People who are interested in a job in social services typically have traits of compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, and a strong sense of social justice – they want to help others and be of service. A social worker isn’t in it for the money but, instead, for the reward they receive in seeing those they help overcome life’s many challenges and obstacles.
Fortunately, the job outlook is good for social workers, with a projected growth rate of 11% through 2028. If you’re interested in a social worker career path, it often requires extensive schooling, especially if you plan to achieve licensure. Only a bachelor’s degree is required for some social workers, but clinical social workers need a master’s degree with two years of supervised training after graduate school. Different states have different regulations and requirements for licensure as well.
Below are five positions to consider if you’re interested in social services jobs.
By 2030, approximately 20% of U.S. residents will be older than 65, or retirement age. With the aging population comes a need for resources and support for that population. A gerontology social worker helps seniors move through some of the physical and mental challenges that come with aging. Through this type of support, seniors can better sustain living independently and participating in activities that interest them.
Crisis therapists often work in a clinical setting, such as a hospital or medical facility, and support those considered to be in a crisis. They often deal with individuals with suicidal ideation, substance abuse issues, and overdoses, as well as those who might be threatening to harm others. A crisis therapist has to be able to think quickly to resolve crisis issues and provide effective crisis intervention solutions.
A child welfare social worker supports families and children who have been abused or neglected. They have the challenging task of determining if a child should remain in their home or be placed elsewhere as part of the foster care system. They serve as a child advocate to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. A child welfare social worker often works for county and state health and human services departments.
A family therapist supports families in working through challenging life scenarios, such as divorce, substance abuse, and the death of a family member. Similar to social workers, they serve as a child advocate to ensure the safety and wellbeing of youth. Depending on state regulations and requirements, a family therapist is either a licensed family and marriage counselor (LMFT), a licensed social worker (LSW), or a licensed mental health counselor, often referred to as an LPC (licensed professional counselor) in some states.
A probation officer supervises individuals who are sentenced to probation by a court and works to help rehabilitate offenders. They partner with social services, law enforcement, child protective services, and other agencies to support their clients. Different from the other social services positions shared in this post, a degree in criminal justice is a good place to start to become a probation officer.
There are several career paths you can take in the social services sector. Crisis therapist, family therapist, social services manager, social work counselor, probation officer, parole officer, and social worker are just a few of the positions you’ll find posted on iHireSocialServices.