Social Service Assistant

Social Service Assistants are members of interdisciplinary health care teams within the Long Term Care 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 to 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.

Instructors will cover content that includes professionalism, documentation and ethics, social service related regulations, admission process, assessment documentation, MDS/RAPS, care planning, resident rights, abuse prevention, survey and survey process, discharge planning, effects of aging, disease processes, and end of life pain process.

The Social Service Assistant will be a prepared to work in a

  • Long-Term Care Facility
  • Assisted Living
  • Adult Day Program
  • Retirement Community
  • Community Center

Who Should Attend

Individuals interested in working in a health care setting, assisting residents with social needs under the supervision of a social worker. After completing the course, you will be able to work as Social Service Assistant in a Long Term Care setting.

Certificate Completion

Upon successful completion of the progrma you will earn a certificate of competition from California State University, San Bernardino, College of Extended Learning.

Career Pathways

The professional opportunities to care for the growing number of people who will use the supportive assistance offered in day treatment, assisted living, and long-term care settings are expanding faster than professionals can be trained. These positions can be rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling.

Delivery Format

  • The entire program is offered online
  • Start anytime during the quarter
  • Complete it from the convenience of your home and on your schedule
  • Progress at the pace that matches your learning style

Course Information
Course No. GES 173
Units NC
Fee $695


Training Time

70 hours, 6 months

Expand I. 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
Expand II. 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
Expand III. 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
Expand IV. 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.

This course will discuss the philosophy of long term care, the settings in which a Social Services Assistant works and the demographics of the people they serve. You will learn the aging process and understand the role and function of this position.

Upon completion of this program you will:

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the aging process, including misconceptions, physical changes and psychosocial 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


This program can be taken from either a Mac or a PC. It is compatible with the Windows XP and later operating systems, Firefox, Chrome (preferred), or IE 7 and later browsers. There are no specific computer requirements other than an Internet connection, e-mail account.

Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader are required for this program.

ed2go will provide the required textbook for this program:

  • Long Term Care


Students should be familiar with using a personal computer, mouse, and keyboard. They should be comfortable in an internet environment, and have the ability to launch and close activities and navigate to multiple websites. A valid email address is required for communication.