What are community social services?

Community social services are about creating and maintaining supportive, healthy, stable, and caring communities. They are also based on the belief that people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds are valuable and contributing members of society.

During difficult periods, or when a crisis arises, our communities respond by providing the supports, services, and resources individuals and families need to deal with life's challenges.

What do we do?

  • SUPPORT children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities to fully participate in their communities through housing, employment support, recreation and community engagement.
  • HELP end violence in our communities by supporting women, youth and children fleeing abuse and other victims of crime by providing safe environments, counselling and advocacy.
  • PROVIDE kids with a great start through early care and learning, integrated and supported child care programs and before-and-after school care.
  • REACH OUT to the homeless, people with mental illness and at-risk and street-involved youth by providing shelter, supported housing, employment and life skills training and counselling.
  • ASSIST immigrant families to settle into new communities by helping people get the housing, employment, language training and other support services they may need.
  • WORK WITH adults and youth in conflict with the law to prevent crime, through community engagement and restorative justice programs, housing, employment support and counselling.
  • STRENGTHEN families through family development counselling, parenting support and intervention when needed.
  • SUPPORT Aboriginal communities to empower families, youth and children.
  • IMPROVE lives through therapeutic supports such as infant development, occupational and speech therapies for children with special needs.
  • CONNECT people facing job loss, life skills and decision-making challenges to training and succesful employment.

... and more...

What do we do everyday?

There is a wide range of work in community social services. Here are some sample worker profiles:

Annika Lund - day program coordinator

Cameron Gerard - residence worker

Gale Engstrom - residence worker

Demian Young - social worker

Pamela Pye - life skills worker

Pam Schneider - moving forward project coordinator - Note: Agency closed due to government funding cuts

Ted Francis - shelter worker

Dorothy Bartsoff - community support worker

Loanne Pickard - residential care aide

Karen Wickham - crisis line support worker


More than 15,000 community social service workers in B.C. are union members, including all the above.


Facing the challenges

Over the years, B.C. has developed a wide network of supportive community-based social services.

But chronic underfunding to the sector over the past decade has resulted in cuts to vital programs and services and growing waitlists. Organizations are stretched to the breaking point. And frontline workers are now dealing with unsustainable workloads as they try to meet growing demands with insufficient resources.

Without adequate funding, agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a stable, professional workforce—the key to quality support and continuity of care.

Take action!

  • Share your own story about the community social services work you do! Contact us!


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