Outreach workers typically work with a segment of the population by acting as a liaison between community members and programs. They may cater to the youth or the elderly or even work with people who may have trouble fitting in socially.
An outreach worker’s job focus may be on many things, for instance, health and education and these are primarily the areas they work in. As an outreach worker, you may be part of an organization such as a residential facility or work with individuals during allotted time slots. This work is highly challenging as you are responsible for the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of people assigned to you and you need to possess exceptional communication and listening skills. Understanding your wards’ perspectives and fulfilling their needs is very important so you need to be able to connect with all kinds of people.
If you are working for an outreach program that caters to youths, you will need to exercise tact in handling young people who are at high risk of becoming homeless, are homeless or have run away. Working with the elderly on the other hand will require you to exercise a different type of patience as you may be working with people suffering from dementia or debilitating physical ailments.
• Provide support in obtaining essential support services for members such as food stamps, medicaid and transportation
• Serve as an advocate for members by creating a bridge between them and community agencies
• Provide basic health education to members of the community outreach program
• Conduct family intakes and assessments and liaise with family members to understand the needs of outreach program members
• Provide families with support in obtaining basics such as healthcare, education and housing arrangements
• Create and implement outreach strategies to ensure the success of the program
• Oversee food bank programs and coordinate activities so that individual members can be helped with everyday tasks
• Serve as an emotional support system by providing counseling to emotionally disturbed members and suggesting involvement in support groups
• Determine type and availability of resources needed to meet the individual needs of members
• Coordinate childcare or adult care services to assist members in availing themselves of services offered by the program
• Create and distribute informational material for members to inform them of the time, place and type of services being made available to them
• Act as a liaison between members, community programs and social services