What Does A Community Liaison Do?
Community liaisons serve as a very important link between residents of a particular community to the organization that provides a particular service. They may also serve as the bridge between the school and the students or between a healthcare agency to the patients living in a certain community. In essence, the work of community liaisons centers on informing the constituents they serve about various issues that affect them as well as getting their input on these. They may also direct community members to the different services that are available and could address their needs.
The specific duties of community liaisons will depend on the community they are working with. If they work in schools, their task could include translating for parents of children who don’t speak English. Because of their help, parents are able to know how their child is doing in school and teachers can communicate with them about any follow up lessons that can be done at home to reinforce what is learned in school.
Different government agencies also hire community liaisons. The U.S. Department of State, for example, hires community liaison officers (CLO) whose main task is to give support to employees and family members of the U.S. government assigned in posts overseas. The job of the CLO is to serve as the “first point of contact” for employees who have just been assigned to an embassy or consulate abroad. They help new employees settle in at their post and inform them about what to expect about the country and their position as well as answer any questions they may have.
Community liaisons can also work for healthcare agencies serving special populations like the elderly. They may help by directing seniors and their families to the appropriate nursing home or long-term care services. They may also liaise with people who are struggling from various addictions. They can direct those who are addicted to substance abuse to 12-step programs and other support groups and therapies that will enable them to break free from their addictions.
Community liaison officers working for law enforcement agencies like the police act as the bridge between the department and the community they serve. They hold public hearings about various topics that have to do with security and safety of the people and inform them how to protect themselves. They also help victims of crimes by connecting them to lawyers and social service groups who would be able to provide them with the service they need.
In a typical day, community liaison officers can find themselves attending meetings with the people in the community and taking note of their problems and concerns. They may also meet clients individually and give them advice or referrals to services. Back in their office, they may proceed to write reports to present to the agency or organization they work for. This may also entail doing further research on to the topic to supplement their recommendations. Community liaisons can also meet with other members of the community like businessmen, police and doctors as well as politicians to advocate for the community residents on certain issues.