The Diploma of Community Services gives students the skills and knowledge to work effectively in the community services industry in both residential and community settings. Students learn to provide a comprehensive holistic approach to client requirements, which includes sociocultural, emotional, physical and personal support. They are trained to conduct interviews, and to design programs that meet the needs of clients with a variety of backgrounds. They are expected to be able to identify the barriers that people who experience certain life transitions face, and build or improve programs to overcome these challenges.
This diploma of community services program is especially helpful for those who are preparing to begin work in case management positions in a social housing unit. The skills learned in this program prepare students to become effective advocates for low-income families in a variety of settings, from intake through to exit counseling and the next stage, employment. It also enables students to become skilled at developing service strategies to improve the lives of people in need. A Diploma of Community Services (D CMS) degree allows students to advance from being a Case Manager to a Social Housing Case Manager, and enables them to take on key leadership roles in community-based agencies such as social-housing companies, hospitals, shelters and other institutions.
The Diploma of Community Services is designed to give students the foundation for higher education in the field of case management. This program is a part of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) qualification programme, and therefore must be accredited by the GCE marking system. The Diploma of Community Services is intended to be complementary to the Specialist Certificate in Case Management (SCMC). Both the Diploma of Community Services and the SCM are nationally recognized qualifications for those wishing to pursue careers in case management or social housing. Unlike the SCM, the Diploma of Community Services does not need to be accredited by GED. Students in both disciplines can therefore obtain the same qualification.
For those wishing to progress from Case Manager to a more senior role, the Diploma of Community Services will prepare them to enter the workplace as a Case Manager or a Social Housing Case Manager, or a housing Policy Consultant, who may lead groups of employees in providing direct assistance to clients with housing needs. In order to qualify as a Case Manager, students must also hold a full time degree in a relevant discipline. As well as requiring a Diploma of Community Services, the course will also require that you fulfill the relevant employment requirements, such as a degree in social work or an equivalent. For social housing providers, direct entry training will also be required, which will enable you to apply for a job in a leading provider’s service.
Whilst the Diploma of Community Services is suitable for those wishing to follow a career path within the field of social housing, and can be taken as a stand alone degree, it does not offer any opportunities in this area of specialist study. Students have a choice of either pursuing a full time Diploma, or pursuing a course of shorter duration called’short diploma’. The course takes roughly two years to complete. If you are unable to attend regular university courses, the short Diploma will give you the opportunity to fulfil your community services training needs whilst still holding a qualification. For most courses, you do not need to be enrolled on a course that is accredited.
If you decide to use the Diploma of community services as a stepping stone to achieving further professional success within the housing sector, it is important to note that you must fulfil all eligibility criteria, before being accepted onto the program. The process for acceptance into the program may take a short time if you are well prepared, but you will not likely be accepted straight away and will have to work towards your Diploma in order to be accepted on the waiting list. In the meantime, the knowledge gained from the course may help you in your search for a suitable job.