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Career and Education Opportunities for Social Services Assistants in Peoria, Arizona

Social services assistants can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Peoria, Arizona area. There are currently 3,490 working social services assistants in Arizona; this should grow 45% to about 5,060 working social services assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for social services assistants, which sees this job pool growing by about 22.6% over the next eight years. In general, social services assistants assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families.

Social services assistants earn about $13 hourly or $27,930 annually on average in Arizona and about $13 hourly or $27,280 annually on average nationally. Incomes for social services assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Arizona, and not quite as good as the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: family self-sufficiency specialist, social and human services assistant, and child care worker.

The Peoria area is home to seventy-four schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Peoria where you can get a degree as a social services assistant. Given that the most common education level for social services assistants is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a social services assistant if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Social Services Assistant

Social Services Assistant video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, social services assistants assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. They also may assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them.

Every day, social services assistants are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for social services assistants to submit reports and review reports or problems with superior. They are often called upon to interview individuals and family members to compile data on social or drug history. They also keep records and ready summaries for owner or management concerning visits with clients. They are sometimes expected to confer with supervisor concerning programs for individual families. Somewhat less frequently, social services assistants are also expected to explain rules established by owner or management, such as sanitation and maintenance requirements, and parking regulations.

They also have to be able to care for children in client's home during client's appointments and oversee day-to-day group efforts of residents in institution. And finally, they sometimes have to assist clients with preparation of forms.

Like many other jobs, social services assistants must be reliable and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Peoria include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Social Services Assistant Training

University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus - Phoenix, AZ

University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus, 4635 East Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85040-1958. University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus is a medium sized university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 4,768 students. University of Phoenix-Phoenix-Hohokam Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ

Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated seven and one students respectively in 2008.

University of Phoenix-Online Campus - Phoenix, AZ

University of Phoenix-Online Campus, 3157 E. Elwood Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-7209. University of Phoenix-Online Campus is a large university located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 181,146 students. University of Phoenix-Online Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated two students in 2008.

Chandler/Gilbert Community College - Chandler, AZ

Chandler/Gilbert Community College, 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225-2499. Chandler/Gilbert Community College is a large college located in Chandler, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,409 students. Chandler/Gilbert Community College has a less than one year program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Housing Counselor: A Certified Housing Counselor objectively assesses the client's current financial situation; identifies problem areas the client may face recommends appropriate actions to help clients obtain and maintain adequate housing; evaluates the housing and financial status of low, moderate and middle-income families; and understands the essential workings of all aspects of the industry in order to help clients make appropriate housing decisions.

For more information, see the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education website.

Case Manager Certification: The CCM is the first nationally accredited case manager credential.

For more information, see the Commission for Case Manager Certification website.

Certified Community Action Professional: Certification is designed for current and emerging managers or leaders in the Community Action Profession.

For more information, see the Community Action Partnership website.

Certified Workforce Specialist: Candidates must pass all four (4) WPDP competencies exams (History of Workforce Development, Business & Jobseeker Specialist, Unemployment Insurance Specialist, and Labor Market Information Specialist).

For more information, see the International Association of Workforce Professionals website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Peoria, Arizona

Peoria, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona photo by Ceemo

Peoria is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 157,960, which has grown by 45.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Peoria, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Peoria are priced at $169,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred ninety-four new homes were built in Peoria, down from 1,148 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Peoria are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 21.7% of Peoria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Peoria is 6.1%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Peoria residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Peoria is home to the Maricopa County Community Services and the Lake Pleasant Inn as well as Murphy Park and Varney Park. Shopping centers in the area include Arrowhead Mall, Pueblo Plaza Shopping Center and Plaza de Alamos Shopping Center. Visitors to Peoria can choose from La Quinta Phoenix Inn And Suites Peoria, Hampton Inn Glendale-Peoria and FlyHwnTrvl for temporary stays in the area.