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What Social and Community Service Managers Do

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They direct and lead staff who provide social services to the public.


Social and community service managers typically do the following:

Social and community service managers work for a variety of social and human service organizations. The organizations may focus on working with a particular population, such as children, homeless people, or veterans. Other organizations may focus on helping people with particular challenges, such as hunger or joblessness.

Social and community service managers are often expected to show that their programs and services are effective. To do so, they collect statistics and other information to evaluate the impact that programs have in their community or on their target audience. They may be required to report this information to administrators or funders. They may also use evaluations to identify areas that need improvement for the program to be more effective.

Many social and community service managers have supervisory responsibilities. They may recruit, hire, and train new members of staff.

The job duties of social and community service managers vary based on the size of the organization they work for.

In large agencies, managers have more specialized duties. They may be responsible for running only one program in an organization that includes many programs. Social and community service managers report to the agency’s administration or upper management. They usually have less freedom to design programs. Instead, they supervise and carry out programs set up by administrators, elected officials, or other stakeholders.

In small organizations, social and community managers often fill many roles. They represent the organization to the public through speaking engagements or in community-wide committees. They design, carry out, and oversee programs. In small organizations, they may spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, such as managing budgets. They may also spend time raising funds and meeting with potential donors.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition