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Family And School Social Workers picture    Family And School Social Workers image

Family and School Social Workers

Family and school social workers provide social services and a variety of assistance with the objective of enhancing the functioning of families. They evaluate peoples' needs and provide help in order to improve their lives. Family and school social workers frequently coordinate the appropriate services for children or their families. Some family and school social workers have a specialty such as homelessness, domestic violence, foster care or child protective services.

In school settings family and school social workers serve as a connection between students' families and schools. They deal with parents, guardians, teachers and other school representatives with the goal of ensuring students reach their personal and academic potential. They also help students that are dealing with emotional problems or stress.

Some school social workers help children that have disabilities and they also help their families. School social workers also deal with teenage pregnancy and drug and alcohol problems.

Some sample job titles are family service worker, school social worker, foster care social worker, family services social worker, child protective services social worker, child welfare social worker, family protection specialist, social worker, youth services specialist and child protective services social worker.

Responsibilities

  • Help single parents find daycare for their children
  • Create and review service plans with clients and evaluate the quality and quantity of provided services
  • Find foster homes for abused or abandoned children
  • Deal with misbehavior and truancy of students
  • Provide advice to teachers about how to handle difficult students
  • Arrange for adoptions
  • Provide counseling to families and individuals on various issues
  • Interview clients and evaluate their situation, problems and capabilities to determine the appropriate services
  • Prepare reports and maintain case history records
  • Refer clients to community resources

Job Characteristics

Social workers spend some of their time in an office or a residential facility. They also visit clients in their homes and meet with service providers. Often, social workers have large caseloads. Social workers usually work 40 hours a week but sometimes they work during the evenings and on weekends to accommodate their clients' schedules or to deal with emergencies or to attend community meetings.

Social work can be satisfying but also challenging at times. Social workers should be objective, emotionally mature and sensitive to people and their problems. They also need to be able to handle responsibility.

Employment Outlook

In 2008 there were approximately 292,600 child, family and school social worker jobs. From 2008 to 2018 employment for child, family and school social workers is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow by 12 percent which is as fast as the average for all occupations.

Child, family and school social workers had a median annual wage of $39,530 in 2008. Regarding the industries employing the largest number of child, family and school social workers, the highest paying sectors are elementary and secondary schools and local governments.

A master's degree is often required for advancing into positions such as assistant director, program manager or executive director of a social service department or agency.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

For many child, family and school social worker jobs a bachelor's degree in social work is the minimum requirement. Degrees in sociology, psychology and related fields may be sufficient for some entry-level social worker jobs, particularly in small community agencies. Some jobs require an advanced degree.

Jobs in school settings usually require a master's degree in social work. For some jobs employers may prefer those that hold a master's degree in social work with a concentration in administration or social service policy. Advanced degrees are typically necessary for administrative, supervisory and staff training positions.

Bachelor degree programs prepare students for direct service jobs, including group home worker, caseworker and residential counselor. A minimum of 400 hours of supervised field experience is required by accredited programs.

Master's degree programs prepare graduates for employment in selected field of concentration. The master's degree programs usually last for two years and include a minimum of 900 hours of field experience or internship. The program may take part-time students four years to complete.

Every state has licensing, certification or registration requirements regarding social work practice and using professional titles.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are individual and family services agencies, state governments, local governments and schools.

Schools for Family And School Social Workers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Family and School Social Workers Skills

Below are the skills needed to be family and school social workers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Skill NameImportanceCompetence
Active Listening4.884.75
Speaking4.54.12
Critical Thinking4.124.25
Social Perceptiveness4.124.62
Reading Comprehension44.12

Family and School Social Workers Abilities

Below are the abilities needed to be family and school social workers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Ability NameImportanceCompetence
Oral Expression4.624.12
Oral Comprehension4.384.12
Problem Sensitivity4.254.38
Written Expression4.124
Written Comprehension4.124.12

Family and School Social Workers Knowledge

Below are the knowledge areas needed to be family and school social workers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 7 being highest).

   
Knowledge AreaImportanceCompetence
Customer and Personal Service4.325.21
Therapy and Counseling4.135.13
Psychology4.135.04
English Language3.824.12
Clerical3.634.81

Family and School Social Workers Work activities

Below are the work activities involved in being family and school social workers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest) and competency level on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work ActivityImportanceCompetence
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships4.715.56
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates4.74.92
Getting Information4.585.07
Documenting/Recording Information4.584.27
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events4.54.87

Family and School Social Workers Work styles

Below are the work styles involved in being family and school social workers according to their importance on the scale of 1 to 5 (1 being lowest and 5 being highest).

   
Work StyleImportance
Concern for Others4.62
Dependability4.49
Stress Tolerance4.31
Integrity4.29
Adaptability/Flexibility4.19

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Family and School Social Workers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Family and School Social Workers jobs , as of 2017

   
Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim14,490 $60,900
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn5,180 $49,470
Pittsburgh3,830 $40,870
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale3,700 $39,050
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue3,700 $51,120
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell3,590 $41,340
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington3,420 $46,180
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward3,210 $54,580
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land3,130 $43,000
Oklahoma City3,120 $38,550

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Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to family and school social workers

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 22.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Family and School Social Workers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.