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.
What Job Titles Child, Family and School Social Workers Might Have
- Case Manager
- Family Service Worker
- Foster Care Social Worker
- School Social Worker
What Child, Family and School Social Workers Do
- 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.
- Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems to determine what services are required to meet their needs.
- Serve as liaisons between students, homes, schools, family services, child guidance clinics, courts, protective services, doctors, and other contacts to help children who face problems, such as disabilities, abuse, or poverty.
- Maintain case history records and prepare reports.
- Counsel parents with child rearing problems, interviewing the child and family to determine whether further action is required.
- 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.
- Consult with parents, teachers, and other school personnel to determine causes of problems, such as truancy and misbehavior, and to implement solutions.
- Counsel students whose behavior, school progress, or mental or physical impairment indicate a need for assistance, diagnosing students' problems and arranging for needed services.
- Address legal issues, such as child abuse and discipline, assisting with hearings and providing testimony to inform custody arrangements.
- Develop and review service plans in consultation with clients and perform follow-ups assessing the quantity and quality of services provided.
- 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.
- Collect supplementary information needed to assist client, such as employment records, medical records, or school reports.
- Administer welfare programs.
- Recommend temporary foster care and advise foster or adoptive parents.
- Supervise other social workers.
- Lead group counseling sessions that provide support in such areas as grief, stress, or chemical dependency.
- Place children in foster or adoptive homes, institutions, or medical treatment centers.
- Evaluate personal characteristics and home conditions of foster home or adoption applicants.
- Determine clients' eligibility for financial assistance.
- Serve on policy-making committees, assist in community development, and assist client groups by lobbying for solutions to problems.
- Work in child and adolescent residential institutions.
- Conduct social research.
What Child, Family and School Social Workers Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
What Child, Family and School Social Workers Need to Learn
- 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.
- Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- 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.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- 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.