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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4212 Occupation: Community and Social Service Workers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Community and social service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and assist clients to deal with personal and social problems. They are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, school boards, correctional facilities and other establishments. Community and social service workers administer and implement a variety of social assistance programs and community services, and assist clients to deal with personal and social problems. They are employed by social service and government agencies, mental health agencies, group homes, school boards, correctional facilities and other establishments.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short email, reminders and log book entries, e.g. child and youth workers read email messages from foster parents to learn about the behaviours of children. (1)
  • Skim bulletins, brochures and newsletters to become informed about programs and community resources available for clients. (2)
  • Read text entries in intake forms, tracking records, progress reports, case plans and referral forms, e.g. social welfare workers review entries in intake forms to determine what other social services clients are receiving. (2)
  • Read newsletters, magazines and newspapers to stay informed about social trends and current events, e.g. outreach workers read newspaper articles about large construction projects and pass this information along to clients who are seeking employment. (2)
  • Review instructions and conditions in court orders, rental agreements and applications for assistance, e.g. disability management workers read instructions to learn about the steps involved in applying for benefits. (2)
  • Read clinical assessments and medical reports to learn about clients' medical diagnoses, psychiatric conditions and behavioural problems, e.g. read family workers' parenting assessment reports to determine what support the family requires. (3)
  • Read information about medications, e.g. read medication side effects indexes to learn about prescription drugs and their side effects. (3)
  • Read the organization’s policy manuals, e.g. group-home workers read sections of their organization's policy manual to learn about house rules and protocols. (3)
  • Read research reports and articles from peer-reviewed journals to learn about various topics, such as family violence, addictions, poverty, mental illness, anger management and self-esteem, e.g. women's shelter supervisors read reports on family violence to learn about patterns of spousal abuse. (4)
  • Read social policy legislation, such as the provincial Child and Family Services Act, Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Code, e.g. mental-health advocates refer to sections of acts to determine client rights and the procedures to advocate on their behalf. (4)
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Writing
  • Write email to clients, co-workers and colleagues, e.g. settlement workers write email messages to Citizenship and Immigration Canada outlining clients' cases and requesting support. (2)
  • Write notes in log books, e.g. residential counsellors summarize concerns about client behaviour in a log book to update counsellors on the next shift. (2)
  • Write lengthy text entries in reporting, assessment and planning forms, e.g. halfway-house workers describe clients' personal goals, anticipated problems and steps for rehabilitation in case-management plans. (2)
  • Write letters, e.g. mental-health workers write letters of support for clients applying for social housing. (3)
  • Create promotional materials, e.g. create brochures and pamphlets to inform clients, colleagues and funders about new programs and services. (3)
  • Help clients write detailed résumés and cover letters. (3)
  • Write progress reports for individual clients and summary and evaluation reports for various treatment and intervention programs, e.g. family-service workers write client progress reports to summarize family dynamics, goals, progress and recommendations for further counselling. (3)
  • Write proposals for social work projects and programs. Describe program goals and objectives, targeted client groups, the need for services, the positive impact on the community, the services and the evaluation plans. (4)
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Document Use
  • Scan labels for a variety of data, e.g. scan prescription drug labels to locate expiry dates and recommended dosages. (1)
  • Scan lists and tables, e.g. community liaison workers scan directories of daycare services to locate child care close to clients' residences. (1)
  • Locate and interpret psychosocial data presented in charts and graphs, e.g. addiction workers locate information about the effects of prescription drugs from pharmaceutical drug charts. (2)
  • Locate data in various forms, such as applications for assistance and referral forms, e.g. financial assistance workers scan clients' applications for social benefits to locate financial and demographic data to determine eligibility. (2)
  • Complete intake forms, applications, tracking records, timesheets and referral forms, e.g. outreach workers complete referral forms for clients who require clothing donations. (2)
  • Enter data, such as dates, times, identification numbers and categories into digital case-management files. (2)
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Computer Use
  • Use cellular telephone texting features to send short written messages to clients and co-workers. (1)
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as calculating material requirements. (1)
  • Use global positioning system (GPS) software to locate driving routes and distances to community resources and clients' homes. (1)
  • Use pagers, cellular telephones and other security devices to maintain contact with co-workers on home visits. (1)
  • Use word processing software to write support letters for clients using basic text editing functions. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets to input and track costs and program statistics. (2)
  • Use basic spreadsheet functions to create household budgets for your clients. (2)
  • Use databases to access client statistics and retrieve data from the organization's case-management databases. (2)
  • Use graphics software to create and display slideshow presentations. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email messages with clients, co-workers and community resources. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to look up information about community resources for clients and download online applications for social benefits and other registration forms. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to locate information about mental-health issues, medications and treatment options. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to source community resources and learn about the services they provide. (2)
  • Use the Internet to generate maps with driving directions to community resources and clients' homes. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access podcasts, training courses and seminars offered by employers and associations, e.g. access podcasts to learn how to reduce the risks associated with home visits. (2)
  • Use advanced word processing software functions to write proposals that include tables of contents, diagrams, charts and annotations. (3)
  • Use specialized case-management databases to record and retrieve information about clients and the programming they receive. (3)
  • Use advanced word processing software functions to create marketing materials, such as brochures and pamphlets. (3)
  • Use advanced spreadsheet functions to create fundraising, project and operating budgets with multiple cost categories. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Respond to telephone requests for information and assistance. Ask questions about clients' needs, outline your organization’s mandates and services and, when callers' needs can be served better elsewhere, suggest appropriate community resources. (2)
  • Interview clients to assess their needs and goals, e.g. settlement workers interview new immigrants to gather information about clients' backgrounds and employment plans in Canada. (3)
  • Interact with clients who are struggling with personal problems, such as aggression, and social problems, such as homelessness, e.g. centre workers listen attentively to clients who are distressed about not being able to find affordable housing and discuss coping strategies with clients. (3)
  • Deliver presentations and workshops to groups of clients, co-workers, colleagues and committee members, e.g. addictions workers deliver workshops to clients about substance-abuse triggers and how to prevent relapses. (3)
  • Advocate for clients with colleagues and co-workers, e.g. mental-health workers may speak with members of appeal committees to advocate for the reinstatement of clients' financial benefits. (3)
  • Discuss social work practice and particular programs and clients with co-workers and colleagues, e.g. community and social service workers exchange information about community resources, best social work practices, administrative procedures and program planning at staff meetings. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate expense claims, e.g. calculate reimbursements for using personal vehicles and purchasing program supplies. (2)
  • Calculate subsidies for individuals and households, e.g. disability workers may calculate clients' total medical costs to apply for health-care subsidies. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule appointments with clients. Reschedule appointments to accommodate cancellations and urgent requests. (1)
  • Create and monitor small budgets, e.g. halfway-house supervisors may monitor program expenditures for personnel and supplies to ensure they fall within budgeted amounts. (2)
  • Manage petty cash accounts, e.g. group-home workers may reconcile petty cash amounts with receipts for purchases, complete summaries and calculate amounts for new petty cash deposits. (2)
  • Create household budgets and basic financial statements to help clients manage their personal finances and apply for social benefits, e.g. mental-health workers may help clients file income taxes and draw up a statement of income and expenditures to apply for medical benefits. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Count and measure dosages of prescription drugs. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare various financial and social indicators to standards, e.g. welfare and compensation officers compare clients' net income to benchmark amounts to determine eligibility for financial assistance. (1)
  • Calculate summary measures, e.g. mental-health workers calculate statistics, such as the number of clients served by month. (2)
  • Compile data and develop statistics to describe social programs, e.g. meals-on-wheels workers count the number of meals delivered monthly and classify them by type of meal and client population served. (2)
  • Analyze program data to plan new initiatives, e.g. neighbourhood workers summarize data from workshop feedback forms and analyze the results to plan for upcoming events by calculating average satisfaction ratings. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the amount of time required for interactions with clients. Consider clients' needs and average duration of previous appointments. (1)
  • Estimate numbers of clients for program planning, e.g. street community workers project the demand for services using statistics from current operations and population growth figures. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Community and social service workers plan a variety of job tasks and organize their schedules to meet their availabilities and the varied needs of clients. They accept walk-in clients, referrals from other agencies and are assigned new clients by supervisors. Community and social service workers usually book their own appointments with clients and may schedule regular times for drop-in clients. Interruptions are frequent and they respond quickly to requests for assistance. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Select programs, activities and subsidies to assist clients. Consider your clients' needs and whether they meet various program mandates, eligibility requirements and availabilities. Also take into account financial costs and clients' schedules. For example, a housing worker decides to refer a client to a particular housing program because it offers individual counselling support that will benefit the client. (2)
  • Select materials and supplies for programs. Consider client needs and the agency's budget. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Encounter difficult and uncooperative clients. Discuss the clients' behaviours with them and suggest resources and strategies that will help them to improve their coping skills. If clients present a risk to themselves and others, inform the appropriate agencies and authorities. (3)
  • You cannot access the community services and resources your clients need due to long waiting lists, resource shortages, cost and eligibility restrictions. Advocate to get other agencies to adjust their eligibility criteria and seek alternative avenues for support, such as donations from churches and social service organizations. Help clients to develop contingency plans as needed. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate information about social programs and community resources. Ask co-workers and colleagues for information about treatment and rehabilitation programs and for the contact names of professionals they would recommend. (2)
  • Find information about clients by reviewing case files, speaking with colleagues and interviewing friends and family members. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the job performance of other community and social service workers, volunteers and practicum students. Observe interactions with clients and solicit feedback from co-workers who have had direct contact with them. Evaluate performance across a number of skill areas, such as communication, problem solving, facilitation, counselling, planning and organizing. (2)
  • Judge safety risks posed by clients to themselves and others. Consider clients' history of violence and suicidal behaviour and their current level of distress. You are guided by your organization's protocols and risk-management training. (3)
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of individual treatment plans and social work programs. Compare clients' self-assessments over time and observe behavioural changes that indicate improvements, such as better hygiene, mobility and moods. Analyze program statistics and feedback gathered from clients and colleagues to identify successes, weaknesses and gaps in services. (3)
  • Assess clients' eligibility and suitability for social benefits and programs. Review information from intake forms and applications and interview clients to collect information about their case histories, limitations and social supports. Compare the information received to admission guidelines and established program criteria. Recommend suitable resources and assist clients with applications and appeals. (3)
  • Assess clients' strengths, deficits and needs. Interview clients, their family members and colleagues to obtain information about your clients' histories and backgrounds. Review medical reports, support letters and certificates from other social service programs. Recommend resources and help clients to develop realistic action plans to achieve their goals and improve their skills. (3)
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