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Interested in CSW Training? 5 Things You Should Never Do in Conflict Resolution

2019-01-09 by NAHB

community services worker courses

Communication plays a key role in how we understand and speak to one another. It can influence our relationships, build trust, and create a system of support between the people that we rely on.

It can be difficult, however, to always practice good communication, especially in emotional or upsetting situations. Poor communication can complicate how someone perceives themselves and others, and lead to destructive attitudes both personally and within a relationship.

Community service workers (CSWs) rely on their communication skills to find successful solutions to a disagreement. There are certain approaches that make a peaceful solution more possible, and others which can potentially worsen or prolong the present conflict. If you’re interested in learning more about a career as a community service worker, here’s what you need to know about the right and wrong ways to approach conflict resolution.

1. CSWs Know to Address, Instead of Avoid Conflict

The main goal of conflict resolution is to encourage understanding between people that may have different ideas, opinions, and beliefs. In order to establish trust between the disagreeing parties, it’s important to emphasize an open, accepting atmosphere.

While the thought of avoiding an argument is appealing because it is less stressful, not addressing building frustrations can often make these frustrations worse over time. Bringing up issues in a respectful, but concise manner is the first step to successful communication and resolution.

2. Try Not to Use Overgeneralized or Absolute Language in Your CSW Career

Occasionally, people can use overgeneralized phrases when they’re upset and trying to express their feelings. This can include what’s known as absolute language, which uses words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, for instance: “You never listen to what I have to say,” or, “We always do what you want to do”.

This can make it difficult to address the problem at the heart of the conflict, but proper, comprehensive CSW training can prepare you with the strategies you need to address conflict in a way which encourages trust and open communication between all parties.

community services worker training

It’s important to use appropriate, comprehensive conflict resolution strategies

3. CSW Training Teaches Students to Listen More than They Talk

Successful communication isn’t only about what you say, it also includes how you say it, and how you respond to what the other person is sharing with you.

Dismissing or ignoring a problem that someone is trying to express is a common issue in conflict resolution. This may be because one or both parties believe they are superior or above the problem. A healthy way to address this behaviour is through the promotion of active listening, which acknowledges the disagreement and the concerns of those involved in the discussion.

CSW training

Active listening can help CSWs peacefully resolve conflict situations

4. Successful Conflict Resolution Means CSWs Don’t Play the Blame Game

A natural response to conflict is often to deflect blame from yourself and put it on another person. This can lead to criticizing others to weaken their credibility or shame other involved parties.

Professionals with community services worker training should instead try to promote objectively analyzing the problem, which considers the needs and perspectives of both parties in order to find a working solution to their dispute.

5. Community Service Workers Should Avoid Making Assumptions

When it comes to conflict resolution, it’s important to remember that there is rarely a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to view a situation, and a problem can be far more complicated than what it appears to be.

Sometimes people assume they know what others are thinking or feeling, but this is often influenced by their own perspective and interpretations, and leads to negativity and misunderstandings. CSWs should remember that everyone has a unique perspective and way of seeing the world, and try to encourage others to explain their actions or side of the story instead of making assumptions.

Are you interested in getting involved in a career that helps strengthen communities?

Contact NAHB for more information about our community services worker courses.

How Community Services Workers Help Criminal Offenders Get a Fresh Start

2015-07-29 by NAHB

Community services worker training

Earning a Community Services Worker (CSW) diploma can open the door to several rewarding career options; each one presenting a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in your community. Say you find work in a halfway house, this would make you an integral part of a team that aims to help criminal offenders reintegrate into their communities, once they have served their sentences.

If you are planning to pursue a career as a community services worker, read on to learn more about halfway houses, and the role CSWs play in helping criminal offenders find meaningful roles within their communities.

CSWs Know that Halfway Houses Provide Support to Offenders

A halfway house is a facility which offers housing and support to offenders who are in the process of integrating back into their communities.  In Canada, halfway houses are either governed by the Correctional Service of Canada or run by private organizations. These facilities have been serving communities as part of the Canadian culture for over 100 years.

Halfway houses are usually staffed with mental health professionals, social workers and of course, experts with community services worker training. These facilities provide places for offenders to live while they undergo counseling, work skills training and a variety of other reintegration programs. Once a criminal offender has been released from a correctional facility, he or she will typically reside in a halfway house. In some cases, staying in a halfway house is an alternative way for offenders to serve the remainder of their sentences. Prior to being admitted into a halfway house, individuals are carefully assessed and screened to ensure they meet certain behavioural standards.

Aside from participating in counseling sessions and other programs within the halfway house, residents are permitted to leave the facility during the day to go to work, attend school or receive medical treatment. However, they are required to respect curfews and abstain from consuming drugs or alcohol.

The Role of a Community Services Worker in Halfway Houses

Community Services Worker courses will help you develop the skills you’ll need to manage individual cases and keep track of an offender’s progress during his or her time at the halfway house. In some cases, CSWs will schedule regular meeting with halfway house residents. This will provide them with the opportunity to have helpful one-on-one counseling sessions.

With a Community Services Worker diploma, you might be required to help create some of the programs that halfway house residents will follow. Although they may vary, programs for groups or individuals usually fall into the following categories:

  • Life skills education and mentoring
  • Employment skills and retention training
  • Substance abuse education and counseling

Once you become a CSW, you might decide to help residents reintegrate into the community by referring them to local businesses or other facilities and helping them find employment. In fact, you may be able to help them find paid or volunteer work, or perhaps find additional support by introducing them to therapists and support groups in the area.

Studies show that halfway houses in Canada can contribute immensely to the safety of a community. Many offenders who have stayed in halfway houses, and have gone through the stages of reintegration, have shown a much lower risk of relapsing into criminal behavior.

Are you interested in becoming a community services worker? Visit NAHB for more information or to speak with an advisor.

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