Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Seattle, Washington
Child and family services workers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 4,250 jobs for child and family services workers in Washington and this is projected to grow 23% to about 5,210 jobs 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.
Income for child and family services workers is about $22 per hour or $47,610 annually on average in Washington. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $39,530 annually. Incomes for child and family services workers are better than in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: protective services social worker, adult protective caseworker, and medical social worker.
There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including four within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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 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 Seattle 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.
- Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.
- 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 Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA
University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Social Work which graduated fifty-one, 159, and four students respectively in 2008.
Seattle University - Seattle, WA
Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated one student in 2008.
Olympic College - Bremerton, WA
Olympic College, 1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337-1699. Olympic College is a medium sized college located in Bremerton, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,596 students. Olympic College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Youth Services/Administration which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus - Tacoma, WA
University of Washington-Tacoma Campus, 1900 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402-3100. University of Washington-Tacoma Campus is a small university located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Washington-Tacoma Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Social Work which graduated forty and thirty-four students respectively in 2008.
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LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington
Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.
The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.