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The Social Service Designee

This week, we continue our look at career options for students of our classes, we’re taking a closer look at the Social Service Designee class this week.
Social Service Designees work to make sure that the social, spiritual, and emotional needs of long term care residents are being met. In a large facility with a social worker on staff, the Social Service Designee will assist the social worker. In a small facility the Social Service Designee may fill all the social work roles. The first
priority of the SSD is to do an assessment of incoming residents, and to work with residents and their families to develop a plan of care for each resident. SSDs also work as advocates for residents, especially when cognitive or emotional issues prevent residents from representing themselves.
SSDs learn to apply the principles of “person centered care“, and need to understand the aging process and the cognitive and physical issues that long-term care residents can face. An SSD’s work also involves budgeting, staff management, admission and discharge processes, and a great deal of interaction with families, residents, staff, and social service agencies. SSDs need to have good time management skills, be comfortable working with people, and know how to balance compassion with efficiency.
The WeCareOnline Social Service Designee class is currently available in 13 states, and more are coming soon. Students have four weeks to complete the class, and must accomplish 45 hours of work in that time.
Since the class is available 24/7, many students finish before the four weeks are up, and all appreciate being able to study on their own schedule. The class consists of four units which cover the basics of person-centered care, the aging process, cognitive issues, and psychosocial needs. The class also covers the business end of an SSD’s job. In four weeks or less, students are ready with the skills they need to work as a facility’s Social Service Designee. There is no other required training or certification needed to work in the states
where this class is approved.
Job prospects for Social Service Designees are excellent and the US Department of Labor reports that this is a field that is growing much faster than average. They anticipate 20% or more growth in this field between now and 2018. Need for long term care is also on the rise as Americans are living longer and often need managed care in their later years. If you love working with people, and enjoy the challenge of assessing needs and working to fulfill those needs, this is the career for you.

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