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Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Kansas City, Missouri

If you want to be a child and family services worker, the Kansas City, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 5,250 people are currently employed as child and family services workers in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow 9% to 5,720 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for child and family services workers are expected to grow by about 12.3%. 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.

A person working as a child and family services worker can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $31,260 per year on average in Missouri and about $19 per hour or $39,530 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for child and family services workers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: adoption agent, community worker, and delinquency prevention social worker.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the Kansas City area, including five within twenty-five miles of Kansas City where you can get a degree to start your career as a child and family services worker. The most common level of education 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

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 Kansas City 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated seventy-four students in 2008.

Haskell Indian Nations University - Lawrence, KS

Haskell Indian Nations University, 155 Indian Ave, Lawrence, KS 66046-4800. Haskell Indian Nations University is a small university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 997 students and an admission rate of 50%. Haskell Indian Nations University has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas, , Lawrence, KS 66045. University of Kansas is a large university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,365 students and an admission rate of 92%. University of Kansas has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated eighty, 136, and two students respectively in 2008.

Park University - Parkville, MO

Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, MO 64152-3795. Park University is a large university located in Parkville, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,457 students and an admission rate of 78%. Park University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work.

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LOCATION INFORMATION: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.