Social service and human service assistants identify community and government services for people with disabilities and for other people who want to improve the quality of their lives. Following an initial assessment of need,they help their clients to receive practical resources and to develop necessary skills. They also offer help in overcoming obstacles, such as transportation and documentation, that can obstruct access to available resources.Social service and human service assistants work in a focused manner that is oriented toward achieving practical results.
Social service and human service assistants help people with disabilities under a wide variety of circumstances. At the most basic level, they identify government benefits and entitlements. They organize the provision of personal care services that allow people with disabilities to meet their basic needs for physical security in shelter, nutrition, transportation and medical services. Social service and human service assistants are familiar with rehabilitation programs and with assistive devices. They can also facilitate participation in vocational services, serving as an advocate for the appropriate accommodations that can lead toward employment.
In addition to providing service to people with disabilities, social service and human service assistants provide services to members of other groups in which people with disabilities are over-represented. Veterans and the elderly are two of these groups. Social service and human service assistants also assist immigrants, people with addiction and mental illness, homeless people, and people who return to society from prison. They work to ensure access to adequate housing, food, education and social services for vulnerable individuals and families.
After high school, some social service and human service assistants attend community college, vocational school, or specialized programs. They work in clinics and other facilities,supervised by licensed professionals such as social workers and psychologists. Social service and human service assistants are employed in government programs, social service agencies, relief services, residential facilities, vocational rehabilitation programs, and substance abuse facilitiess.
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