Career and Education Opportunities for Social Services Assistants in Bridgeport, Connecticut
Social services assistant career and educational opportunities abound in Bridgeport, Connecticut. About 8,350 people are currently employed as social services assistants in Connecticut. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 19% to about 9,910 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for social services assistants are expected to grow by about 22.6%. Social services assistants generally 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.
The income of a social services assistant is about $19 hourly or $40,800 annually on average in Connecticut. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $13 per hour or $27,280 per year on average. Incomes for social services assistants are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Connecticut, and not quite as good as the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: social worker aide, social human services assistants, and community program assistant.
There are seventy-five schools of higher education in the Bridgeport area, including two within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree to start your career as a social services assistant. Social services assistants usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Bridgeport 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.
- Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
- 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.
- Mental Health Social Worker. Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.
- 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
Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT
Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.
University of New Haven - West Haven, CT
University of New Haven, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, CT 06516. University of New Haven is a medium sized university located in West Haven, Connecticut. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,739 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of New Haven has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties.
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: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.
The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.
Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.