Child, Family, and School Social Workers

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Also known as:
C-CYFSW, Certified Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker, Child Abuse Worker, Child and Family Services Worker, Child Protective Services Social Worker, Child Protective Services Specialist, Child Welfare Social Worker, Child Welfare Worker, Family Preservation Caseworker, Family Preservation Worker

ABOUT CHILD, FAMILY, OR SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER CAREERS
Video transcript

Social workers belong to an important profession that involves helping people solve their own problems. To be successful in this type of work, it is necessary to have more than just a caring attitude. You must be good at relating to other people and be prepared to stick with them through the difficult times of their lives.

For example, social workers may provide emotional support and useful advice to clients whose families are dealing with child abuse or domestic violence. They may also assist people in overcoming drug addiction by helping them get admitted to rehabilitation programs.

Teamwork is an important part of this profession; the emotional demands placed on social workers cause them to rely on their colleagues for advice and assistance. Other duties that don't involve directly working with people range from researching information about public assistance programs to filling out applications and legal forms.

To handle any of these demanding responsibilities, social workers must have an ability to manage their time effectively. Although the work demands a lot of dedication and can be emotionally challenging, helping people overcome their problems can make social work extremely gratifying.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Address legal issues, such as child abuse and discipline, assisting with hearings and providing testimony to inform custody arrangements.

Provide, find, or arrange for support services, such as child care, homemaker service, prenatal care, substance abuse treatment, job training, counseling, or parenting classes to prevent more serious problems from developing.

Arrange for medical, psychiatric, and other tests that may disclose causes of difficulties and indicate remedial measures.

Counsel individuals, groups, families, or communities regarding issues including mental health, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, physical abuse, rehabilitation, social adjustment, child care, or medical care.

Refer clients to community resources for services, such as job placement, debt counseling, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, or financial assistance, and provide concrete information, such as where to go and how to apply.

Collect supplementary information needed to assist client, such as employment records, medical records, or school reports.

Maintain case history records and prepare reports.

Consult with parents, teachers, and other school personnel to determine causes of problems, such as truancy and misbehavior, and to implement solutions.

Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems to determine what services are required to meet their needs.

Develop and review service plans in consultation with clients and perform follow-ups assessing the quantity and quality of services provided.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.