When deciding on a career path, there are as many motivations for why to do something as there are study options. For some people, job stability is essential while for others the salary matters most. Maybe it’s important to you to have opportunities for growth in the field that you choose or you want flexible hours. A lot of people say that they want to help others and make a difference in their community. If those reasons resonate with you, you may want to consider a career in community services.
What Is Community Services?
Community services is all about people. Often, community service workers are helping vulnerable people access services that they need. You might want to work with children and adults with disabilities. You could provide person-to-person services out in the community or you could run a programme at a centre. If you’re interested in social justice, you can become an advocate for asylum seekers and refugees or work as a social worker in child protection or family services.
People who are drawn to community service careers are highly compassionate and optimistic. You see a difficult situation with someone you know or a broken system that could be repaired and you are moved to action. Perhaps you have your own history with a community service organisation that made a positive difference in your life and you want to give back. When people support one another in their local communities, life is better for everyone.
How Do You Get Certified?
Community services is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia. The Cert 3 Community Services Perth is an entry level certificate that gets you started in your community services career. You can hold a position as a support worker or case manager under the direction of a supervisor. There are a variety of organisations in which you can work with this certificate, and this certificate is recognised all over Australia.
What Do You Learn?
The Cert 3 community services programme includes core and elective courses. All students take courses on working with diverse people; responding to client needs; safety for direct client care; communication and professionalism in health and community services organisations; and self-care. Then, elective courses provide more specific guidance on working in the community. You’ll learn how to make initial contact with an individual needing services and how to make sure that their needs and rights are being met. You’ll receive coaching on how to handle crisis situations and how to individualise your support based on a client’s unique needs.
You’ll also be taught how to develop networks of other support workers and organisations and how to maintain those connections. In community services, it’s detrimental to both you and your clients to think that you alone have all of the answers. Connecting with other professionals who specialise in particular services ensures that you have accessible pathways to resources that will best help the person you are serving. Helping people starts with compassion but doing it successfully requires training and guidance and a network of other caring people who want to improve their community.
What Comes Next?
Upon completion of your certificate programme, you’ll be able to work in a variety of fields. You’ll also have the groundwork to advance in your career. If you find that you really enjoy working with the elder population, you can continue your studies in how to support the ageing. Perhaps you have been working in community services for a while and hope to take on more of a leadership role. You can pursue a diploma of community services after completing your certificate and provide direction to newer service workers and help them shape their careers. There are many career paths available to you upon completion of your Cert 3.
Community services provide many opportunities for fulfilling careers. Not only do you make a difference in your community at large by supporting existing organisations in their work, but you impact the lives of individual people. How rewarding to watch another person succeed in life knowing that he or she simply needed a caring person to support them. And, for better or for worse, there will always be needs in the community services sector, so you can’t work yourself out of a job. You can only continue to make a positive difference in your community and motivate others to do the same.