Child, family, or school social workers help support children who may be at risk due to circumstances at home, school, or other environments. As advocates for the children, the social worker acts as a liaison between various institutions, families, and the child. Typically, the social worker either identifies an at-risk child or is called in by some authority that has made this determination. The social worker works with the family to help create the best environment for the child, while assessing all health and psychological risks. Social workers in a school environment are typically charged with determining which students may be at risk and work with other teachers and counselors to aid the student and administer testing to help fully diagnose the extent of the student's needs.
Social workers also help place children with foster families and group homes. They work directly with these families to help ensure the safest possible environment for the children. Social workers also help to facilitate adoptions by performing various home environment assessments and background interviews. Social workers spend time in an office environment and in the field, typically during regular office hours; however, in emergencies, there may be weekend and off-hour responsibilities as well.
Child, family, or school social workers typically have at least an bachelor's degree in psychology or a related counseling discipline. Counselors are also typically required to be certified by state and local jurisdictions as well. To work in this field, individuals must be an excellent communicator and have an aptitude to work well with children and youth who may be in unstable living environments.
Child, Family, or School Social Worker Tasks
Address client needs (mental, social, educational, etc.) on an individual basis.
Carry out various administrative tasks in support of client service.
Work with parents, teachers, community organizations, internal partners, etc. on behalf of clients.