Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Anchorage, Alaska
There are many career and education opportunities for child and family services workers in the Anchorage, Alaska area. There are currently 750 working child and family services workers in Alaska; this should grow by 13% to about 850 working child and family services workers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for child and family services workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.3% over the next eight years. Child and family services workers generally 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 $20 per hour or $43,650 yearly on average in Alaska and about $19 hourly or $39,530 annually on average nationally. Earnings for child and family services workers are better than earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Alaska and not quite as good as general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: child care counselor, licensed social worker, and social worker.
There are four schools of higher education in the Anchorage area, including one within twenty-five miles of Anchorage where you can get a degree to start your career as a child and family services worker. 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 training to become 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 Anchorage include:
- Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child and Family Services Worker Training
University of Alaska Anchorage - Anchorage, AK
University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508. University of Alaska Anchorage is a large university located in Anchorage, Alaska. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,649 students and an admission rate of 68%. University of Alaska Anchorage has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Social Work which graduated fifteen, three, and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.
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LOCATION INFORMATION: Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is located in Anchorage Municipality County, Alaska. It has a population of over 279,243, which has grown by 7.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Anchorage, 89, is well below the national average.
The top three industries for women in Anchorage are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 28.9% of Anchorage residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.
Anchorage is home to the Chugach and the Black Bear Campground as well as Baxter Bog Park and Alaska Railroad Power Reserve. Visitors to Anchorage can choose from Courtyard Anchorage, Creekwood Inn and The Voyager Hotel for temporary stays in the area.