Community Support Workers: Making a Difference through a Career


As humans, we have the compassion, empathy, and kindness to care for others. We open doors for strangers, help the elderly carry their groceries, and offer our seats to expectant mothers on transit – all of these considerate actions showcase and emphasize how good-hearted we are as a society. But, we can always go further and make greater differences in the lives of others.

Group therapy session

Have you always wanted to make a positive difference in someone else’s life, but didn’t know exactly how to?

Occasionally, our subconscious can get the better of us and tell us “you’re just one person … what can you do?” But the truth is that just one person can make all the difference. Think of Nelson Mandela, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan B. Anthony, and Mother Teresa. If all of these outstanding people believed that they couldn’t make a difference because they were only one person, our world today would be very different.

The Scene in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

If you live in British Columbia (or even in Canada), you’re bound to have heard stories about the afflicted circumstances happening in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. When hearing these hardships, you can’t help but feel compassion and empathy for those who suffer through cruel living conditions on the streets – and even more so when the temperatures drop below zero.

Fortunately, you can help those in need through a career as a Community Support Worker (CSW).

Throughout the past few years, there has been a steady incline in teen pregnancy, homelessness, substance use and abuse, and awareness of mental illness and developmental disabilities. Moreover, growth is also expected to rise in the area of Indigenous outreach and community development – particularly with concerns related to children, youth, and rehabilitation.

As the barriers to community members continue to increase, so will the demand for part-time and full-time workers in this field who can support them. Considering this, a career as a Community Support Worker is the perfect opportunity to make a direct and positive impact in the lives of other people.

What Do Community Support Workers Do?

As the front-line point of contact for some of society’s most vulnerable groups, Community Support Workers hold a crucial role in the field.

As the name suggests, Community Support Workers support their community. These individuals serve as the personal bridge to connect with those who are in need through one-on-one and group support. In addition to this, CSWs are often presented with the responsibility of encouraging people to build and rebuild their lives by helping them develop the skill sets to progressively accomplish responsible autonomy.

Essentially, Community Support Workers are strong-hearted individuals who have the drive to make a difference in other people’s lives by coaching them into their independence.

How Do Community Support Workers Make a Difference?

If you have the passion and heart to help those in need, a career in community support is one of the most valuable opportunities available.

Therapist encouraging a patient at group therapy

So, how do Community Support Workers make a difference in the lives of those in need? Two of the most heartening ways they make a difference is by offering their kindness and support.

For Community Support Workers, many of their tasks involve emotionally, mentally, and physically supporting those in need. This could include planning and implementing a variety of social assistance programs and community services that revolve around life skills workshops, substance abuse treatment programs, constructive health care programs, and many others. CSWs also assist their clients in managing their social and personal barriers – which helps them to progressively rebuild their lives. These supportive roles make a difference by offering heartfelt relief and care to those in need.

In addition to extending support, Community Support Workers also offer kindness to those they work with. One of the core qualities of a CSW is the ability to be genuine and kind to everyone.

It’s said that a friendly face has the power to make a difference in someone’s life – and that’s true. A kind and welcoming smile has the ability to transform another’s life. By offering a warm smile, CSWs help their clients open up, feel comfortable, and know they’re supported.

The Community Support Worker – Social Services Program

At Sprott Shaw, we offer the extended Community Support Worker – Social Services Program that is suited for those who want to focus on the social services aspect of the role. This particular program features the addition of courses directed towards counselling techniques for children and adults, as well as training in Skills Development and Behaviour Support and Management. Students who pursue and successfully complete the extended program will have the opportunity to support and assist others through positive and practical strategies.

Do you want to make a positive difference in other people’s lives? Click here to learn more about the Community Support Worker Program and below to apply!

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