College and Career Readiness

Caseworker Training: NC FAST and DSS Human Services

Interested in helping others access resources they need? Prepare for a career in social services departments in just 16 weeks.

What You Will Learn

Due to the coronavirus situation, all face-to-face instruction is on hold at Central Piedmont. At this time, the Caseworker Training program does not have a virtual learning option, but we are working to explore what might be feasible. We hope to have more information to share in mid-April.


Human services specialists help people determine if they are eligible for benefits such as Food and Nutrition Services, Work First Family Assistance, and Medicaid. In the caseworker training program, you will learn the roles and responsibilities of an income maintenance caseworker:

  • employability skills and keyboarding
  • customer service and client interviewing
  • NC FAST computer application
  • time management and data collection
  • interview practice and skills**

After you successfully complete the caseworker training, you can be granted an assessment for a human services specialist caseworker position at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. The starting salary for a human services specialist is $31,900 (source: Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services).

Why Choose Central Piedmont

The Caseworker Training program is offered as a result of a partnership between the N.C. Department of Social Services and the state’s community college system. Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness offers programs to develop students’ academic skills, earn a high school equivalency (GED or HiSET) or adult high school diploma, learn English as a second language (ESL), develop employability skills and participate in various work-based-learning experiences, or explore career and post-secondary educational opportunities. Many programs are free or at a very low cost for qualified participants. 

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning  — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Who Can Enroll?

    The college does not maintain official wait lists. Add your contact information to our contact list, and we will reach out to you when we finalize the schedule for future classes.

  • How Does the Program Work?

    The caseworker training has two phases.

    Phase 1

    Phase 1 is a 50-hour Career Development course (HRD) titled "Introduction to Human Services." Review the HRD 7002 Phase 1 outline for details on what the course covers and course expectations.

    The Phase 1 class will meet a total of 16 days. You will be expected to attend the three full hours per class session. If you miss more than four class sessions, you will not be eligible to graduate to the next phase of the class.

    Phase 2

    After successfully completing Phase 1, you will be eligible to enroll in Phase 2. Phase 2 is a 48-hour course focused on proficiency in the utilization of the NC FAST computer application. Review the HSE 7220 Phase 2 outline for details on what the course covers and course expectations.

    At the conclusion of the second phase, you can be granted an assessment interview session for the Human Services Specialist position at Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services and granted credit for one year of work experience with Mecklenburg County DSS.

  • When and Where are Classes Held?

    Classes start every 8 weeks, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1–4 p.m. or 6–9 p.m. or on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6–9 p.m. Classes are held on Central Campus in the North Classroom Building, Room 4101. 

  • How Much Does the Program Cost?

    Phase 1 Costs

    • book: $12
    • Career Readiness Certificate Exam: $54
    • tuition and fees: $142

    The tuition and fees for Phase 1 can be waived if you are currently unemployed, have received notification of a pending layoff, are working and eligible for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, or are working and earn wages at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

    Phase 2 Costs

    • book: $15
    • tuition and fees: $142
  • How Do I Enroll?

    To get started, attend an information/orientation session. Information sessions are typically held about a month before class starts. You do not need to RSVP to attend. At these sessions, we provide an overview of the class, answer common questions, introduce the instructor, and discuss the registration process. Attendance at this session will not guarantee you a spot in the upcoming class. Please check back for details on upcoming information session dates.

    All registration and fee waiver forms will be done in class on the day class begins.

  • Explore Careers

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