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Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for child and family services workers. There are currently 3,850 working child and family services workers in Iowa; this should grow 17% to 4,520 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. 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.

The income of a child and family services worker is about $17 hourly or $36,960 annually on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $19 hourly or $39,530 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as child and family services workers in Iowa earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. Child and family services workers work in a variety of jobs, including: licensed social worker, group worker, and family protection specialist.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a child and family services worker, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. Child and family services workers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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

Child and Family Services Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • 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.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child and Family Services Worker Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated three, zero, eighty-nine, and one students respectively in 2008.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

CERTIFICATIONS

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For more information, see the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners website.

LICENSES

Adoption Investigator

Licensing agency: Behavioral, Developmental, & Protective Services Division
Address: Divison of Adult, Children & Family Services, Iowa Department of Human Services, Hoover State Office Building, 1305 E Walnut St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0114

Phone: (515) 281-6802
Website: Behavioral, Developmental, & Protective Services Division Divison of Adult, Children & Family Services Iowa Department of Human Services

Social Worker

Licensing agency: Board of Social Work Examiners
Address: Bureau of Professional Licensure, Iowa Department of Public Health, Lucas State Office Building, 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Phone: (515) 281-4422
Website: Board of Social Work Examiners Bureau of Professional Licensure Iowa Department of Public Health

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.