Community Service Worker

In Community Service Worker Training? How to Lead a Successful Intake Session

March 31, 2023

An intake session is an initial appointment a client will have with you when you become a Community Support Worker (CSW). Here you will focus on gaining as much information as possible about the client while helping them to feel relaxed and calm. The intake session is vital to understanding their mental state and situation. You need to actively listen and remain engaged with the client. You will also discuss consent with them and how you will maintain confidentiality. From there, you can attempt to assist the client.  

If you want to learn how to lead a successful intake session as someone in community service support worker training, continue reading! 

Gather and Review as Much Information as Possible

To lead a successful intake session, you need to focus on gathering information about a client. This information can be obtained before or during the intake session. This could be through phone calls or text messages. When little information is available about the client, you will need to dedicate the intake session to learning as much as possible.

When having lots of information on a client through prior telephone calls or text messages, your intake session can be more focused on the client’s current situation and issues. Before the intake session, though, be sure to read through all the information so that you go into the session well-prepared and can get clarity on the information they provided. This will also allow you to ask more detailed questions to better understand and help your client. You will learn about information-gathering during in-class lessons in Community Service Worker training. During your practicum, you will implement what you learned while helping clients and having proper intake sessions. Your training will help you prepare questions and ways to make the client feel comfortable.

Gather information from the client as taught during Community Service Worker training.

Be an Active Listener Throughout the Session

How you treat the intake session is important to its success. You need to be an active listener, engage in the conversation, and follow up on the information the client provides. To show focus on what they were discussing, you can also ask for confirmation on certain details.

Having friendly and engaged body language is also important to help them feel more comfortable and heard. Face the client whenever possible, and if you are in the process of taking notes, look up and face them whenever you have finished making a note. Make eye contact with them to assure them they are your focus and that you are invested in what they say. 

During your Community Service Worker training, you will learn to listen actively and ask clients questions. The focus of this is to help clients feel secure working with you and knowing that you have their best interests at heart. As you progress through your Community Service Worker career, you will build upon your active listening skills and ability to ask the right questions so that this comes naturally.  

Actively listening will help you during your Community Service Worker career.

Discuss Consent as a Community Service Worker

Assuring clients that the intake session and all sessions occurring after that are confidential will help lead to a successful intake session. This is because it helps build their trust and safety in you as a Community Service Worker (CSW). During your training as a CSW, you will be taught about client confidentiality, and you can apply this during your practicum.

There are instances where you may have to break confidentiality, though, such as a court order. If you work with other healthcare professionals, you may request the client sign an information-sharing document. This is so you can discuss their situation with other professionals. It is important to discuss confidentiality with the client to develop trust. Without laying a foundation for trust between you and the client, the intake session won’t be successful.


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Community Service Worker

Working in an Adult and Youth Group Home After Community Service Worker Training

June 24, 2022

Community Service Worker and client

Community service workers play a big role in helping to improve their clients’ quality of life. Through the work they do, they are able to give back and provide valuable support, taking on key tasks and responsibilities that ultimately lead to a rewarding career.

With the right training, you can develop the skills and experience you need to become a successful community service worker and make an impact. After completing your program, you’ll be able to explore a variety of opportunities where you can apply your training, including becoming a community service worker at an adult or youth group home. 

Read on to discover what you can expect from working at an adult or youth group home, and how you can better prepare for your career after completing a community service worker program at Medix College.

Adapting to Different Environments and Client Needs

Group homes, also known as residential care facilities, typically refer to a private residence for a specific group of individuals who live on-site in order to receive the support and care they need. Residents can be adults or youth with mental health issues, youth with behavioural issues, seniors in recovery, or individuals suffering from substance use issues. In all of these different settings, you’d be working directly with clients to provide valuable support. By completing your community service worker course, you can develop the skills you need to succeed in the field and make a positive impact in your community. 

community support worker work environment
Becoming a group home worker requires you to adapt to different home environments and client needs

Fulfilling Your Responsibilities after Community Service Worker Training

Group home workers often complete a wide range of tasks, making each day different yet rewarding nonetheless. As a community service worker in a group home, you’ll be admitting and discharging clients, scheduling appointments, monitoring client behaviour, and teaching clients valuable life skills to bolster their independence and provide them with a higher quality of life.

Additionally, you may be required to serve as a liaison to assist social workers and community organizations, intervene in crisis situations, mediate disputes, or offer counselling to help clients get the support they need. To prepare you for these tasks, your community service worker training will equip you with practical skills and insights, allowing you to gain experience working with clients from different age groups with varying social and emotional issues.  

community support worker working with youth
After community service worker college, you’ll be working directly with your patients to provide them with the support they need

Preparing to Work as a Community Service Worker at a Group Home

Having the right training and experience is key to succeeding in this field, preparing you to become an effective group home worker. Throughout your community service worker program, you’ll be able to cultivate the necessary qualities that help you better connect with clients and work with them to improve their quality of life.    

By enrolling in community service worker training at Medix College, you’ll benefit from technical training that involves small group work, practice interviews, and exercises in self-awareness. You’ll also learn about contemporary community work practice, the helping process, human development, first aid and CPR, as well as crisis prevention. This exposure will allow you to develop a more nuanced understanding of the field, giving you the opportunity to build relevant skills that position you for success working in group homes.

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Community Service Worker

Working in Public Health as a Professional with Community Service Worker Training

April 01, 2022

Professions in the community services realm have evolved over the years, as community service workers use their versatile skills in different aspects. Students who complete their training with Medix College can go on to find employment as community support workers or community health workers. 

This allows students with community service training to expand their reach and work with various groups facing hardship. The skills learned in our program prepare students to work with many diverse populations, giving them the practice and confidence to make an impact in such a rewarding career. Continue reading to discover what a role in this field can look like while pursuing a position in public health.

Realizing the Potential of Community Service Worker Training in the Public Health Space

At Medix college, we prioritize the competency of each student for each skill required for a successful career in community service work. With plentiful small group training, students can explore their strengths and weaknesses, while collaborating with their colleagues to improve their skills. With the hands-on experience they gain in our community service worker training from working with both families and individuals to practice applying their knowledge, students can gain confidence in pursuing this new career path. 

While students can pursue a role offering individual services, they also have the potential to apply their skills to larger groups of people in the realm of public health. As Medix graduates pursue employment as community support workers, they may work with various groups that need support, often providing prevention and health promotion services and various life improvement guidance. 

Community service workers have the potential to impact larger groups of people through positions in the public health field

Adding an Important Perspective to the Field

Community service worker courses help students develop skills that are highly transferable to the public health space. Students in our program grow to understand the complexities of contemporary community work practice, the helping process, human development, first aid/CPR and crisis prevention. Whether a natural disaster strikes or a family needs support navigating their own unique challenges, students learn to apply their skills to offer the best available guidance.

Employment location options that overlap with public health often include addiction treatment centres, immigration and settlement services, and community agencies. Graduates are able to offer a unique perspective when they enter the public health field, providing their extensive experience in supporting a number of social and emotional issues. And with experience in the community service worker field, they can start to think about how certain policies and initiatives may help or harm their clients and the larger population as a whole, and advocate on their behalf.

Community support worker training gives students the experience needed to provide a unique perspective in the public health field

Bridging the Gap Between Individuals and Communities

Community service work doesn’t have to be one-on-one sessions that offer guidance on an individual basis. Community service workers can extend their reach and offer their services, education, and knowledge to larger groups of people that may need additional support. Graduates of our program can assist social workers in various public activities and events, bridging that gap between individual services and the greater community.

No matter the situation, the goal is to always improve quality of life. When professionals work together to offer their own expertise to benefit the greater good, communities start to feel the level of support that is available to them. Community support workers are an essential part of many communities, and provide value to vulnerable populations. With the communication skills and cultural awareness that is sure to come with experience in this field, professionals are set up for a long, rewarding career.

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How to Help Clients Handle Parental Substance Use After Community Service Worker Training

February 11, 2022

community service worker training

Parental substance use issues affect the ability of parents to raise their children. Substance use issues cause deterioration in a parent’s behaviour, along with their physical and emotional health. They also affect a child’s health and development–increasing the likelihood that a child will suffer from emotional and physical abuse and potentially leading the child to develop a substance use issue of their own. That’s why it’s vital that clients exposed to parental substance use issues get the proper care and treatment to help them regain control of their lives and grow within a supportive environment. Community service workers play a major role in this.

At Medix College, you’ll gain hands-on training to work with clients grappling with social and emotional issues, such as substance use disorders. Read on to discover how you can help clients handle parental substance use.

Be Caring After Your Community Service Worker Training

Being caring to a client is an essential component of helping them to open up about their struggles with their parent’s substance use issue, which they may feel ashamed about discussing right away with you. You’ll have to build a rapport with your client, and offer motivational counselling that reduces their tendency to resist working with you. When you attend Medix College, you’ll practice interviews, gaining an understanding of the complexities of contemporary community work practices through your community service worker training. You’ll be able to help your clients by participating in a casual conversation with them and demonstrating empathy. As you listen to your clients, avoid pressuring them with questions they don’t feel like answering.  In order to make them feel more comfortable when talking to you, you can integrate some fun activities that both of you can participate in together throughout your sessions.

community service worker college
After community service worker training, you’ll have to build rapport and trust with your clients

Teach Your Clients the Seven C’s

With your training from a community service worker college and experience in the field, you’ll be able to engage with those struggling with parental substance use issues in a positive way. Clients suffering from parental substance use often feel guilty and ashamed as a result of their parent’s substance use issues. They usually feel responsible for their parents’ addiction, and end up blaming themselves because they aren’t getting the attention they crave from them. When your clients share their feelings of guilt, you can alleviate their pain by reminding them that it never was their fault, and instill in them the Seven C’s: “I didn’t CAUSE it, I can’t Control it, I can’t Cure it. But, I can take Care of myself by Communicating my feelings, making good Choices and Celebrating myself”.  

community service worker course
You’ll get to connect with your clients when you assure them that it’s not their fault

Don’t Judge Based on Behaviour

Your relationship with the clients you’re helping doesn’t end with the one-on-one session you have with them. Rather, it continues beyond that. You’ll provide your community support expertise, supporting them in finding their path in life and identifying new ways of expressing themselves.  One of the most important things to remember when working with clients in these situations is that in order to help them, your opinion of them must be separate from their behaviour or the actions they display in front of you. Their behaviour is likely related to their family dynamic and parent’s substance use issues, which may have prevented them from having a chance to express their true feelings. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong?,” dig deeper by asking them what happened, and whether they’d like to discuss it. In this way, you can let them explain to you their struggles and experiences from their own perspective. 

If you’re passionate about helping those affected by substance use issues, at Medix College, you can find the support you need to achieve your career goals as a community service worker. Consider enrolling in a program to make your aspirations a reality. 

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Tips for Setting Boundaries After Community Service Worker Training

September 17, 2021

As a professional in a community service worker role, setting boundaries will be one of the most important things you can do. Not only will setting boundaries protect your mental health, but it will prevent you from experiencing burnout in a field where professionals often struggle with the gravity of the situations their clients are in. When you learn how to set boundaries, you’ll also be keeping your clients and the organization you work with safe–ensuring a professional and successful career. Setting boundaries involves many different factors, including: focusing on your clients’ needs, not disclosing information about your personal life, preventing dual relationships with clients, and remaining aware of the state of your mental health. If you’re training to become a community service worker, discover some helpful tips for setting boundaries throughout your career below.

After Community Service Worker College, Make Your Clients Aware of How They Can Contact You

One of the most important parts of setting boundaries after community service worker training is making your clients aware of how and when they can contact you. Your clients should not have access to your social media, nor should they be given your personal contact information–such as your address, email or phone number. Giving your clients this information might encourage them to interact with you after hours, which may lead to a breach of professional boundaries. Instead, you can give your clients numbers that they can call if they find themselves in an emergency. Community organizations, 24-hour call centers, and other emergency hotlines are all good numbers for your clients to have–as they’ll be able to stay safe without breaching a boundary of privacy.

Give your clients additional contact information to help set boundaries

Set an Example for Professional Communication

When working in the community service field, it’s important to remember that your clients might not understand the importance of setting boundaries between themselves and you. Thus, it’s important to set an example for your clients by demonstrating professional behaviour in your interactions with them. Make sure to avoid any form of inappropriate physical contact, and always keep from using inappropriate or derogatory language–even if your client speaks or acts this way. It’s also important to keep from speaking to your clients about your personal life, even if you’re attempting to show them that you can relate to what they’re going through. This can cause your client to become confused about their relationship with you, which can create an unprofessional dynamic. 

Avoid Conflicts of Interest

After community service worker college, part of setting boundaries will involve watching out for dual relationships. Dual relationships are those in which you and your client interact in a context other than a professional one. If you work in a smaller community, making an active effort to limit contact with your client in social settings will go a long way in ensuring healthy boundaries. Avoid doing favours for your client that aren’t of a professional nature, and never initiate lengthy social interactions with your client when you see them in public. Minimizing interactions like these will help you to keep your work and home life separate, and ensure a healthy relationship with your client. 

Avoid dual relationships with your clients in order to set boundaries

Maintain a Social Life Outside of the Workplace

As a community service worker, one of the best things you can do for your mental health and your ability to set boundaries is to maintain a healthy social life outside of the workplace. Try to make plans with friends and family after the workday, as this can help you to unwind and avoid becoming consumed with your clients’ situations. You’ll be able to provide quality care to your clients when you feel fulfilled within your own personal life, so it’s important to do the activities that you love to do when you’re not on the job.

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4 Work Environments to Explore After Community Service Worker Training

June 08, 2021

Students wanting to become community service workers are in a unique position to explore rewarding careers in a broad range of fields. They have an opportunity to assist others and giving back to the community–through different work environments.

As a community service worker, you’ll develop the necessary skills to work with people in different age groups with a variety of social and emotional issues. You will also receive technical training that focuses on the helping process, human development, first aid, CPR, and crisis prevention. The practical experience gained from your program equips you with the tools you need to make a real difference in people’s lives. 

We will help introduce four different work environments that students in community service worker programs can consider exploring after completing their studies!

1. Becoming a Child and Youth Worker at Counselling and Advocacy Centres 

Graduates of a community service program have many employment environments to choose from. One of them is counselling and advocacy centres, where graduates can help guide children and adolescents through difficult situations—possibly including family issues, bullying, or even substance abuse. 

In this role, you would provide a valuable service that contributes to a better life for children and adolescents. By conducting interviews and counselling clients, relying on case reports and statistical data, you can help ensure that those in need of help receive better care and support. Students interested in becoming child and youth workers at counselling and advocacy centres can look forward to a rewarding career that would prioritize the well-being of minors.

Child and youth workers are there to ensure that minors are properly supported

2. Working with Adults or Youth at Residential Care Facilities

Group homes and residential care facilities offer community service workers a range of possible work experiences depending on the type or purpose of the facility. Some options may include: houses or treats injured seniors, adults diagnosed with mental illness, youth with behavioural issues, or residents suffering from substance abuse. 

Although each type of residential care facility comes with its own set of specific duties and responsibilities, graduates of community service programs can expect to work directly with patients and clients—greeting and guiding patients through the facility as well as helping them develop key life skills that increase their independence. Graduates can rely on their community service worker training to monitor and effectively communicate with residents–working towards crisis prevention while promoting their health and safety.

3. Making a Difference in People’s Lives at a Community Shelter 

Graduates wanting to aid disadvantaged individuals can explore fulfilling careers in community shelters–helping those experiencing homelessness transition into more stable housing. In this role, community service workers can introduce shelter residents to important services that boost their independence.  

Depending on the shelter and its financial resources, you might be working separately or in large teams to improve the lives of residents and to maintain order. Having strong communication and conflict resolution skills can be particularly useful in this working environment. You can also use the skills gained from community service worker college to conduct research. This would include using case reports and collected data to accurately assess progress and continue providing the best care possible.

By choosing to work in a shelter, you can support residents in the transition to better housing

4. Working in Immigration and Settlement Services After Community Service Worker Training

Community service workers who work at settlement agencies are invested in helping immigrants adapt to their new life in Canada–providing them with resources to better ease their transition. These resources can include cultural, educational, recreational, or financial information that would enable them to get the most out of their situation. 

Through this position, you can work directly with newcomers to help them navigate new terrain. You will help by exploring the best career or education opportunities, securing life essentials, or assisting with government forms and applications. A rewarding career in this field can help new settlers discover valuable services that address their family’s needs more easily. 

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Community Service Worker

Addiction: 3 Things that Professionals with Community Service Worker Training Should Know

April 28, 2021

In Canada alone, recent research has shown that about 21% of the population will experience addiction during their lives. While addiction is extremely prevalent across society, there are still a number of misconceptions surrounding this disease. Namely, many people don’t know that addiction is a disease. Addiction is a term used to describe the problematic use of a substance, and is characterized by compulsivity or difficulty managing use despite negative consequences. 

If you’re considering a career as a community service worker, you may encounter individuals suffering from addiction. In order to effectively support these individuals, it’s important to be equipped with an understanding of addiction, which is an incredibly complex disease. 

Read on to discover three things that you might not know about addiction. 

1. Those with Community Service Worker Training Should Know that Many Factors Can Lead to Addiction

There isn’t one singular factor that can determine whether a person will develop addiction. Rather, there are many different factors that can interact with each other to cause addiction. If you’ve ever wondered why some people become addicted to substances while others don’t, it may have to do with circumstances such as genetics, environment, mental health issues, and more. After completing your community service worker training, it’s important to understand these causal factors in order to work with those suffering from substance use disorders.

There are many different factors that can lead individuals to develop substance use disorders

Some people may inherit a genetic predisposition for vulnerability to the addictive properties of substances. In fact, genes account for about 50% of a person’s risk of developing an addiction. Another factor is environment. This can include the community that an individual has grown up in, the person’s quality of life, their peers, their family, or their economic status—any one of which can affect the likelihood of the person developing a substance use disorder. Mental health issues can also increase a person’s predisposition to developing addiction, as research has shown that more than 50% of those suffering from addiction have also had mental health problems throughout their lives. Lastly, people may use substances as a means to cope with tough situations, developing an addiction as a result.

2. Addiction Changes the Brain

Addiction is often misconstrued as something that can be cured by quitting the use of a substance, but the reason that addiction is so difficult to treat is because it changes the brain. Addiction can alter the brain’s natural balance, its chemistry, its communication pathways and even its structure. The compulsion and cravings created by addiction can change the brain’s balance as it adapts to this new behaviour, creating a new balance called allostasis. The dopamine surges which result from substance use can alter the brain’s reward circuit, creating a dependency on this form of dopamine rather than deriving pleasure from other sources of joy, such as spending time with friends or eating. Thus, addiction is extremely complex to treat, as it creates change in the brain itself.

Addiction can alter the brain’s natural balance, making it difficult to treat

3. There Isn’t One Right Way to Treat Addiction

After community service worker college, you may work with individuals suffering from substance use disorders. When working with these individuals, it’s important to realize that addiction treatment is a complicated process of unlearning and implementing a variety of strategies that work towards behavioural change. For these reasons, focusing on sobriety alone isn’t always effective. Individuals will typically need to find other sources of joy rather than simply maintaining a goal of abstinence, and there will not be one universal treatment strategy that works for everyone. 

For many suffering from addiction, positive reinforcement and communication will be more effective than punishment, which can cause an individual to feel isolated and spiral further into addictive behaviour. Since the chances of relapse are high during an individual’s recovery, they will benefit more from continued support and focus on emotional health rather than shaming. Treating addiction is a process, and individuals may battle addictive behaviour for the rest of their lives. When helping individuals to overcome addiction, it’s important to work with empathy, patience, and understanding above all. 

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The Psychology Behind Behaviour Modification Explained for Those with Community Service Worker Training

February 19, 2021

Community Service Workers have an important role in creating change in the lives of individuals and families in need of help. While their duties can vary, Community Service Workers (CSWs) generally equip their clients with resources to remove themselves from harmful or negative situations. CSWs also provide clients with the emotional support necessary to make lifestyle changes and move away from detrimental coping mechanisms or patterns of behaviour. The communities and clients they work with may differ, but CSWs often work with those suffering from addiction, mental or physical disabilities, abuse, situations of poverty, or other forms of instability. 

Behaviour modification is a form of treatment which focuses on altering an individual’s patterns of behaviour or reactions to create positive change. Familiarity with behaviour modification techniques can be helpful to Community Service Workers looking to implement various types of solutions for the communities, families and individuals that they work with. 

Here’s the basic science behind behaviour modification explained to those taking CSW training.

Behaviour Modification Explained for those in Community Service Worker College

Behaviour modification is a form of treatment encompassing a set of techniques which help individuals to change their patterns of behaviour or reactions–with the goal of replacing damaging behaviours with beneficial ones. Developed by renowned psychologist B.F. Skinner, this treatment approach is based on the notion that behaviour can be changed through mechanisms of reinforcement and consequence. Professionals with Community Service Worker training can learn to apply different techniques of behaviour modification when equipped with an understanding of the psychology behind this approach.

Behaviour modification enables CSWs to help their clients create positive change

Behaviour modification is driven by the concept of conditioning. Classical conditioning refers to a signal which precipitates behaviour. For example, the sound of a notification on one’s phone will typically correspond to the action of checking to see who it’s from. On the other hand, operant conditioning is conditioning which shapes behaviour using a reward/punishment approach. Rewarding a child after they put their toys away or punishing them when they behave badly are both forms of operant conditioning–as a child is taught what forms of behaviour are acceptable and which are not. 

Why is Behaviour Modification Important for Community Service Work?

Behaviour modification is based on the notion that because behaviours can be learned, they can also be unlearned. The ability to “unlearn” behaviours is relevant to the work of CSWs–as these professionals often work with individuals stuck in harmful or negative patterns of behaviour. The clients of Community Service Workers may be experiencing mental health problems, addiction or substance use issues, relationship issues, or negative thought patterns as a result of traumatic experiences and situations. 

Behavioural modification can teach clients to unlearn negative behaviours

Replacing negative behaviours with positive ones can empower those in situations of crisis or helplessness to work to change their circumstances and to be more receptive to aid and counseling. On the job, graduates of Community Service Worker college will learn to recognize when an individual’s situation could be improved through a behaviour modification treatment approach. Keep in mind that CSWs will often work to implement these techniques with the support of a wider mental health care team working with the affected client. Here are some ways that behaviour modification can be implemented.

Techniques for Implementing Behaviour Modification after Your Community Service Worker Training

There are a variety of different techniques which CSW professionals can employ to help their clients create changes in their behaviour. The following behaviour modification techniques are likely to be the most relevant to the field of community service work. For clients suffering from trauma or anxiety, systematic desensitization can be a helpful behavioural modification tool. This approach uses a classical conditioning approach to teach clients techniques to remain calm in the face of their fears. 

Another approach is chaining, which is helpful for individuals who could benefit from learned behavioural change in order to work towards a goal or accomplishment. Behaviour chains are sequences of behaviours in which multiple behaviours are put together to form a greater behaviour. Chaining teaches individuals to recognize reinforcement mechanisms after completing a sequence in the behaviour chaining. Gradually, chaining gives individuals the skills necessary to accomplish something independently, and can be useful for helping clients to develop an approach to a complicated situation.

If you’re thinking of becoming a Community Service Worker, behavioural modification can be a powerful tool to implement solutions for clients in difficult situations. While these are just some of the techniques involved in behavioural modification, there are a variety of approaches that you can apply as a CSW. With the support of a wider mental health team that may be also involved in an individual’s care, you will be able to help clients create positive changes in their habits, reactions and actions. 

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The Relationship Between COVID-19 and Compassion Fatigue Explained for Those in Community Service Worker College

December 18, 2020

 Community Service Worker College

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively uprooted our routines, making it hard for many of us to adapt quickly. So much has changed since the beginning of the pandemic. Mental health concerns are rising as many people now have to face various health-related fears and anxieties as well as newfound stress in their lives. Community service workers (CSWs) have been instrumental in providing much-needed support—especially during these unprecedented and challenging times. 

By providing valuable help to others, community service workers might be susceptible to compassion fatigue. This happens when caregivers experience profound emotional and, at times, physical exhaustion. The increase of COVID-related cases and the impacts they have had on the population’s mental health means that CSWs are now more important than ever. Whether helping people who have relapsed and returned to their addiction during the pandemic, or who may be facing homelessness due to financial difficulties, CSWs can be there to help. Of course, CSWs also need to take care of themselves during these difficult times. And so, checking for compassion fatigue (and knowing how to prevent it) becomes a key aspect in ensuring the mental health of these essential workers. 

Addressing Desensitization and Potential Second Traumatic Stress During COVID-19

Compassion fatigue can be linked to multiple factors, typically involving desensitization—a lack of feeling created by overexposure to highly emotional cases. The COVID-19 death toll can be viewed as an example of this, particularly as the numbers keep rising at a mind-numbing pace. According to research, our brains are less emotionally engaged when large numbers of people are involved. 

Similarly, those in community service worker training might feel overwhelmed and emotionally or physically drained when dealing with a large number of new clients. This sense of indirect trauma could lead to secondary traumatic stress, where caregivers and CSWs experience second-hand trauma due to exposure to the trauma of others—often resulting in anxiety, hypervigilance, or even numbness. 

Combating Burnout During Your Career After Your Community Service Worker Training

Another big aspect of compassion fatigue is burnout, which usually occurs when individuals are overworked and are not provided with enough resources to help themselves. As CSWs have had to face numerous challenges during the pandemic, this pressure can cause strain. However, by ignoring the signs of burnout, CSWs risk developing more serious stress-related conditions. That is why establishing good self-care routines is important. For example, getting regular sleep and exercise as well as eating healthy and socializing are all great ways to improve your well-being. 

community service worker courseBuilding a Strong Community and Emphasizing Compassion Satisfaction 

Community building allows us to fight isolation even during quarantine—motivating us to help each other get through these hard times. Try to check in on your colleagues after your community service worker course to make sure everyone is doing well. Remember, compassion fatigue is normal, especially when working under unprecedented conditions.

Compassion satisfaction is all about focusing on the positive and rewarding parts of the job. It’s an important reminder of why we do what we do, and knowing that it makes a big difference. That’s why we’d like to highlight our incredible team of resilient heroes who have continued learning, teaching, and even working on the front-lines. We are so proud of our MedixHeroes who have all worked hard to create a positive change during these difficult times.  

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Crisis Intervention Skills That Are Important to Professionals with CSW Training

October 30, 2020

csw courseCommunity service workers (CSWs) are professionals equipped with the training and skills to provide assistance to clients in a variety of situations. CSWs may help people struggling with substance use problems, homelessness, and more, working in a range of environments, from shelters to treatment centers. 

One of the services community service workers may provide is crisis intervention. Crisis intervention involves implementing different strategies to help an individual, depending on the situation at hand. To best help those experiencing a crisis, CSWs need to possess an understanding of how to recognize crisis situations, assess them, and ultimately intervene in a way that achieves the best possible outcome for the individual. Read on to discover a few skills that are important to have as a CSW working with an individual in crisis.

Defining the Term “Crisis” for Studens in Community Service Worker Training

Crisis is a term that lacks a concrete definition, mostly because a “crisis” is a term that is specific to an individual and how they perceive something. If an individual is completely overwhelmed by a situation or event and cannot come up with their own solutions or implement their typical coping mechanisms, they may be in a state of crisis. 

A crisis state is characterized by emotions such as helplessness or doubt, and is likely to occur when there is a shift in an individual’s environment that causes significant stress. If individuals perceive this change as a crisis, the situation becomes a crisis situation. Individuals in crisis can also be identified by changes in their health and how they function, both emotionally and physically. They may experience exhaustion, mood swings, depression, or changes to activity and their sleeping habits. Professionals with CSW training should be able to recognize an individual in crisis, and gauge the seriousness of the crisis so that they can begin to provide support. 

CSW training
CSWs can help individuals in crisis by assessing their situation and intervening appropriately

How CSWs Can Help Those in Crisis

After identifying an individual in crisis, CSWs can begin the next steps of handling a crisis: assessment and intervention. CSWs can assess the individual undergoing a crisis through a conversation that allows them to get information and context about the individual’s situation, allowing them to understand the level or instability or hazard involved in their situation, as well as evaluate potential threats to the person’s safety. A CSW can obtain this information by asking questions about the situation and the person’s emotions surrounding it to encourage communication and get a sense of the cognitive state they are in. Their cognitive state refers to their patterns of thinking, and whether they’re capable of making rational decisions. Remember, during this process, a CSW should remain supportive and sensitive, creating a judgement-free zone.

Based on the assessment, those with community service worker training should begin to work more directly with the situation, or intervene. Intervention involves a discussion between the CSW and the individual about possible strategies and resources available to help alleviate the effects of the crisis. 

Above all, it’s important for CSWs to remember that they should always be taking the context of their client’s situation—as well as their preferences and concerns—into account so as to come up with a strategy that’s best suited to them. Crisis intervention is a stressful endeavour, but with the right training, community service workers can help individuals facing problems of all kinds and make a difference in their lives.

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