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Social Services Designee

Social service designees are entry-level social work assistants who work in senior living communities. Social service designees work under the supervision of licensed social workers and other staff who have more education and experience, and assist these professionals with their daily tasks. They often conduct admission interviews, inform residents and their families of their rights, advocate for residents with social services organizations, help residents to adjust to living in the facility and coordinate care services.

Education & Experience:
Social service designees need to have a high school diploma and to have completed and passed a state-approved Social Service Designee course. A facility with less than 120 beds can employ a Social Service Designee as the Social Service Director. Quarterly consultations with a person meeting the full Director requirements is required in these situations. Scholarships for individuals pursuing educational training for Social Service Designee certification are available. 

Salary Average
$30,000

Certifications
None required

Next Steps
Social Worker

Social Worker

Social workers who are employed in geriatric care communities perform a number of functions, including helping new residents adjust to life in their new environment, advocating for the residents’ needs and rights, providing supportive counseling and making psychosocial assessments. Social workers collaborate with other health care professionals, such as physicians and nurses, to develop an individualized plan of care. When discharge is an option, the social worker will make referrals for mental health services and coordinate discharge planning. If an older adult is not expected to go home, the social worker can help him or her deal with feelings of loss or depression. The social worker’s duties may be related to end of life planning. Any facility with more than 120 beds must employ a qualified social worker on a full-time basis.

Education & Experience:
A social worker must possess a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) or in a human services field including but not limited to sociology, special education, rehabilitation, counseling, and psychology. This typically takes four years to complete.

Salary Average
$43,000

Certifications
Social workers must obtain 40 hours of continuing education credits in a two-year cycle to maintain licensure.

Next Steps
Social Services Director

Social Services Director

The social services director is responsible for ensuring that the social, psychological and physical needs of all residents in the senior living community are being met. They provide counseling and social services to residents and their families. The social services director reports directly to the administrator and participates in interdisciplinary team meetings, providing information on an individual resident’s psychosocial condition.

Education & Experience:
A social services director must have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (BSW) or in a human services field including but not limited to sociology, special education, rehabilitation, counseling, and psychology and needs one year of supervised social work experience in a healthcare setting working directly with individuals.

Salary Average
$46,000

Certifications
Social services directors must meet the same continuing education requirements as social workers.

Next Steps
Administrator
Social Services Consultant

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