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ed2go Health and Fitness Wellness Social Service Assistant
Return to Wellness

Social Service Assistant

Social Service Assistants are members of interdisciplinary health care teams within the LTC facility. They work under the supervision of licensed social workers and other staff who have more education and experience, and assist these professionals with their daily tasks. They often conduct admission interviews, inform residents and their families of their rights, advocate for residents with social services organizations, help residents adjust to living in the facility, and coordinate care services. Coordinating care services may involve ensuring that Medicare and other billing issues are appropriately handled, informing mental health and medical staff if residents require services and scheduling medical and other appointments for residents.

This course will cover content that includes professionalism, documentation and ethics, social service related regulations, the admission process, assessment documentation, MDS/RAPS, care planning, resident rights, abuse prevention, survey and survey process, discharge planning, disease processes, the effects of aging, and the end of life pain process. After completing this course, you will be ready to work in the following states: WA, CA, ID, WY, NM, ND, KS, OK, TX, MN, MO, WI, TN, AL, OH, WV, NH, FL. Additional training and/or licensing may be required in other states.

6 Months / 70 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method


Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

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Social Service Assistant

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Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES173

What You Will Learn
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the aging process, including misconceptions, physical changes and psycho-social aspects
  • Demonstrate knowledge of applicable state and federal regulations
  • Show understanding of the rights of individuals who reside in long-term care facilities
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the admission and discharge process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of documentation
  • Demonstrate ability in basic performance skills, such as teamwork, communication skills and working with administrative staff and other disciplines
  • Discuss issues involved in the management of internal support staff, budgeting, supplies, and outside resources
  • Show understanding of methods of identifying resident interests and needs and the use of assessment in care plan development
  • Evaluate a care plan for effectiveness
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 70 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Become able to work as a social service assistant in a variety of settings including long term care, assisted living, adult day programs, retirement communities, or community center
  • Receive a certificate of completion to show to prospective employers
  • Develop the communication skills needed to effectively work with patients and coworkers
  • Understand the medical knowledge and compassion needed to provide care for the elderly


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Introduction and History of Long Term Care

Learn about the history of long term care and the philosophies surrounding patient-centered care. Explore the fundamentals of the aging process and discuss common misconceptions about physical changes.

Overview of Regulations and Rights

Understand the rules and regulations that will affect you in your future role. Learn about residents' rights and advocacy situations for you and your patients.

Documentation and Performance Skills

Develop an understanding of the techniques used for admissions and discharging patients. Study the principles of documentation and basic performance skills.

Processes and Ethics

Learn about the ethics of social workers and the roles of managers in the system. Learn how to effectively solve problems and support patients.

Financial Planning and Legal Issues

Examine the legal and financial issues that might affect you as a social services assistant. Learn how to create a professional image and communicate well with others.

Role of the Social Services Assistant

Complete this course by learning about the role of a social services assistant. Explore how you will interact with residents, family members, and the community at large. You'll also explore the social history of your position and how to best deal with patients in a variety of settings, from hospice to independent living facilities.

  1. Unit 1
    1. History of long-term care
    2. Philosophy of person-centered care
    3. Basic knowledge of the aging process
    4. Misconceptions
    5. Physical Changes
    6. Cognitive changes: Dementia, Alzheimer's
    7. Mental Health/Illness
    8. Psychosocial needs
    9. Overview of applicable regulations
    10. The Survey Process
    11. OBRA resident rights
    12. Advocacy in self-determination
    13. Resident/family councils
  2. Unit 2
    1. Types and techniques used for the admission and discharge process
    2. Principles of documentation
    3. Basic performance skills
    4. Management of internal support staff, budgeting, supplies and outside resources
    5. Getting to know the person
    6. Person Centered Care Plan Development
    7. Evaluation of care plan effectiveness
  3. Unit 3
    1. History and Philosophy
    2. Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers and other ethical issues.
    3. Role of the supervisor
    4. Admission Process
    5. Discharge
    6. Advocacy
    7. Mediation
    8. Problem solving
    9. Supportive services
    10. Assist with financial planning
    11. Assist with legal issues
    12. Professionalism
    13. Marketing
    14. Orientation
    15. Transportation and appointments
  4. Unit 4
    1. The social services assistant and the rest of the team.
    2. The social services assistant and the resident
    3. The social services assistant and the family
    4. The social services assistant and the community
    5. Social history
    6. Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) - Social services assistants provide input, but may not complete
    7. Individualized Care Plan
    8. Progress notes
    9. Intervention notes
    10. Hospice
    11. Medicare/Medicaid
    12. SRS
    13. Adult Protective Services
    14. Prepare for additional "nuts and bolts" issues involved in working as a Social Services Assistant.
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Instructors & Support

Cindy Gray

Cindy Gray has worked in the healthcare field since 1999. She began her career as a CNA, then completed her LPN, and continued with an ADN degree. She functioned as a Long-Term Care charge nurse, Inpatient Rehabilitation nurse, MDS Coordinator, and Director of Nursing. Following this she re-enrolled in college and obtained a BSN while performing duties of Human Resources, Staff Development Coordinator, Risk Management, Health Information Management, and Senior Living Manager.




You should be familiar with using a personal computer, mouse, and keyboard. You should be comfortable in an Internet environment, and have the ability to launch and close activities and navigate to multiple websites.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment:

  • Long Term Care


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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.

Does this course prepare for a certification?


When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via email) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

This course is non-credit, so it does not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more about financial assistance.

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

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