support workers (CSWs) are people who work with society’s most vulnerable and
susceptible groups in order to support them with their physical, mental, social,
and daily life skills. As the front-line point of contact for these vulnerable
groups, community support workers serve as the personal link to those
struggling through one-on-one and group support.
With any role
or occupation, a few essential skills are needed to be successful – and the
role of community support worker is no exception. In this blog, we’ll explore 4 skills that any successful community
support worker needs to thrive in the field.
1. Active Listening
As a community
support worker, it’s important that you have more than just good listening skills – you also need to have good active listening skills.
listening refers to offering your full attention to what other people are
saying, taking the time to understand the points being made by the other party,
asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Many of the
responsibilities community support workers have include communicating and
interacting with their clients to understand their needs and what they’re
experiencing. Throughout support sessions, it’s important for community support
workers to actively observe their client’s behaviour and body language so they
can better interpret and understand the underlying message being shared.
2. Social Perception
In almost any
client-facing role, which includes the role of community support worker, social
skills are important to have. Social perceptiveness is one of those skills.
perceptiveness refers to being aware of other people’s reaction and
understanding why they react as they do.
community support worker, it’s important to be conscious and cognizant of your
client’s facial expressions, body language, and tone so you’re able to read the
mood of the conversation. Being able to do this is beneficial in understanding
when your client is happy, sad, or even uncomfortable.
if you know that a particular client struggled through a challenging past,
reading their body language will help you better understand how they’re feeling
and at what stage of recovery they’re at. If a client is showing signs of
hesitation or distress during conversation, you can anticipate that the support
process is going to be slower and then schedule more one-on-one time to help
them over overcome it.
support sessions and any form of conversation, 2-way communication is involved.
Given this, community support workers need to be able to speak effectively with
The skill of
speaking refers to the action of conveying information or expressing one’s
thoughts and feelings effectively. Note that the keyword here is effectively.
It’s easy to
talk with others and share ideas just as the ideas come out of your mouth. The
challenging part is sharing it in a way that’s clear and easy to understand for
everyone. When you’re communicating and dealing with multiple clients at a time
during group support sessions, it’s important that you can convey critical
information in an understandable format to your clients.
One of the
key attributes required to be a community support worker is having the heart to
Service orientation refers to actively looking for ways to help people. As a community support worker, it’s important to have the heart to actively help your clients through whatever they may be going through. This support helps them overcome their own struggles and become a better person.
Community Support Worker Programs
Shaw, we offer a variety of community support programs including Community
Support Worker – Social Services, Community
Support Worker, and Addictions
learning more about one of these programs or the role in general? Contact one
of our advisors for more information.