Number of Jobs
|This Job is Ranked in|
|Best Social Services Jobs||#8|
|The 100 Best Jobs||#58|
Whenever you hear about families living below the poverty line, children having a lack of nutritious food or reports of child abuse, a child and family social worker may come to the rescue. These are the professionals who try to improve the quality of life for children. Often this job deals with a range of messy social issues that could include abuse, homelessness, poverty, discrimination or illness. Child and family social workers are concerned with the social and psychological functioning of kids and their families. Daily responsibilities range from removing a 6-year-old from a foster home where she hasn’t received proper care to finalizing the adoption of an 8-year-old who will be placed in the hands of a loving family.
There’s ample job opportunity for people who feel a calling to help underprivileged children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 15.1 percent employment growth for child and family social workers between 2012 and 2022. That translates to approximately 43,100 new social work positions to fill.
Social workers who specialize in children and family welfare made a median salary of $41,530 in 2012, according to the BLS. The best-paid 10 percent in the field earned $71,000, while the lowest-paid made approximately $26,720. The school system offers some of the best salaries for this position, but home health care services also pay well. The top-paying metropolitan areas include three cities in Connecticut: Waterbury, Danbury and New Haven.
You can begin working as a social worker with a bachelor’s degree as a caseworker or mental health assistant. Coursework in psychology, sociology, economics and political science are likely to be useful on the job. Positions in schools and health care often require a master’s degree in social work, which generally takes two years to complete and requires an internship. Some states require a minimum number of supervised hours to begin working in the field full time, and all states have licensing requirements to practice.
Mary Pender Greene, a licensed social worker and certified group psychotherapist, interviews social workers to find them placements. Aside from skills, credentials and proper licensing, Pender Greene says there are a variety of other factors she hopes to see in new hires. “If they tell me that they were in therapy, then that gives them extra brownie points with me,” she says, “because in order to be able to help others, you have to be willing and able to look at the things that need work within you and your own family.”
|Upward Mobility||fair Average|
|Stress Level||poor High|
|Flexibility||good Above Average|
Last updated by Emily Brandon.