Although a great majority of all social and human services positions were at one time government positions, a recent trend has shown the outsourcing of these jobs to private organizations and companies.
Many government agencies are now realizing savings that can result in outsourcing. As a result of outsourcing, many employees which were once attracted to the relatively secure employment and benefits of a government position have elected to leave the field of social services and pursue other options.
It is anticipated that this trend will certainly have an effect on the number of positions that will be open in the coming years as more and more individuals decide to leave the industry.
In addition, a large number of social services professional are expected to retire within the next five to ten years; furthering the increase of available jobs.
Finally, the growing elderly population is expected to contribute significantly to the need for more social services workers in the coming years.
Social services work can be immensely fulfilling and rewarding; however it can also be very stressful. Laws and regulations change frequently, adding to the stress of social services related positions. The actual duties involved in social work positions varies depending on the field.
However, persons involved in social services frequently:
- Assess clients’ needs
- Perform interviews to determine needs
- Progress and follow-up through phone calls and home visits
- Make court appearances to advocate for the client
Social services professionals typically work with many other persons employed in related industries such as mental and physical health care and law enforcement.
Employment Prospects for Social Services Jobs
Employment prospects within the field of social services can be found within a wide range of venues; many of which include local, state and federal government.
Just a few of social services employment related prospects include:
- Halfway houses
- Group homes
- Adult day care centers
- Meal programs for the elderly
- Adult and child abuse prevention agencies
- Counseling organizations for mental as well as physical health issues
- Employment offices directed by government agencies
- Public assistance programs
Job Search for Social Services Jobs
Employment within the field of social services can be found in many different manners. Open positions may be frequently listed in classified newspaper listings as well as agency websites and related internet job boards. Networking can also prove to be beneficial in locating social services jobs.
Resumes for Social Services Jobs
The field of social services tends to be intensely professional and as such employers generally require a chronological resume. In a situation where a job seeker had changed jobs frequently, a combination resume would also be acceptable.
The key factors to keep in mind when writing a resume targeted toward a social services position is to focus on customer and client service, detail oriented and documentation skills.
Cover Letters for Social Services Jobs
Cover letters that are targeted toward social services jobs should be very professional in nature and wherever possible mention how the applicant learned of the position. The cover letter should complement the resume in highlighting the job applicant’s education and experience; particularly if prior experience relates to the field of social services in some way.
Training & Qualifications for Social Services Jobs
Depending on the sector of social services, a job applicant decides to search for work in; a bachelor’s degree may or may not be required. Some employers will substitute some work experience for education, particularly if the experience was in a related field. Alternately, some social service positions require no less than a graduate degree.
Social Service Careers
Some positions may require a candidate to possess a graduate degree as well as a special type of license; such as a Licensed Social Worker. There is some room for advancement within the field of social services.
Many individuals find they are able to be promoted to a supervisory or management position once they have accumulated two to three years of experience.