families


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