Career and Education Opportunities for Child and Family Services Workers in Charleston, West Virginia
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for child and family services workers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. There are currently 3,520 working child and family services workers in West Virginia; this should grow by 7% to 3,770 working child and family services workers in the state by 2016. 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%. 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 $13 per hour or $28,620 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $19 hourly or $39,530 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services, people working as child and family services workers in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Social Work and Community Services nationally. Jobs in this field include: group worker, family protection specialist, and family preservation worker.
The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree 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 Charleston include:
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Child and Family Services Worker Training
West Virginia State University - Institute, WV
West Virginia State University, Rte 25, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State University is a small university located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,347 students and an admission rate of 57%. West Virginia State University has a bachelor's degree program in Social Work which graduated twenty students in 2008.
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School Social Services and Attendance Officer
Licensing agency: West Virginia Department of Education
Address: State Capitol Complex, Building 6 Room 358, Charleston, WV 25305
Website: West Virginia Department of Education
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.