The Best 2023 Examples & Types of Social Service Programs that You Need to Know

Best Examples of Social Services for Social Workers and Clinical Workers – Everything You Need to Know


Many government agencies around the world have their own example of social services. Whether it’s the National Health Service in the U.K. or the Food Stamps program in the U.S., these social service examples are designed to help those in need with vital resources.

When you search for a social service example reference, you also often find information on family social services. This is generally a governmental agency tasked with support for children and families. Family social services and child social services agencies often need to intervene in the case of a child in an unsafe environment.

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Example of social service for the elderly

Social services examples can be found throughout the world and touch the lives of all types of citizens, from infants to the elderly. In this article, we’ll go through several social service examples as well as touch on the following questions.

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Table of Contents

Questions answered in this article on the example of social services include:

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What Are Basic Social Services?

Basic social services are those that are integral to health and wellbeing. They allow people to live and function and would be considered the basic necessities of life.

The international organization UNICEF provides the following social service example for “basic” social services in relation to the needs of children:

  • Primary health care
  • Basic education
  • Clean water
  • Proper sanitation

Most government agencies take a somewhat broader view of basic social service programs, and they will typically include components that help in multiple facets of life.

An example of social service basic needs are:

  • Food & water
  • Shelter
  • Health care
  • Safety
  • Mental health assistance
  • Financial assistance for basic needs
  • Employment assistance

What Do Social Services Do?

The purpose of all types of social services examples is to meet those basic human needs for health and wellbeing. This is done in different ways, depending upon the country you live in.

One example of social services and what it does from France would be providing 16 weeks of paid parental leave for the mother of a new baby. Another social service example would be the financial support provided by the US for those with disabilities that can’t work.

Family social services will intervene if a child is in danger and move them to a safe place by placing them with a Foster Care family for as long as necessary.

The basic goal of these social service examples is to provide public programs that help people live healthy and secure lives. These programs are typically managed in a CRM or case management tool so that individuals that the program is helping can be more easily managed and assessed. 

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What Is a Social Service Worker?

A social service worker is someone that holds a degree in social work and that administers social service programs.

Social workers go through extensive education and training to learn how to complete the social services assessment process, which is vital to providing the right services to those in need. They also learn how to provide counseling, support, and more.

When answering, “What is a social service worker?” it’s important to point out that social workers will often specialize in various areas of social services work. For example, some may provide child and family social services, while others may work with the elderly as geriatric social workers.

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Some of the basic tasks performed by social service workers include:

  • Performing a social services initial assessment client interview
  • Doing a social services needs assessment and other assessments
  • Creating a care plan to assist the individual with identified needs
  • Referring the client to other support agencies
  • Guiding and supporting the client
  • Coordinating with other agencies or care professionals to help the client
  • Doing follow-ups, creating documentation, and filing reports

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What Are Types & Examples of Social Services?

We’ve touched on the fact that there are different examples of social services throughout the world. Additionally in any given country, you’ll find multiple types of social service programs being provided.

Types of Social Services offered in the U.S. and other countries include the following.

Family Social Services

One of the largest categories of social services is family social services. This social service example will include support for families, such as food and childcare. It will also include programs designed for the safety and welfare of children (such as the Foster Care program).

Family social services is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children and their families and will offer multiple social service programs in this realm to achieve that.

Refugee & Unaccompanied Children

Social services examples that are programs for refugees would be the Unaccompanied Children Program in the U.S. It provides help for children that come over the border on their own and have no place to go.

This assistance includes social services examples like classroom education, mental and medical health services, and reunification with family members.

Food & Nutrition Programs

Food and nutrition programs help ensure that those that are in need financially get one of life’s necessities – food.

Programs include SNAP (aka Food Stamps), which provides assistance to low-income families to buy nutritious foods, and a government-supported program run by a non-profit agency (Meals on Wheels) that brings meals to the elderly.

Disability-Related Financial Assistance

Some social services examples will provide mental and physical health care assistance and financial help for those with disabilities that keep them from being able to work.

Medical Care

Many countries have a universal health care system or provide health care for free to low-income or elderly citizens. Health care is another example of social services considered basic human needs.

Supplemental Income & Unemployment Assistance

For those who have lost their jobs, unemployment assistance provides financial help for a certain period to help people stay on their feet while searching for a new source of income.

Welfare assistance is also provided in many countries for those that are making less than what may be considered a poverty line.

Financial Aid for Education

This example of social services includes things like government grants for those wishing to go to college and head start programs for pre-school-aged children that may be from families lacking the ability to afford preschool educational opportunities.

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Mental Health Assistance

Mental health assistance is another example of social service provided by governments. It can include substance abuse counseling as well as psychiatric treatment for more serious mental disorders.

Legal Defense Assistance

A social service example of assistance provided in the criminal justice system is that certain countries, like the U.S., will supply a free public defender for those defendants that can’t afford to hire one themselves.

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Family Social Services & Foster Care Q&A

When people are seeking out information on an example of social service or social service programs they are often interested in child and family social services.

They may have questions, such as, “What do social services do to help children in need?” or “What do social services look for when they come to your house?”

Here are some of the commonly asked questions about child and family social services examples, and the answers.

Q: What is a social services assessment?

A: A social service assessment involves questions asked of a client and additional research done to gather information at the beginning of a social services engagement.

The social services initial assessment will include different types of surveys or social services assessment questions that help the social worker identify the type of assistance needed and create a care/assistance plan.

Q: What do social services do to help children in need?

A: There are a number of social service examples of assistance provided to children in need. These include things like emergency placement in a safe home, counseling for behavioral problems, reunification with family, medical and mental health assistance, nutrition and educational programs, and more.

Q: What do social services look for when they come to your house?

A: When a social services worker is visiting a home initially or as a follow-up visit, they are mainly looking to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

Some of the things social services will look for during a visit to your home include:

  • That the home is clean and livable
  • That hazardous chemicals are not in reach of children
  • That no illegal activities are occurring in the home
  • That basic needs are being met, such as food, water, adequate warm
  • That there are no physical signs of child abuse

Q: What types of social services programs can a family get?

A:  When you ask, “what is a social service worker?” someone in this profession will likely tell you that their main goal is to keep families together.

To this end, there are many social services programs designed for this goal, such as family counseling, financial assistance, food and nutrition aid, childcare assistance, employment assistance, and more.

Q: What is an example of social service intervention without taking a child out of a home?

A: Examples of social services interventions that do not take children out of homes will include those designed to help families get on their feet through financial aid, medical and support services for the disabled or those in poverty, and substance abuse programs.

 Q: After a social service assessment to remove a child, what’s the average time a child stays in Foster Care?

A: According to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the median amount of time spent in the Foster Care system by children is 15.5 months.

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What Are Examples of Social Services Assessment?

As we mentioned, the social service assessment is performed at the beginning of a client engagement to learn about the person/child/family and their needs so the appropriate assistance can be provided.

There are many different types of assessments, just depending upon the nature of the reason for the engagement with social services. These can include social services mental health assessment, social services needs assessment, safety assessment, and more.

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Here are some of the common types of social services initial assessment:

  • Social Services Needs Assessment
  • Social Services Mental Health Assessment
  • Social Services Safety Assessment
  • Social Services Depression/Anxiety Assessments (GAD-7 & PHQ-9)
  • Social Services Support and Opportunities Assessment
  • Social Services Assessments for Relationships (Genogram & Ecomap)
  • Social Services Refugee Culture Assessment (Culturagram)

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What Is a Social Services Assessment? | Social Services Assessment Questions

When doing a social services mental health assessment, needs assessment, safety assessment, or another type of intake assessment, there are usually several questions that are asked.

These social services assessment questions are designed to be open-ended and to allow the social worker to gather as much information as possible to create a care/intervention plan.

What is a social services assessment question?

Examples of social work assessment questions include:

  • How does your living situation make you feel?
  • Are you in immediate danger of physical harm?
  • What are your biggest concerns in the coming week?
  • When is the last time you’ve seen a doctor?

In the free social services assessment questions PPT and PDF below, we’ve included several questions. These sample questions are based upon the five key categories of the System model of social work assessment:

  • Situation
  • Safety
  • Survival/other needs
  • Supports/strengths
  • Short-term or crisis

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Download this social work assessment questions PPT, social work assessment questions PDF, and other free templates below.

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Conclusion | Example of Social Service & Types of Social Services 

We hope that this overview and examples of social services have helped you better understand the different types of social service assistance that many countries provide.

It’s important to know what types of social services are available where you live, so you can take advantage of those when needed to improve your quality of life.

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Example of Social Service FAQs

What are basic social services?

An example of social service basic needs includes:

• Food & water
• Shelter
• Health care
• Safety
• Mental health assistance
• Financial assistance for basic needs
• Employment assistance

What is a social service worker?

A social service worker is someone that holds a degree in social work and that administers social service programs.

Social workers go through extensive education and training to learn how to complete the social services assessment process, which is vital to providing the right services to those in need, as well as how to provide counseling, support, and more.

What are social services examples?

Examples of social services offered in the U.S. and other countries include the following.

• Family Social Services
• Refugee & Unaccompanied Children
• Food & Nutrition Programs
• Disability-Related Financial Assistance
• Medical Care
• Supplemental Income & Unemployment Assistance
• Financial Aid for Education
• Mental Health Assistance
• Legal Defense Assistance

What’s on a social service needs assessment questionnaire?

A needs assessment questionnaire in social work will include questions such as when a person last ate or if they have a place to sleep tonight. It might also include finance-related questions, such as whether they have any utility services being shut off within the next 30 days.

The social services needs assessment questionnaire is designed to give the social worker insight into the types of needs a client has and the urgency of those needs.

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