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Social service 101

This module by Cadet Emma LaBossiere

This module was prepared by Cadet Emma LaBossiere, and presented in class on 4/22/2020. The class Power Point is attached under Aims below.

  • Background: Master's in social work. Worked as a corps social worker for 2.5 years, and at DHQ for Pathway of Hope for 2.5 years. 
  • Knows: Strengths-based perspective. Record keeping is an important part of social services; universal intake forms facilitate consistent documentation.
  • Wanted to learn: How to effectively teach basic social services information in a way that is engaging and effective; a particular challenge in this online format
  • Learned: How to engage peers through the Holy Spirit, prayer, and research. In order to serve your community in any capacity, you have to first know your community, so get to know your people and have open conversations.

Aims of this module

To introduce the principles, procedures and programs of SA social services programs, so that new lieutenants know what to expect in their corps, and as the foundation for the exploration of specific social issues.

The seven service principles of William Booth

  1. The scale of our intervention is, by design, commensurate with the human outcomes and life changes we seek
  2. Our efforts are sustained over time and are sufficient to support long-term growth
  3. When matters of character or conduct are at the root of individual or family dysfunction, effective intervention lifts up and facilitates change at the personal level
  4. When social circumstances and outside forces contribute to suffering, effective intervention includes strategies to alter those situations
  5. Our intervention does not injure those it is intended to benefit
  6. While assisting one individual or population, our intervention does not negatively impact the well-being of others
  7. Our efforts are specific, measurable, realistic, feasible, and motivating, yet practical in every sense

Basic SA Social Service procedures

Program Development: 

  • Do a Needs/Opportunities Assessment
  • Check what is available and utilize what already exists
  • PRAY
  • Be careful/cautious in budgeting and be sure to find funds

Community Involvement: 

  • Consult with Advisory Board and Corps Council
  • Coalitions and Interagency Partnerships are key
  • Know your community!


  • Find unique sources of income (Dollar Energy/GNEF)
  • Program Budgets (always keep within your budget and refer if you are out of your budget)
  • Contracts

Record Keeping:

  • Keep behind a passcode (computer) or behind a lock
  • All things are confidential - be wise!
  • Refer to the Social Services Records Retention Schedule.
  • Met and unmet needs 


  • Presentable and clean - so important!
  • Be welcoming, always.
  • Be purposeful (placement of bulletin board etc.)
  • Privacy and safety (have a code with your staff for violence or potential violence in the building; ensure desks are in a safe, escapable location)
  • Use Strengths-based approach

SA Social Service Programs

Emergency Assistance: Services that meet the immediate emergency/fill in the gap; meant to be temporary assistance. 

  • Food Vouchers
  • Food Pantry/Baskets
  • Lodging
  • Meals/Soup Kitchens
  • Utility/Rent Assistance
  • Household Furniture
  • Transportation Assistance

Sustaining Assistance: Services that allow the individual or family to maintain a certain level of functioning in order to meet daily life needs. 

  • Co-op and Food Bank Distribution
  • Clothing
  • Community Meals
  • Local Transportation/Bus

"Weekly Development Programs": Weekly Corps Programming

  • Moonbeams
  • Sunbeams
  • Adventure Corps
  • Girl Guards
  • Bible Study
  • Music Programs

Supportive Social Services:

  • Casework and Counseling
  • Basic Referrals
  • Budgeting
  • Basic Advocacy Services

Emergency Response & Institutional Visitation

Developmental Group Programs:

  • Daycare
  • Afterschool Tutoring for school age
  • 12-step groups
  • Adult literacy
  • GED classes
  • Job readiness
  • Job training

Intensive Daily Care Programs:

  • Restorative Juvenile Justice (i.e. Bridging the Gap and HALO)
  • Adult Day Centers

Community Corrections Programs



  • Food
  • Community Meal


  • Food
  • Community Meal
  • Gift Cards
  • Adopt-a-Family
  • Sheetz Party
  • Angel Tree


  • VBS
  • Day Camp

Service Units: When zipcodes of service are out of the Corps range, the people are serviced by a service unit. The service unit is often run by volunteers or part-time employees who live in that specific community. 

Specialized Residential Programs: Harbor Light, ARC

Summer Camp and Youth Councils


Winship, J. (2016). Faith in action: Guiding principles of The Salvation Army social services ministries: Social services direct care handbook. Hoffman Estates, IL: The Salvation Army.