How do I Become an Outreach Worker?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 March 2017
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If you enjoy helping others and want to make a difference in your community, then a career as an outreach worker may be the right job for you. Becoming an outreach worker means providing local social work support and counseling to individuals in homes, shelters and local community centers. In many cases, outreach workers provide these services at no cost and may work on a volunteer basis or for low pay for non-profit, civic or religious organizations to better the lives of others.

In order to become an outreach worker, it’s not necessary to have an education or work background in social work or social services, although it is helpful. On the other hand, to become an outreach worker you should have a genuine interest in helping people improve their circumstances. Being a good listener, a caring person and an understanding soul is all that is necessary to take on the role of an outreach worker. In addition, being willing to put yourself into other people’s shoes and having empathy for their situation is critical to being able to do this as a career.

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When considering if becoming an outreach worker is right for you, knowing what outreach workers do is important. Outreach workers connect with people on their level, right where they live, helping them find the resources and services they need to lead more fulfilling lives. You can expect to work in group homes, homeless shelters, halfway houses, food banks and even on the streets. Outreach workers must be resourceful and networked with agencies that can provide additional services and commodities that many people may take for granted.

If you decide to become an outreach worker, the actual duties and clients themselves can be difficult at times. Outreach workers often spend a great deal of time traveling to the homes and dwellings of other people, some of whom may live in dirty or unhealthy living conditions. In addition, the work can be upsetting emotionally when experiencing how others are forced to live due to unfortunate circumstances or lack of proper resources.

In order to become an outreach worker, you will want to contact local social services agencies and non-profit organizations that serve the people in your community. Find out if there are openings or opportunities to fill open spots as outreach workers. Ask if there is any special training or education required to perform this work. To become a successful outreach worker, you will need to contact the organizations that serve the population you are most interested in.

Outreach workers serve an important function in the communities in which they serve. By talking with and listening to others regarding their problems and needs, outreach workers fill in the gaps that other social services often miss due to lack of personnel or funding. You can make a big difference and change the lives of many for the better in your community by even working just a few hours a week as an outreach worker.

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Discuss this Article

Ocelot60
Post 3

@raynbow- You should tell your friend that if she finds work doing what she loves, she will feel like she never really has to work a day in her life. Doing what you love for a living is very fulfilling, and it sounds like caring for other people is what your friend should do in her career life.

Rundocuri
Post 2

@raynbow- It sounds like your friend would be a natural if she becomes an outreach worker. You should give her some information about programs in social fields at colleges in your area. This might help to spark her interest in pursing helping others as a career.

Another good way to direct her towards a career in a field of caring for others is to take her to a job fair. These events are common in most areas, and are often hosted by hospitals, schools, and human service organizations. Attending this type of job fair will give your friend many opportunities to talk to various employers in the field who can give her direction about her career. She may even find that she may qualify for some outreach jobs with the life experience that she already has.

Raynbow
Post 1

I have a friend who loves to help people, so I'm trying to convince her to go to school to get a degree in a field like social work or counseling. I think it's great that she cares so much about others, but she has to make a living too. How can I help her get on the right career path so she can continue helping others while being about to support herself financially?

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