Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for child and family services workers. Currently, 4,400 people work as child and family services workers in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 17% to 5,130 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for child and family services workers are expected to grow by about 12.3%. In general, child and family services workers 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.
Child and family services workers earn about $18 per hour or $37,500 annually on average in Alabama and about $19 hourly or $39,530 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as child and family services workers in Alabama earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. People working as child and family services workers can fill a number of jobs, such as: family support specialist, protective services social worker, and medical social worker.
There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can study to be a child and family services worker, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Huntsville area. Given that the most common education level for child and family services workers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a child and family services worker if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Child and Family Services Worker
In general, child and family services workers 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. They also may assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children.
Child and family services workers counsel individuals or communities regarding issues including mental health or medical care. They also interview clients individually or in groups, assessing their situations and problems, to establish what services are used to meet their needs. Equally important, child and family services workers have to furnish or manage support services, such as child care, homemaker service, prenatal care, and substance abuse classes, to stop more serious problems from developing. They are often called upon to serve as liaisons between students, homes, schools, family services, child guidance clinics and other contacts, to help children who face problems such as disabilities or poverty. They are expected to design and review service plans in consultation with clients, and perform follow-ups assessing the quantity and quality of services provided. Finally, child and family services workers confer with parents and other school personnel to establish causes of problems such as truancy and misbehavior, and to execute solutions.
Every day, child and family services workers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.
It is important for child and family services workers to counsel students whose behavior or mental or physical impairment indicate a need for assistance, diagnosing students' problems and arranging for needed services. They are often called upon to address legal issues. They also conduct social research. Somewhat less frequently, child and family services workers are also expected to serve on policymaking committees, help in community development, and assist client groups by lobbying for solutions to problems.
Child and family services workers sometimes are asked to recommend temporary foster care and advise foster or adoptive parents. They also have to be able to work in child and adolescent residential institutions and administer welfare programs. And finally, they sometimes have to counsel students whose behavior or mental or physical impairment indicate a need for assistance, diagnosing students' problems and arranging for needed services.
Like many other jobs, child and family services workers must have a strong concern for others and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:
- Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
- Religious Activities Director. Direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students. Plan, direct, or coordinate church school programs designed to promote religious education among church membership. May provide counseling and guidance relative to marital, health, and religious problems.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child and Family Services Worker Training
Oakwood University - Huntsville, AL
Oakwood University, 7000 Adventist Blvd NW, Huntsville, AL 35896. Oakwood University is a small university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,850 students and an admission rate of 57%. Oakwood University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated nineteen students in 2008.
Alabama A & M University - Normal, AL
Alabama A & M University, 4900 Meridian St, Normal, AL 35762. Alabama A & M University is a medium sized university located in Normal, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,124 students and an admission rate of 49%. Alabama A & M University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty-seven and thirty-nine students respectively in 2008.
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Licensing agency: AL State Board of Social Work Examiners
Address: 100 North Union Street, Suite 736, Montgomery, AL 36130-1620
Phone: (334) 242-5860
Website: AL State Board of Social Work Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.