A career as a Community Service Worker (CSW) is a rewarding way for passionate and caring individuals to get involved and give back to their communities in a meaningful way. However, being a CSW is not without its unique challenges, and requires you to be confident, knowledgeable, and empathetic in order to best assist individuals and families from different cultural backgrounds.
Read on to learn more about five important skills that will help you be a successful CSW and have a positive impact on your community.
1. Organization is Important to Balancing Responsibilities as a CSW
Organization is an important skill to have for any occupation, and as a CSW it can help you to gain some control over your busy workload. CSWs may be faced with having to manage a lot of paperwork, on top of other duties such as assessing the needs and monitoring the treatment of a variety of clients, some of whom may have mental health issues. Organization skills can help CSWs simplify these tasks and better manage their time, allowing them to serve their communities more effectively.
2. Active Listening is Crucial to Understanding a Client’s Needs
When counselling individual clients or families, it’s important to pay close attention to what they are saying in order to better understand their circumstances. Good CSWs are great active listeners, meaning that they take note of what their clients are saying and ask the right questions in order to learn more about their unique problems. Active listeners also show that they are committed to listening to their clients, which can be a good way to earn trust and gain more valuable information.
Active listening is important when assessing a client’s needs
3. Good Judgement Helps CSWs Remain Objective
While CSWs should aim to be empathetic towards their clients, they should also try to remain as objective as possible. For instance, a CSW may work with clients and families from different cultural backgrounds whose beliefs can clash with their own.
A good CSW should be able to put aside their own judgements, and be mindful not to become too emotionally invested in their client’s circumstances in order to continue supporting them in a professional manner.
4. Social Perceptiveness Could Help CSW Program Grads Understand Clients With Addiction
CSWs who work in alcohol and drug treatment facilities may sometimes deal with clients who are uncomfortable speaking about their addictions. A client’s unwillingness to talk can then make it difficult for a CSW to properly assess their needs and help them get the treatment they require.
Body language can say a lot about how a client is feeling
Social perceptiveness is a skill that all CSW program graduates should cultivate, because it can help them recognize and understand clients’ non-verbal reactions. Through social perceptiveness, a CSW may gain some idea of how a client is feeling or what they are thinking by observing subtle hints in their body language.
5. CSWs Need Self-Care Skills
Every occupation, regardless of how rewarding the experience may be, can come with its own set of stressors. In order for CSWs to have a positive effect on their clients, they must learn to respect their own limitations and relax.
Students completing a community service worker program may be tempted to go above and beyond for their clients, but it is important to remember that by doing too much they may increase their stress and burn out. By taking time to relax and have fun, a CSW can come back to work refreshed and ready to serve their communities.
Are you ready to begin your career as a CSW?
Contact Oxford College to learn about getting your community service worker diploma today!