Helping Professions: Social and Human Services Assistants

These are professionals within the human social welfare field who undertake various tasks to help clients in departments such as rehabilitation, psychology, and social work. They help experts, for instance, school counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists to deliver essential services to individuals (“Social and human services assistants,” 2020). The job titles accorded to adepts under this specialty include social work assistants, case management aide, and human service workers. Some of the roles performed by these pundits involve assessing clients’ needs, evaluating their eligibility or qualification for services and benefits, and helping them acquire these services. They mostly work with non-profit organizations that operate in conjunction with other services, such as social work or psychology.

Social and human services assistants execute the following roles within the workplace:

  • Assist their clients in identifying the type of aid they require.
  • Help their clients distinguish and acquire services and benefits through follow-ups to ensure that they receive their demands and that these services address one’s needs (“Social and human services assistants,” 2020). They often execute this task under the guidance of professionals such as social workers, psychologists, or other parties involved in the human social welfare field.
  • Coordinate the services being offered to the clients; this ensures that the clients receive pertinent services.
  • Check with clients to ensure that the services provided meet their needs and are appropriate.
  • Help individuals, particularly the elderly, get assistance in executing their daily activities, for instance, eating and moving around, especially in elderly homes or psychiatric institutions.

To qualify as a social and human service assistant, one must acquire a high school diploma and brief training – on-the-job. This field’s job requirements do not emphasize the need for higher education certifications unless individuals desire to scale up the ranks. One needs to have excellent communication skills, as this is essential in helping them converse with clients who require pertinent services (“Social and human services assistants,” 2020). Compassion is also a crucial attribute under this profession because it fosters the adept’s capacity to understand their clients since most of them experience stressful or difficult situations.

Other proficiencies include interpersonal, problem-solving, organizational and time management skills, tolerance and empathy. There is no specific professional organization that dictates the human services assistants’ ethical standards; however, they must conform to the overall moral guidelines for human services experts established by the National Organization of Human Services. A social and human service assistant’s typical salary is a median of $ 16.85 per hour and an average of $ 35,060 annually (“Social and human service assistants,” 2020). No specific licensure is required for one to practice under this specialty. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections programs, experts’ projected outlook under this field between 2019 and 2029 is 17% (“Social and human service assistants,” 2020). The organization based its estimation on the rapidly growing elderly population and the increased demand for these services.

Social Workers

Social workers are human social welfare professionals whose primary function is to provide assistance and social services to improve children and their families’ social and psychological well-being. They also strive to maximize this populace segment’s well-being and ensure that the children’s academic functioning is maintained. They may assist parents in arranging for adoptions and helping children who have been abused or abandoned to find foster homes. Furthermore, these experts offer their services to learning institutions by assisting them to address issues such as teenage pregnancy, truancy, and misbehavior (“Social workers,” 2020). They work in mental health clinics, schools, child welfare organizations, healthcare settings, and settlement homes.

Their duties and responsibilities include

  • Developing and reviewing service plans after consultations with clients and making follow-ups to ensure the quality and quantity of services provided are sustained.
  • Preparing reports and maintaining records on each case history being handled at a specific period.
  • Interviewing clients on a personal level or in groups, or families to assess their situations, capabilities, and problems to come up with services deemed essential in meeting their needs.
  • Assisting with legal matters that may arise, such as minor abuse and discipline. They attend court hearings and present testimonies in instances involving custody arrangements.
  • Serving as the linkage between students, homes, child guidance, and other contacts to help disabled, impoverished, or abused minors.

To qualify as an entry-level social work professional, one requires an undergraduate degree in social work (BDSW) or its equivalent. However, to practice social work at an advanced level, an individual needs a master’s degree in this specialty (MSW) or pertinent fields (“Social workers,” 2020). Furthermore, the expert will require at least have two years’ experience and supervised training after achieving the latter certification, especially for clinical social workers. Social workers conform to the ethical standards developed by the National Association of Social Workers. Although license requirements differ across states, prospective experts can seek accreditation as licensed independent social workers, licensed clinical social workers, licensed social workers, and licensed independent clinical workers (“Social workers,” 2020). One should acquire an undergraduate degree at minimum or an MSW to enhance their social work license eligibility.

To be successful in this field, one must possess tolerance, good communication and organizational skills, be an active listener, be empathetic, excellent critical thinking, advocacy, and self-care skills, and be culturally competent and committed. A social worker earns a median salary of $ 22.78 and an annual average salary of $ 50,470 (“Social workers,” 2020). They work full time; this includes weekends, holidays, and evenings. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections programs, the projected outlook for social and human services assistants between 2019 and 2029 is 13% (“Social workers,” 2020). Society is still and will continue experiencing problems that require social workers’ services.

Comparison between Social Workers and Social and Human Services Assistants

These experts have a lot of similarities in their roles and skill requirements. They all attend to clients to help them attain solutions to their problems. They make follow-ups with individuals to ensure they acquire appropriate services. They empower their clients and ensure that the best services are offered. The professional proficiencies required in both specialties are more or less similar. Some of these skills include excellent communication skills, empathy, problem-solving and organizational expertise.

These professions also have several differences – social workers must be licensed by state or local government agencies. Contrarily, social, and human services assistants do not require licensing. To qualify as a social worker, one should possess a bachelor’s degree – at minimum or an MSW. However, to become a social and human services assistant, an individual requires training – on-the-job and a high school diploma. The former places a lot of emphasis on education while the latter concentrates on fieldwork and experience.

School Counselors

School counselors provide counseling services, including academic and vocational guidance services to individuals and groups in a school setting. They are also identified as academic counselors, guidance counselors, or college counselors (“School and career counselors,” 2020). They counsel students on various issues, including academic, personal, and family-related issues (“School and career counselors,” 2020). These experts also offer counseling services to teachers and parents regarding various themes.

They execute the following roles:

  • Providing problem mediations to students when difficult situations occur at school. They often develop approaches that aim to encourage students to overcome momentous situations such as gun shooting or a terror attack.
  • Identifying cases of home abuse or other home-related issues and push the students to seek assistance from other professionals – psychologists or mental health practitioners.
  • Counseling students to help them comprehend and overcome personal, social, or any other problem affecting their academic or personal productivity.
  • Liaising with parents, teachers, and relevant professionals to discuss students’ academic progress and other problems, and dictate the best action cause and provide appropriate resources.
  • Providing counseling to students on issues related to education, such as best study habits, school absenteeism, and post-secondary career choices. This helps students find the best path for their academic and vocational progression.

For one to qualify as an entry-level school counselor, he/she must have a master’s degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or a pertinent discipline and complete a supervised counseling internship in a school setup. For advanced work levels like working at colleges or universities, one has to have a Doctor in Philosophy degree (Ph.D.) or its equivalent (“School and career counselors,” 2020). However, some states, for instance, New York, acknowledge and undergraduate certification. They adhere to the ethical standards set by the Association School Counselor Association (ASCA). State licensure requirements for this particular profession typically differ across states. For instance, the State of New York requires these experts to be certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

A school counselor should have the following skills: empathy, be an active listener and authoritative where necessary, organizational skills, and be a critical thinker and problem solver. They earn a median income of $ 27.42 per hour and an average of $ 57,040 per year (“School and career counselors,” 2020). According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections programs, school counselors’ projected outlook between 2019 and 2029 is 8% (“School and career counselors,” 2020). This is because students’ enrollment in elementary, middle, and high schools is expected to increase.

Comparison between School Counselors and Social and Human Services Assistants

There are various similarities between school counselors and social and human service assistants. For instance, they both work to help their clients overcome particular circumstances and refer their clients to professionals such as mental health professionals in cases where an outside option is required. Their main aim is to empower their clients and ensure they get the best solutions to their problems. Moreover, their general duty is to better the community through individual or group initiatives. Similar professional skillsets are required in both disciplines; these proficiencies include empathy, good communication, and organizational and problem-solving expertise.

Several differences exist between the two professions. School counselors must possess at least a master’s degree to practice. On the other hand, social and human service assistants only need a high school diploma. The former only deals in a school setup while the latter works across all human social welfare areas. Furthermore, school counselors must be accredited by ASCA and receive state licensure, while this is not a requirement for human service assistants.


(2020). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web.

(2020). U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Web.

Social workers. (2020). Web.

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