A new training program gives eligible individuals in the Okanagan or Kootenays the opportunity to get started on a rewarding career and to help their community, all at the same time.
There is another perk as well: The program is completely free for those who qualify. If you are on employment insurance or have you had a claim in the last five years or earned more than $2,000 in insurable earnings and paid employee El premiums on those earnings in at least five of the last 10 years, you're eligible. If you are a British Columbia Employment and Assistance Client—both persons with disabilities and non-PWD—you, too, are also eligible.
Partners in Resources, or Piers, has teamed up with Excel Career College on the social services and community support worker diploma program. It is a 28-week course that can be taken in class or virtually, and the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia are providing funding.
The Okanagan course begins Oct. 2 and runs until June 7, while it starts in the Kootenays on Oct. 16.
Social services and community support workers play a crucial role in improving the quality of life for individuals and communities. Their responsibilities can vary widely depending on their specific role, the population they serve and the setting in which they work.
Those who complete the course will not only be certified to be a social services and community support worker, but they will also have first aid, non-violent crisis intervention, suicide prevention training and food safety certifications.
Once students have received their diplomas, Piers and Excel will work together to get them into five-week practicums with local social services partners.
“We ensure that we have carefully vetted partnerships so that placements are meaningful and that workplace environments are non-judgmental and safe,” Piers managing director Anai Sangrar-Ordonez says.
Piers and Excel will do everything in their power to ensure students’ success, offering in-house services life skills coaching and workshops, poverty reduction services, and advocacy and referrals unique to each applicant’s needs.
Some of the typical duties and responsibilities of social services workers include case management, coaching, crisis intervention, advocacy and family support.
Community support workers, meanwhile, are often responsible for community outreach, program development and management, support for vulnerable populations, health education, skill building, data collection and analysis.
Both social services and community support workers require strong communication skills, empathy, patience, and a deep understanding of the ethical and legal considerations related to their work.
Those interested in the social services and community support worker diploma program can reach out to Piers service manager Gloria Helfrick via email or by phone at 250-762-3494, or contact your local WorkBC office.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.