More than one-third of nongovernment social assistance jobs are in professional and related occupations. Social workers counsel and assess the needs of clients, refer them to the appropriate sources of help, and monitor their progress. They may specialize in child welfare and family services, mental health, medical social work, school social work, community organization activities, or clinical social work. Social and human service assistants work in a variety of social and human service delivery settings. Job titles and duties of these workers vary, but they include human service worker, case management aide, social work assistant, mental health aide, child abuse worker, community outreach worker, and gerontology aide. Counselors help people evaluate their interests and abilities, and advise and assist them with personal and social problems.
Almost one-third of employment in the social assistance industry is in many of the service occupations. Personal and home care aides help elderly, disabled, and ill persons live in their own homes, instead of in an institution, by providing routine personal care services. Although some are employed by public or private agencies, many are self-employed. Persons in food preparation and serving related occupations serve residents at social assistance institutions. Home health aides provide health-related services for ill, injured, disabled, or elderly individuals in their homes.
As in most industries, office and administrative support workers-secretaries and bookkeepers, for example-as well as managers account for many jobs. However, social assistance employs a much smaller percentage of production; installation, maintenance, and repair; and sales jobs than does the economy as a whole.
Certain occupations are more heavily concentrated in some segments of the industry than in others. Individual and family services, for example, employs the greatest numbers of social workers, social and human service assistants, and personal and home care aides. Vocational rehabilitation services provides the most jobs for adult literacy and remedial and self-enrichment education teachers.