Caseworker training program leads to career path

Published 10:27 am Friday, July 24, 2020

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Looking for a full-time job with great benefits and the potential for advancement while helping others? Check out the Income Maintenance Caseworker course at Isothermal Community College.

Fast track your career by completing the two-phase training program developed in partnership between the North Carolina Community College System and the NC Department of Health and Human Services. The course is designed to help people get a job as a caseworker with local social services departments.

Classes start on Tuesday, August 25. Sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Isothermal Polk Center in Columbus. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

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Students who successfully complete the program will:

  • Earn the transportable credential recognized across the state and be favored when applying for Income Maintenance Caseworker positions throughout the state-wide DSS system.
  • Gain core knowledge, skills and abilities for successful transition to working within the NCFAST computer system; and
  • Learn how to successfully complete state applications and how to prepare for a state job interview.

Phase I is Introduction to Human Services, which is 48 classroom hours. This class provides students a look inside the world of DSS. Students will learn DSS terminology and basic intake processes. In addition, students will work on fundamental employability skills, and receive assistance with resume’ writing, interviewing and completing the state application. Students must pass this phase to be eligible for Phase 2—there are no exceptions.

Phase II is Income Maintenance Caseworker– NCFAST, which is 45 classroom hours. This class provides students an in-depth, hands-on look at the NCFAST system. Through an interactive system, students will process applications, make changes and updates to simulated participant accounts.  Students will learn how to “interview” clients to gain the information needed to complete the NCFAST intake process.

“The cool thing about this course is that it was started to address the need for candidates already versed in the NCFAST operating system,” said Karen Marshall, director of the Isothermal Polk Center. “This course removes the customary eight-week-plus learning curve for a person once they are hired. Completing this course makes someone a standout candidate when applying to any DSS in the state.”

For more information or to sign up, contact Karen Marshall at 828-395-1408 or

Submitted by Mike Gavin