College and Career Readiness

Caseworker Training: NC FAST and DSS Human Services

Interested in helping others access resources they need? Human Services Specialists help individuals determine if they are eligible for benefits such as Food and Nutrition Services, Work First Family Assistance, and Medicaid. The starting salary for a Human Services Specialist is $31,900.* Prepare for a career in human services in just 16 weeks! Central Piedmont Community College offers an exciting program to prepare adults for a career in social services departments. 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.

What You Will Learn

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**

At the successful conclusion of the caseworker training, you can be granted an assessment for a Human Services Specialist Caseworker position at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.

*Source: Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.

Learn About College and Career Readiness

Why Choose Central Piedmont

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 Caseworker Training program requires that you have a high school diploma or equivalent. Add your contact information to our contact list if you would like to be added to the interest list.

  • What Does the Program Include?

    The caseworker training will occur in two phases. Phase 1 is a Career Development course (HRD) titled Introduction to Human Services. This course will provide skills, strategies, and exploration for a career in human services with an emphasis on employment with the Department of Social Services (DSS) in North Carolina. Students will learn entry level skills needed for employment such as interviewing, basic keyboarding, and customer service skills. In addition, the 50-hour course will teach terminology needed for working with NC FAST and the Department of Social Service. Students will also prepare for the Career Readiness Certificate – a general career credential that validates skills in three areas: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. The Phase 1 class will meet a total of 16 days. This is a pass/fail course based upon successful completion of course assignments, passing class assessments, and attaining the Career Readiness Certificate. You will be expected to attend the three full hours per class session. Students must attend, at minimum, 75% of class hours and actively participate in class activities in order to successfully complete the class and receive a certificate. If you miss more than four class sessions you will not be eligible to graduate to the next phase of the class.

    After successfully completing Phase 1 you will be eligible to enroll in Phase 2. Phase 2 is for students who are interested in a career in human services is a 48-hour course focused on proficiency in the utilization of the NC FAST computer application. NC FAST (North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology), is for households applying for Food and Nutrition Services, Work First Family Assistance, and Medicaid. The NC FAST Program is designed to improve the way North Carolina county Departments of Social Services conduct business. This course will review the eligibility screening process for public assistance programs, communication skills, client interviewing, time management, data gathering and data analysis. At the conclusion of the second phase, successful students can be granted an assessment session for the Human Services Specialist position at Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. Successful interview candidates can be given one year of work experience credit with Mecklenburg County DSS.

    For more information about course content you can review the class outlines:

  • 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. 

    Our next cohort will start in January 2020. Typically information sessions are held about a month before class starts. The college does not maintain official wait lists. If you would like to fill out the following survey with your name, email, and phone number, we will reach out to you when we finalize the schedule for future classes.

  • How Much Does the Program Cost?

    Caseworker Training Phase 1 Costs

    • Book: $12
    • Career Readiness Certificate Exam: $54
    • Tuition & fees: $142*

    *The tuition & fees for Phase 1 can be waived for students who 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.

    Caseworker Training Phase 2 Costs

    • Book: $15
    • Tuition & fees: $142
  • How Do I Register?

    Official registration is done in class on the day class begins. Interested students should plan to attend an information and orientation session prior to starting class. At these sessions, we provide an overview of the class, answer common questions, introduce the instructor, and discuss the registration process. All registration and fee waiver forms will be done in class. You do not need to RSVP to attend this session. Please note that attendance at this session will not guarantee you a spot in the upcoming class.

    Attend an information and orientation session

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