Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Austin, Texas
Many educational and employment opportunities exist for child and family services workers in the Austin, Texas area. Currently, 14,610 people work as child and family services workers in Texas. This is expected to grow by 22% to about 17,790 people 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.
A person working as a child and family services worker can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,590 annually on average in Texas and about $19 hourly or $39,530 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for child and family services workers are better than earnings in the general category of Social Work and Community Services in Texas and not quite as good as general Social Work and Community Services category earnings nationally. Child and family services workers work in a variety of jobs, including: foster care social worker, child development consultant, and case planner.
There are thirty-five schools of higher education in the Austin area, including four within twenty-five miles of Austin 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. It will take about four years to learn 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 Austin 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
Austin Community College District - Austin, TX
Austin Community College District, 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752. Austin Community College District is a large college located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 35,798 students. Austin Community College District has an associate's degree program in Social Work which graduated ten students in 2008.
The University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX
The University of Texas at Austin, , Austin, TX 78712. The University of Texas at Austin is a large university located in Austin, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 49,984 students and an admission rate of 44%. The University of Texas at Austin has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated sixty-four, 179, and nine students respectively in 2008.
Texas State University-San Marcos - San Marcos, TX
Texas State University-San Marcos, 601 University Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666. Texas State University-San Marcos is a large university located in San Marcos, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,125 students and an admission rate of 74%. Texas State University-San Marcos has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated sixty-nine and seventy-eight students respectively in 2008.
Saint Edward's University - Austin, TX
Saint Edward's University, 3001 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704. Saint Edward's University is a medium sized university located in Austin, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,348 students and an admission rate of 64%. Saint Edward's University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated fourteen students in 2008.
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LOCATION INFORMATION: Austin, Texas
Austin is located in Travis County, Texas. It has a population of over 757,688, which has grown by 15.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Austin, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Austin are valued at $139,500 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,928 new homes were constructed in Austin, down from 3,155 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Austin are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 40.4% of Austin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Austin is 6.5%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Austin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church, Adam and Eve Garden Baptist Church and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church are all churches located in Austin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Austin is home to the Morris Williams Golf Course and the Sixth Street Historic District as well as Wild Basin Wilderness Park and Rudolph Gamblin Field. Shopping centers in the area include Capital Plaza Shopping Center, Capital Plaza Shopping Center and Lamar Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Austin can choose from Club Hotel by Doubletree Austin University Area, Austin Folk House and AmeriPark at Austin for temporary stays in the area.