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Upcoming professionals that may be interested in affecting the public in a positive way should consider social and community services as a potential career option. Within this field, professionals can help to provide meaningful services to community members in need, which can contribute to the improvement of a community as a whole.
There are many different levels of professionals within this large field, ranging from individual service providers to upper levels of management. If you might be interested in pursuing a career in this field, read more in the guide below.
Social and community services can help to partner citizens with the services available to them in the community. These types of services can include those related to food service and healthcare, family support services, aging care and even children's welfare services.
Professionals that work in this field can assist with identifying the needs of their clients and partnering them with people that can make a difference in their lives. The people responsible for overseeing these programs are known as social and community support managers.
Management professionals within this field can be tokens of information, leadership and quality within their agencies. Professionals that are seeking leadership positions within the field of social and community services may need to engage in educational programs that can extend their knowledge of this field, as well as take part in a work experience requirement to help bring their knowledge to life.
What does a Social and Community Support Manager do?
Leadership positions may be the most sought after within this field, making them a great option for upcoming professionals with the desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
The role of the social and community support manager is often focused on providing leadership to employees and in-depth information to clients. However, social and community support managers may have a diverse task-list depending on the agency in which they work. Depending on the type of department they work for, these responsibilities can vary greatly.
Job responsibilities may include aspects of policy review, positive change and result analysis throughout the experience of professionals in this field. As you make the consideration to take part in this field, check out some of the common responsibilities of professionals in these positions below.
Overseeing Employee Performance
One of the most basic functions of social and community support managers is overseeing the efficiency of their staff. This can include monitoring the progress of projects, providing management and leadership during a typical workday and submitting employee evaluations on a yearly basis.
Hiring and Training New Employees
When new employees are needed, managers within this field may step in to review resumes, conduct interviews and make recommendations for hire. These professionals may also assign training to new employees and oversee the training process.
Managers in social and community services may be the leading source of assignments when new referrals are submitted. This can include revieweing a referral and forwarding it to the appropriate social and community service worker. In the event that complaints are filed, managers may also intervene to provide helpful solutions to their clients.
Partnering with Other Agencies
Since social and community services may act as a net of services for their clients, managers within this field may be responsible for being knowledgeable of other agencies and familiar with their role in the public service domain. Communication with members of other agencies may also be frequent.
Since managers within social and community services can provide general oversight to their services, they may be the first people aware of changes needed in policy. Part of this career field may include policy review, the suggestion of changes to current policy and educating staff on changes being presented to their agency.
How do I become a Social and Community Support Manager?
If you are interested in becoming a part of this influential field, you might want to learn more about the steps it takes to pursue this level of career. Professionals within the field of social and community support often pursuing degrees that focus on the needs of people within their geographical area.
While not all careers within this field require a college degree, students might benefit from achieving a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to be competitive with others seeking the same position. Some students choose to pursue a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Psychology, Sociology or other related specialty as part of their journey, while others may take part in specialized degree programs within their area of interest. Some additional fields to consider may be healthcare or business.
In addition to a college degree, management positions in social and community health may require some relevant work experience within the public service field. This type of work experience can help to prepare students for working with the general public, help them become more accustomed to working in connection to social policies and help to connect what is learned in degree programs to the real-world environment.
The amount of work experience needed may vary depending on the type of position you are seeking, so it may benefit you to do some further research in your chosen field.
Students seeking degree programs that focus on social and community support can enroll in both bachelor’s and master’s program online. In the section below, students can learn more about the types of classes involved in these programs, as well as some of the topics that may be relevant to workers in this field of social and community services.
Social and Community Support Manager Degree Courses To Expect
Students interested in learning more about people and their needs can benefit from enrolling in this course. Within it, students can be introduced into a background on studies of human behavior, as well as a dive into the reasonings for different behaviors in diverse people. Turning behavior into a science can allow students to better understand why people make certain decisions and react in accordance to their environment. This knowledge can assist professionals seeking to change a person’s environment in order to change their lives.
Working with people in the public domain can present its own set of challenges for social and community support managers. It may be important for professionals in this field to work and act in accordance to certain policies within their line of work. Having knowledge of the different policies may also make it easier for professionals in this field to make more informed decisions about services and promote improvement to policies that are outdates or irrelevant.
Human Service Agencies
As a method of teaching students about the different services available to the public, this course may be implemented during social and community service degree programs. Within this course, students may find a wide array of historical and current information about human service agencies available throughout the United States, as well as a look into the unique services that each agency can provide. Having knowledge of different agencies can help social service professionals provide better referrals and information to their clients.
What can I earn as a Social and Community Support Manager?
The earnings of a social and community support manager can depend on the area of specialty they choose for their career and the location in which they live. The services provided by these professionals can help to increase the quality of service received by clients within their geographical area, as well as the amount of education that professionals receive when working beneath them.
If you are interested in learning more about the potential earnings for professionals in this field, read more in the section below.
- Social and Community Service Managers: $64,100 on average per year (BLS).
- Social/Community Service Management – Nursing and Residential Care Facilities: $60,970 on average per year (BLS).
What groups of people will I work with?
As a social and community service manager, you can come into contact with diverse groups of people on a daily basis. The clients of social services can be individuals, families or even professionals seeking assistance with their everyday lives.
The employees of social and community service agencies may also provide a diverse work environment presenting many pleasantries and challenges along the way. Some of the common clients of social and community services may be seeking assistance with some of the common issues below:
- Families seeking resources such as food, shelter or monetary support
- Individuals in need of healthcare
- Children needing support during issues of neglect or abuse
- Communities in need of health education
- Students needing educational advocacy
- Communities in need of public health advocacy