For people who want to help others improve their lives, social service careers can be very rewarding. The range of possible careers within social services is also very broad. For instance, those who want to work with children can choose jobs as school counselors and health educators. However, others may want to work with adults. No matter your interests, one of the following jobs may be for you.
If you want to improve others’ lives, you may be interested in becoming a social worker. Social workers help clients of all ages and a range of settings. Mental health and substance abuse social workers assess people with drug, alcohol or psychological issues. They use group activities, individual counseling or education to help their clients. Social workers also assist families with adoptions or grief after a loved one’s death. They also provide help to disabled people or seniors transitioning from home to managed care or vice versa.
Social and human social service assistants also improve their clients’ quality of life. However, they do this by completing the tasks their clients are unable to do. Assistants arrange transportation, help obtain governmental assistance and help disabled people with hygiene or house cleaning. Most importantly, they can provide emotion support in times of crisis. Social and human social service assistants work directly with individuals or with groups in halfway houses and shelters.
Sometimes people don’t need help to improve their quality of life, but merely to achieve it. They may need emergency assistance to find childcare, shelter, employment or food. If you want to work to fulfill these needs, you can find a job with a city, state, county or federal agency that provides services to people in crisis.
The goal of health educators is to teach people about healthier lifestyles. They may teach people how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or the elements of a healthy diet. Health educators teach individuals or lecture to groups. They design and implement programs that will grab people’s attention while educating them. Health educators also create and distribute pamphlets and other information.
Counselors are there for people when they need them, and may work in private practice or an institution such as a hospital or school. Patients may need help with marriage, career or family issues. Other clients, such as students, may need guidance in their futures as they plan for college and career. Rehabilitation counselors help people with disabilities, assessing people’s strengths and weakness and developing programs to improve their lives.