Career Information

Human Services and Community Rehabilitation Programs

"Human Services Worker" is a generic term for people who hold paraprofessional jobs in such diverse settings as group homes and halfway houses; correctional, mental retardation, and community mental health centers; family, child, and youth service agencies; and programs concerned with alcoholism, drug abuse, family violence, and aging.

Depending on the employment setting and the kinds of clients served there, job titles and duties vary a great deal. For instance, in community, mental health, or residential care settings, human service workers organize and lead group activities, assist clients in need of counseling or crisis intervention, and administer food bank or emergency fuel programs.

In social service agencies, they help clients through the red tape that surrounds many government entitlement programs. This involves interviewing clients, assessing their needs, and establishing their eligibility for services that are available. Major areas of social work practice include child welfare and family services; psychiatric and mental health services; public assistance; medical social work; gerontological social work, school social work; community organization, planning and policy development; and social welfare administration. A growing number of social workers specialize in child or adult protective services. Those in child protective services investigate reported cases of abuse and neglect and intervene if necessary. Workers sometimes institute legal action and remove the child from the home, placing the child, temporarily, in an emergency shelter or with a foster family. Social workers who specialize in adult protective services take similar steps on behalf of adults, typically battered wives, neglected or abused elderly, or mentally impaired individuals. Whenever a social worker helps an individual or a family in crisis, direct counseling is a major part of the job.

Residential Counselor. Halfway houses and group homes serve adults who need some supervision or assistance before becoming fully independent. These facilities generally house from 5-15 residents, and in some cases, as many as 40. Drug addicts, alcoholics, parolees, and developmentally disabled are some of the groups that use these facilities. Residential Counselors are responsible for keeping clients' records up to date and reporting changes in behavior to the supervisor. The counselor must prepare oral and written reports on the condition and progress of each member of the residence and may also be responsible for the financial management of the household, including documenting all household expenditures.

Jobs obtained by SUNY-Oswego Public Justice Graduates:

Case Aide, Jewish Assoc. Services for Aged - Brooklyn, NY
Case Manager, Salvation Army - Syracuse, NY
Caseworkers,Catholic Charities - Mexico, NY
Cayuga Home for Children - Auburn, NY
Child Care Counselors, Nassau Children's House - New York, NY
House of Good Shepherd - Utica, NY
Counselor, Alternative Family Care System - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Community Service Aide, Onondaga Co. Dept. of Social Services - Syracuse, NY
Director of Center for Homeless Girls Mercy Center Ministries, Inc. - Patchogue, NY
Financial Aide Counselor, Dutchess Co. Dept. of Social Services Poughkeepsie, NY
Human Service Worker, Haven House (For Battered Women) - Buffalo, NY
Program Administrator, Oswego County DWI Program - Oswego, NY
Program Coordinator, Resolve-A-Center for Dispute Settlement
Psychiatric Assistant, Nurse Benjamin Rush Center - Syracuse, NY
Psychiatric Social Worker, Oneida Co. Dept. of Soc. Services - Utica, NY
Rehabilitation Specialist, Monarch Training Program - Syracuse, NY
Resident Aide, Oneida Co. Rustic Care Home - Utica, NY
Residence Counselor, Programs & Domiciles, Inc. - Oneida, NY
Senior Counselor, New York State Division for Youth - Syracuse, NY
Social Welfare Examiner, Niagara Co. Dept. of Soc. Services - Buffalo, NY
Social Workers, Gramm-Widem Foster Care Agency - New York, NY
Elmcrest Children's Center - Syracuse, NY
Substance Abuse Counselo,r Farnham Youth Development Center - Oswego, NY
Welfare Examiner, Oswego Co. Dept. of Soc. Services - Mexico, NY