Child, Family, & School Social Workers
Also called: Case Manager, Family Protection Specialist, Family Service Worker, School Social Worker
Produced by CareerOneStop
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In an ideal world, every family would be stable and supportive, and every child’s needs would be met. But in reality, families who live in poverty, with mental illness, chemical abuse, or other issues, may need the help of child, family, and school social workers to find their way. An important role of these social workers is to help clients understand the range of services available to them, connect them to organizations and programs that will help them, and teach them how to advocate for themselves in the future. Good record keeping of conversations and activity is critical. Child and family social workers protect vulnerable children and help families function more effectively. They often connect families with housing, child care, and welfare assistance. They may promote better parenting skills, coordinate adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. School social workers deal with problems like bullying, truancy, and teenage pregnancy, and they may also advise teachers. Some travel to multiple schools in a school district. Child, family, and school social workers work for government agencies, non-profits, school systems, and in residential facilities. A bachelor’s degree in social work is the most common requirement to enter the field, though many also earn a master’s in social work. While the work can be emotionally taxing, child, family, and school social workers help lighten the load for struggling children and families, and give them hope for a brighter future.
What they do:Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.
On the job, you would:
- Maintain case history records and prepare reports.
- Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems to determine what services are required to meet their needs.
- Serve as liaisons between students, homes, schools, family services, child guidance clinics, courts, protective services, doctors, and other contacts to help children who face problems, such as disabilities, abuse, or poverty.
- customer service
- administrative services
- therapy and counseling
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- talking to others
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- understanding people's reactions
- looking for ways to help people
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
- Patient electronic medical record EMR software
- Mental Health & Substance Abuse Social Workers
- Mental Health Counselors
- Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists
- Social & Human Service Assistants
- Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselors
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