Helping people with special needs is a fulfilling way to earn a living, while making a huge difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
UFV's Community Support Worker certificate prepares you to support children and adults with mental or physical disabilities and their families. You may assist with varied tasks, including daily living activities, leisure and recreation, learning, or employment, in order to improve your clients' quality of life, encourage self-reliance, and foster community inclusion.
The program can be completed in two semesters if your study full time, or in four if you attend part time. When you graduate, you are fully equipped for employment in community support settings, such as group homes, home support services, or respite services.
You can also tailor your studies to become a special education assistant working under the supervision of classroom teachers to perform duties such as coaching in basic subjects, preparing specialized teaching materials, and meeting student's special physical needs.
The Community Support Worker program includes a practicum to allow you to apply what you learn and gain real-life experience.
After you earn your certificate, you can pursue further studies to earn a Social Services diploma to qualify for employment in program management or administration. You may also choose to enhance your certificate by completing Continuing Education courses in sign language, computer skills, food safety, or other relevant support skills.
Community Living BC reports growing wait lists of adults with developmental disabilities requiring services. From 2013 to 2017, a 15 percent increase in caseloads is expected.
In light of this growing need, the 2014 BC budget includes incremental funding of $243 million for Community Living BC over three years. An additional $15 million goes to the Ministry of Children and Family Development to fund services for children and youth with special needs.
Increased demand for services means that work prospects will remain strong for community support workers. Moreover, additional opportunities will also arise in home support and long-term care, as a growing number of Canadians are becoming seniors over the next decade.