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New York Health Careers

Social and Human Services Assistants

What Do Social and Human Services Assistants Do?

Social and human service assistants help people get through difficult times or get additional support. They may work with elderly; children and families; people with disabilities, addictions, or mental illnesses; veterans; former prison inmates; homeless people; or immigrants. They assist other health care workers, such as social workers, to provide services to people. “Social and human services assistant” is a general term for workers with a wide array of job titles, including human service worker, case work aide, crisis intervention counselor, clinical social work aide, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skills counselor, or gerontology aide. The job titles and duties are considerably different depending on the employment setting and the clients served. They usually work under the direction of workers from a variety of fields, such as nursing, psychiatry, psychology, rehabilitative or physical therapy, or social work. The amount of responsibility and supervision they are given also varies a great deal. Some have little direct supervision—they may run a group home, for example. Others work under close direction.

Social and human services assistants provide services to clients to help them improve their quality of life. They assess clients’ needs; develop care and treatment plans; review documentation; investigate clients’ eligibility for benefits and services such as food stamps, Medicaid, or welfare; and help clients to obtain such benefits and services. They also arrange for transportation and escorts, if necessary, and provide emotional support. Social and human services assistants monitor and keep case records on clients and report progress to supervisors and case managers.

For more information, please see: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-and-human-service-assistants.htm.

Where Do Social and Human Services Assistants Work?

Social and human services assistants are employed in diverse settings, such as group homes and recovery or halfway houses; institutional settings such as prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and other rehabilitation and long-term care facilities; nonprofit organizations; community mental health centers; community health care settings; elderly, family, youth, and child service agencies; state and local government; and substance abuse programs.
Most social and human services assistants work a 40-hour week, but their shifts may vary, so they may work evening, nights, or weekends.

What Do Social and Human Services Assistants Earn?

In 2017, the median annual income for social and human services assistants in New York was $34,450 (entry-level: $25,580, experienced: $42,550), slightly higher than this occupation’s 2017 national median annual income of $33,120.

Supply and Demand

In the time period of 2016 to 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of social and human services assistants is projected to grow 16.4% nationwide and by 21.9% in New York during the same period.

Growth in this occupation will be due to the needs of an aging population and a rising demand for health care and social services. Growth is expected as more people seek treatment for addictions, and also workers will be needed to investigate child abuse cases as well as to place children in foster care and with adoptive families.

For more information on nurse social and human services assistants by New York State labor regions, 2014-2024, click here.

New York Educational Requirements

While a bachelor’s degree is not usually required for entry into this occupation, employers increasingly seek individuals with relevant work experience or education beyond high school. Certificate or associate degrees in subjects such as human services, social work, gerontology, or one of the social or behavioral sciences meet most employers’ requirements. Some jobs may require a bachelor’s degree in human services or a related field such as counseling, rehabilitation, or social work. Many degree programs require completion of a supervised internship. Most programs also offer specialized courses related to addictions, gerontology, child protection, and other areas.

In addition, these workers should have a strong desire to help others, effective communication skills, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to manage time effectively. Many social and human services jobs involve direct contact with people who are vulnerable to exploitation or mistreatment, so patience and understanding are also highly valued characteristics.

New York State Licensure Requirements

New York does not license social and human services assistants.

Financial Support

The National Organization for Human Services offers scholarships to the students of social and human services programs. For more information, go to: http://www.nationalhumanservices.org/awards-scholarships.

Education Programs in New York (subject to change)

Finger Lakes Community College
3325 Marvin Sands Dr
Canandaigua, NY 14424
(585)-394-3522
Suffolk County Community College
533 College Rd
Selden, NY  11784
(631)-451-4110
Alfred State
SUNY College of Technology
10 Upper College Drive
Alfred, NY  14802
(800) 425-3733
Bronx Community College
City University of New York
Dept. of Social Sciences
2155 University Ave
Bronx, NY  10453
(718) 289-5100
Clinton Community College
136 Clinton Point Drive
Plattsburgh, NY  12901
(518) 562-4200
LaGuardia Community College
City University of New York
31-10 Thomson Ave
Long Island City, NY  11101
(718) 482-7200
Columbia-Greene Community College
4400 Route 23
Hudson, NY  12534
(518) 828-4181
New York City College of Technology 
300 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY  11201
(718)260-5000
Corning Community College
1 Academic Dr
Corning, NY  14830
(607) 962-9222
North Country Community College
23 Santanoni Ave
Saranac Lake, NY  12983
(518) 891-2915
Tompkins Cortland Community College
170 North Street
PO Box 139
Dryden, NY  13053
(607) 844-8211
Broome Community College
907 Upper Front St
PO Box 1017
Binghamton, NY  13902
(607) 778-5000
NY School of Career & Applied Studies
Touro College
27-33 W 23rd Street
New York, NY  10010
(212) 463-0400
Orange County Community College
115 South Street
Middletown, NY  10940
(845) 344-6222
Niagara County Community College
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd
Sanborn, NY 14132
(716) 614-6222
Cazenovia College
22 Sullivan Street
Cazenovia, NY  13035
(800) 654-3210
St Joseph’s College-Brooklyn
245 Clinton Ave
Brooklyn, NY  11205
(718) 940-5300
Mohawk Valley Community College
1101 Sherman Dr
Utica, NY  13501
(315) 792-5400
Erie Community College
121 Ellicott Street
Buffalo, NY  14203
(716) 851-1322
St Joseph’s College-Long Island
155 W Roe Blvd
Patchogue, NY  11772
(631) 687-5100
Jefferson Community College
1220 Coffeen Street
Watertown, NY  13601
(888) 435-6522
Guttman Community College-CUNY
50 W 40th Street
New York, NY  10018
(646) 313-8000
Mount Saint Mary College
330 Powell Ave
Newburgh, NY  12550
(845) 561-0800
Schenectady County Community College
78 Washington Ave
Schenectady, NY  12305
(518) 381-1200
SUNY Morrisville
PO Box 901
80 Eaton St
Morrisville, NY  13408
(315) 684-6000
Fulton-Montgomery Community College
2805 State Highway 67
Johnstown, NY  12095
(518) 736-3622
Monroe Community College
1000 E Henrietta Road
Rochester, NY  14623
(585) 292-2000
Elmira College
One Park Place
Elmira, NY  14901
(800) 935-6472
Canisius
2001 Main St
Buffalo, NY  14208
(716) 883-7000
Hilbert College
5200 S Park Ave
Hamburg, NY 14075
(716) 649-7900
SUNY Ulster
491 Cottekill Road
Stone Ridge, NY  12484
(845) 687-5000
Excelsior College
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY  12203
(888) 647-2388
Westchester Community College
75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY  10595
(914) 606-6600
Onondaga Community College
4585 W Seneca Turnpike
Syracuse, NY  13215
(315) 498-2000
Herkimer Community College
100 Reservoir Road
Herkimer, NY 13350
(315) 866-0300
Dutchess Community College
53 Pendell Rd
Poughkeepsie, NY  12601
(845) 431-8000
Hudson Valley Community College
80 Vandenburgh Ave
Troy, NY  12180
(518) 629-4822
Bryant & Stratton College (Online)
1-866-948-0571

 Additional Web Links

For more information on social and human services assistants, go to:

National Organization for Human Services: http://www.nationalhumanservices.org

Council for Standards in Human Services Education: http://www.cshse.org

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