Winstanley-Pettinato, Miles - Group Home Worker

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[edit] Group Home Worker (Miles Winstanley-Pettinato)

[edit] General overview

A group home is an establishment where young and/or disabled people can live if they have no other suitable place to reside. Group home workers are responsible for looking after the needs of the group home residents, such as preparing food or securing beds for residents. The hours tend to be quite flexible, though a number of health and safety certifications may be required before potential employees are considered for the position. A career as a group home worker entails a great deal of social interaction with residents and their families, as well as representatives from organizations concerned with the residents.

[edit] Job duties and responsibilities

- Maintaining the physical and psychological safety of the residents of the group home.

- Serving as a positive role model to those living in the group home.

- Performing clerical work and registering new residents for the group home.

- Maintaining contact with organizations which may serve the needs of the residents of the home.

- Performing everyday tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

- Handling disputes between residents of the group home.

- Assisting residents in acquiring various life skills, depending on the nature of the group home.

[edit] Typical workday

Group home workers typically do shift work, and may work days, evenings, or nights depending on the position. Overtime may be required depending on the availability of other group home workers, as somebody must generally be minding the group home at all times. The work may be part time or full time, and workers may be on call. A great deal of social interaction is expected of group home workers, both with the group home residents as well as with liaisons from organizations with the resources to help the residents. Group home residents often have troubled pasts, and may be angry, depressed, or withdrawn, and a group home worker may be expected to interact with such individuals on a regular basis.

[edit] Educational requirements and other qualifications

The most common requirement for a group home worker is experience: job postings for group home workers will commonly request at least one year's worth of experience in the field. Depending on the nature of the group home, some may require a Child and Youth Care Worker diploma or a Community Support Worker diploma, while others do not require a specific diploma. Other common requirements are first aid certification, cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification, medication administration certification, and non-violent crisis intervention certification.

[edit] Related skills, interests, and abilities

An interest in helping people, especially the group to which the individual group home caters to, helps to motivate a group home worker. Applicable skills include cooking to help prepare meals at the home, cleaning in order to provide a sanitary environment for the group home's residents, computer literacy to facilitate clerical duties, and communication in order to ensure that the needs of the individual residents are being met.

[edit] Relevance of Psychology undergraduate degree

An undergraduate degree in psychology can prepare group home workers for a career working with the mentally or physically disabled. Many of the people who live in group homes have mental or physical disabilities, and they may be difficult for uneducated or inexperienced people to work with. Abnormal psychology classes can give group home workers an understanding of the potential symptoms of mental or behavioural disorders and how best to handle them, as well as an understanding of the difficulties which residents may have while living with their mental or physical issues. Motivation and emotion classes can give a group home worker some of the tools necessary to empathize with the situations which residents find themselves in, which can help provide a more sensitive environment for the residents to live in. Residents may be angry or depressed at their situation, or may see no point in trying to succeed because of their unfortunate circumstances, and a group home worker with an understanding of emotion and motivation may be able to better discuss these problems with the residents in order to find a productive solution. Residents in group homes are often children or teenagers, and developmental psychology classes may provide a group home worker with a greater understanding of the thought processes and capabilities of a younger person in order to better meet their social and psychological needs.

[edit] Salary potential

The average salary for a group home worker in Canada is $29,947[1]. This is typically an hourly wage, and may range from $11 to $22 an hour[2]. Positions which require more certification or a specific diploma often start at higher wages than those with fewer requirements.

[edit] Job outlook

Because group home workers are commonly grouped in with other community and social service workers, most projections of future job availability include outlook of similar but distinct careers. Community and social service worker positions in Canada are currently expected to increase in number, as growing public awareness of social issues like alcoholism, family violence, and child poverty has resulted in increased demand for resources to deal with these problems[3].

[edit] To know more

[edit] References

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