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Community Worker

VOC Course Subject Prerequisites University Course Year 12 Preferred Working With Children check Police Check

Also known as Community Development Officer and Community Engagement Officer.

Community workers encourage and assist community groups to identify their needs, participate in decision-making and develop appropriate services and facilities to meet those needs.

The work of community workers involves considerable personal contact and travel within communities.

They are normally expected to attend evening meetings and occasional weekend activities.

TASKS

    Community workers may perform the following tasks:

  • assist community groups in planning, developing, maintaining and evaluating community resources, programmes and support networks
  • support, develop and evaluate strategies that encourage community participation in activities
  • research, analyse and assist council, town planning, corporate planning and environmental health departments in developing community service policies
  • communicate frequently with community groups, welfare agencies, government bodies, non-government organisations and private businesses about community services such as housing, health, welfare and recreation
  • monitor, evaluate and recommend changes to community development programmes, policies, practices or budgets
  • help raise community and public awareness regarding issues such as welfare rights by promoting, organising and helping to coordinate meetings and seminars
  • carry out administrative work, which may include written correspondence, preparing submissions and reports for government bodies or other agencies and attending management meetings

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • enjoy assisting people
  • able to work independently
  • able to work in cooperation with others
  • good work organisation and time management skills
  • able to relate to people effectively and patiently
  • able to manage and help resolve conflict
  • able to understand the issues and interests of the communities involved
  • good oral and written communication skills
Very Good Outlook
Very Good Outlook for this career!


Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact Outdoor

SPECIALISATIONS

Aboriginal Affairs Administrator - is involved in running organisations that provide services and assistance to Aboriginal communities in areas such as art and crafts, education, health and housing. Their work also involves organising events and activities to meet local needs.

EDUCATION & TRAINING


VOC Course Subject Prerequisites University Course Year 12 Preferred Working With Children check Police Check

To become a community worker you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in a relevant discipline such as community services or community development. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a community worker by studying a relevant field at university. Entry to relevant degree courses usually requires you to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12. For more details, see the separate entries for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker, Social Worker, Welfare Worker and Youth Worker.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    To become a member of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) you need to complete an approved degree or 2-year diploma in community services work, human services community welfare, community development or a similar discipline that is approved by ACWA. Contact the association for further information and a current list of approved courses.

    To work with children or vulnerable people in NSW, you must obtain a Working with Children Check from the Office of the Children's Guardian. To work with children or vulnerable people in the ACT, you need to obtain a Working with Vulnerable People Check from the Office of Regulatory Services. A National Police Certificate may also be required.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Community workers work with groups of people in various settings, including aged care, youth and community centres, youth shelters, centres for people with disability, and Aboriginal communities. They also work for local councils and for the family and community service agencies of state and territory governments.

Many community workers move on to self-employment and undertake contract community work on specific projects. In local government, councils are increasingly working closely with their communities and may be taking on specialist staff.

Community workers may work in urban or remote areas. Employment prospects depend on the level of government funding for community organisations and the number of programmes to be conducted and administered.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Community Worker Australian Community Workers Association International Association for Public Participation (Australasia) NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)


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