The role of a community development worker is a rewarding one, as it involves providing emotional, physical and social support to those in society that need it the most. Allowing vulnerable people to become more independent is a fantastically worthwhile occupation in which you’ll be asked to perform day to day personal care tasks, cooking, cleaning and whatever else needs doing.
So, if you’ve never worked in the industry, how do you get started? Which community services courses should you be taking? Here we delve into the profession to provide some clarity on the subject, so that you have a better idea about whether it’s a career you want to pursue.
Online Community Services CoursesThe first step on your road to a career in community care is to get qualified. The industry is a heavily regulated one, as you’d expect it to be, which means that it’s not a job you can simply walk into without any experience. The good news is that there is a wide array of community services courses online that can be taken in the comfort of your own home at your own speed.
There are many career paths open to you in community care, as can be seen by the huge range of online courses available. For example, you could train in counselling or do a course in aged care. The training path you take will largely depend on the specific area of community care you want to specialise in. Whatever form that takes, you can fit your learning around your current responsibilities, meaning that it’s never too late to get started.
Work PlacementsDepending on the type of care you’re training for, you’ll be asked to carry out a minimum amount of work placement hours. This is time spent working alongside qualified community support workers and it will expose you to the everyday challenges you’ll face in your new line of work. You may have to identify and apply for the work placement yourself, so keeping an idea on websites of organisations who offer these kinds of placements is a good idea.
Excellent Earning PotentialOne reason why courses in community services are so popular is that they can lead to a career with an excellent salary. Averagely in Australia, you can earn anywhere between $25-$30 per hour as a community development worker, which equates to an annual salary of between $60k-$70k. Of course this is not the only reason why people get into community care, but it is nice to know that it’s rewarding in more ways than one.
In terms of the qualities you’ll need to be a community development worker, the job is suited to those who are understanding, patient, organised and be able to empathise with those you care for. Being able to put yourself in their shoes allows you to better meet their needs.