What does a Community Development Worker do?
Community development workers help individuals, families or whole communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. They act as the link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.
What skills does a Community Development Worker need?
- Good listening skills
- Advocacy and networking skills
- The ability to interpret, analyse and present data
- Excellent communication, interpersonal and team building skills
- Researching skills and the ability to write reports
- Knowledge and understanding of social issues and how public sector bodies work
- A non-judgmental and positive attitude
- Creative thinking and the ability to solve problems
- Political, social and negotiating skills
- Compassion and empathy for others
- Creative thinking and you may need the ability to identify and pursue sources of funding
- A motivating approach to work to encourage others to take action
- You may also need the ability to manage budgets.
Community development worker specialisation
There are a number of specialisations you can choose, such as:
Group facilitation - they help communities organise themselves and provide a platform for community groups to share and express their views and ideas.
Fundraising - assist non-profit organisations, businesses and governments in raising money for their project. They also work at fundraising events to raise money for charities.
Food security - help communities by connecting them with various sources of food such as food banks and public feeding programs.
Business development services - work with small companies to grow and facilitate new business opportunities that are essential for the local economy.
How to become a community development worker?
The role is open to all graduates. Ideally, you would have a foundation degree or degree related to community development, youth work, social studies or social sciences.
- BA Criminology and Sociology
- BSc (Hons) Business Management
- MBA Leadership
- MSc Psychology (Conversion)
Most degrees offer work placements and there are many opportunities to gain work experience during your studies.
What experience do you need to become a community development worker?
Gaining some experience during your studies or before this role is important. Many people become community development workers after working in teaching, youth work, the health sector or similar roles within the community.
Another way to gain experience and get into this role is volunteering. For example, volunteering with a local community group, charity or tenant’s association. Local volunteering opportunities can be found through Do IT and My Community.
How much do community development workers earn in the UK?
Graduates start earning between £16,000 and £26,000. Experienced community development workers make between £21,000 and £36,000, according to Prospects.ac.uk.
For more information on jobs and what to expect from this career, please visit some of the most widely used sites for careers support.