Career and Education Opportunities for Social Services Assistants in Westminster, Colorado
Westminster, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for social services assistants. Currently, 4,080 people work as social services assistants in Colorado. This is expected to grow 38% to 5,630 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for social services assistants are expected to grow by about 22.6%. 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.
Income for social services assistants is about $14 per hour or $29,360 yearly on average in Colorado. Nationally, their income is about $13 per hour or $27,280 annually. Social services assistants earn less than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Colorado and less than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Social services assistants work in a variety of jobs, including: family service aide, community advocate, and human service specialist.
The Westminster area is home to sixty-four schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Westminster 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 studying to be a social services assistant if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Social Services Assistant
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 Westminster 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-Denver Campus - Lone Tree, CO
University of Phoenix-Denver Campus, 10004 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, CO 80124-5453. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus is a small university located in Lone Tree, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,957 students. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.
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: Westminster, Colorado
Westminster is located in Adams County, Colorado. It has a population of over 107,056, which has grown by 6.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Westminster, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Westminster are valued at $376,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, sixty-two new homes were built in Westminster, down from one hundred forty-six the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Westminster are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 27 minutes. More than 31.3% of Westminster residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Westminster is 6.2%, which is less than Colorado's average of 6.6%.
The percentage of Westminster residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 30.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Lutheran Church.
Westminster is home to the The Golf Courses at Hyland Hills and the The Plaza at Westminster. Visitors to Westminster can choose from Comfort Suites, LA Quinta - Inns- Westminster Mall and Doubletree Hotel Denver Boulder for temporary stays in the area.