In a perfect world, every child would have a supportive and stable family. However, the reality is that many children and their family members face immense challenges. For example, teen parents may not be prepared to take on child-rearing duties. Children's social workers step in to help these families lead healthier and happier lives. Children's social workers are often grouped into child, family and school social workers.
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According to the Occupational Information Network, children's social workers offer assistance and social services for the purpose of improving the social and psychological well being of children and their family members. These workers can assist struggling single parents, arrange adoptions and seek out foster homes for abused and abandoned children. Children's social workers may visit schools to discuss problems, such as misbehavior, truancy and teen pregnancy. Children's social workers may also meet with teachers to address how to deal with troubled children.
Environment and Hours
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all types of social workers can be found in an office or residential facility environment. However, many also travel locally to visit with clients or attend meetings. Social workers typically work a 40-hour work week. Some may work evenings or weekends to accommodate client schedules, attend meetings or handle emergencies.
Education and Training
According to College Board, a non-profit that connects students with educational opportunities, a job as a children's social worker requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Many employers require a master's degree in social work (MSW). Typical courses in a social work major include community resources, diversity, human behaviour in the social environment, modern social problems, populations at risk, psychology, social and economic justice, social policy and services, social work research, sociology, and values and ethics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, child, family and school social workers earned a national mean hourly wage of £13.6 and a national mean annual wage of £28,301 in May 2009. The industries that employed the highest number of child, family and school social workers were state governments with a mean annual wage of £28,197; individual and family services, £23,848; local government, £31,408; elementary and secondary schools, £36,829; and other residential care facilities, £23,302.
According to the National Employment Matrix from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for child, family and school social workers is expected to increase at a rate of 12 per cent through 2018. Demand will be due to workers who are needed for child abuse cases and to place children into adoptive families and foster care.
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- Occupational Information Network: Child, Family and School Social Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Social Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, 2008: Child, Fmaily and School Social Workers
- College Board: Child, Family and School Social Workers
- College Board: Social Work