Community Support Service is also known as Social Work or Social Service, it is a profession that requires a variety of emotional and psychological skills in addition to formal academic training. While knowledge and practices are what defines the profession, some of the most important skills are actually internally developed. Before entering the field of Community Support Service, it is important to consider the core skills that are essential for successful career.
Sense of Empathy
The most valued skill of a community support worker is empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand or vicariously experience another person’s situation. Empathizing is both an intellectual and emotional process that makes it easier to help others solve their problems.
In the field of community support service, being sensitive to the emotions of others will help you to do your best at work. The vast majority of people you work with are in a state of physical crisis and emotional distress. Therefore, you must be able to offer a caring, understanding, and empowering environment for them.
Successful Community Support workers should be great communicators, especially when it comes to listening. The ability to listen carefully, ask pertinent questions and retain verbally transmitted information is vital to the counselling aspect of Community Support Service.
Your clients rely on you to listen to their problems and to advise them on how to make a decision that’s best for their wellbeing. Being a good listener is the first step of establishing trust. When you listen to what your clients are saying, it helps you discover valuable details about the individuals and understanding their unique circumstances.
As a community support worker, in order to keep up with your busy schedule and heavy caseloads, you have to be well-organized. Successfully managing and prioritizing the logistical aspects of the job can help you do your best at providing meaningful services to your clients.
Excelling in organization requires learning how to simplify your work environment, prioritize tasks, use good decision making practices and be on top of the schedule of important events. After all, an uncluttered mind will be the most effective stress-relief while working long hours.
A genuine need to help others due to a caring nature brings many people to the world of Community Support Service. Successful Community Support Workers earn their clients’ trust by being honest, open, and dependable. In crisis, your clients will look to you for advice and guidance in both physical and mental levels, and your opinions make a big impact on their lives if they trust you. Your clients need nothing less than your unconditional support, and you cannot withdraw your support simply because you lost patience or that you disagree with what they believe.
Patience for Clients
Social work requires a lot of patience. The cases are often complex since you are dealing with patients with special needs. The work of a community support worker often involves caring for a wide variety of patients with different backgrounds and conditions. Sometimes you also need to face unexpected situation when your clients act unstable. The clients you deal with are not necessarily talkative, eager, or even capable of communicating directly with you. Your patience will help you avoid getting frustrated both with the serious issues you and your clients face, and also with the people you encounter.
Do not expect a 9-to-5 workday once you step into the wonderful world of community support service. Each client you work with are facing different conditions, thus they require special care at different time. Also, if a client is turned into the hospital, you may be called upon to provide assistance immediately. Successful social workers are flexible and comfortable with working in an on-call capacity, so that they can respond to emergency situations. Last but not least, you may find it difficult to say “no” to your clients, but at the same time, you should set your boundaries and limits to avoid career burnout.
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