Social and Community Service Workers

NOC 4212


Social and community service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and assist clients to deal with personal and social problems. They are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, shelters, substance abuse centres, school boards, correctional facilities and other establishments.


  • Review client background information, interview clients and prepare intake reports
  • Assess clients’ relevant skill strengths and needs and eligibility for social benefits
  • Assist clients to sort options and develop plans of action while providing support and assistance
  • Refer clients to other social services or community resources including legal, medical and financial assistance, housing, employment, transportation, day care and other services
  • Counsel clients in group homes and half-way houses, assist in pre-release and release planning
  • Participate in the selection and admission of clients to appropriate programs
  • Implement life skills workshops, substance abuse treatment programs, behaviour management programs, youth services programs and other community and social service programs under the supervision of social services or health care professionals
  • Meet with clients to assess their progress, give support and discuss any difficulties or problems
  • Assist in evaluating the effectiveness of treatment programs
  • Advise and aid recipients of social assistance and pensions
  • Provide crisis intervention and emergency shelter services
  • Maintain contact with other social service agencies and health care providers involved with clients to provide information and obtain feedback on clients’ overall progress
  • Co-ordinate the volunteer activities of human service agencies, health care facilities and arts and sports organizations
  • May maintain program statistics for purposes of evaluation and research
  • May supervise social service support workers and volunteers.

Other Titles

  • mental health worker
  • Aboriginal outreach worker
  • veteran services officer
  • youth worker
  • addictions worker
  • life skills instructor
  • crisis intervention worker
  • developmental service worker
  • group home worker
  • income maintenance officer – social services
  • women’s shelter supervisor
  • welfare and compensation officer

(Government of Canada National Occupation Classification)


  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Verbal & written communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Decision making
  • Mental stability
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Critical thinking

Education/Training Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Most college/university programs in Ontario require an OSSD or Mature Student Status

Post-secondary diploma/degree

  • Completion of a college or university program in social work, child and youth care, psychology or other social science or health-related discipline is usually required


  • Previous work experience in a social service environment as a volunteer or in a support capacity may replace formal education requirements for some occupations in this unit group
  • Registration with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers is required

Potential Earnings in Durham Region

The average and median wages and salaries for individuals employed as social and community service workers are as follows. Place of Residence (POR) is defined as individuals who reside within the Durham Region. Place of Work (POW) is defined as individuals who are employed within the Durham Region.

Median Wages and Salaries (POW) Average Wages and Salaries (POW) Median Wages and Salaries (POR) Average Wages and Salaries (POR)
$37,838 $38,387 $36,293 $36,812


Employment Prospects

Industry (NAICS) Jobs in Durham Region (POW) Durham Region Residents Employed (POR)
6230 Nursing and residential care facilities 420 595
8133 Social advocacy organizations 25 55

(Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 2016 data in Durham Workforce Authority’s 2017 Sector Report)

Additional Resources

Download PDF