Why We Love It
$46,610Potential Avg. Salary
6.2%Job Growth Rate
Growing DemandJob Outlook
Child and family social workers offer assistance to families in times of need. They may work to investigate or prevent child abuse, help families find assistance during periods of death, divorce, or loss of income, and provide families with support services designed to improve quality of life.
What is a Child and Family Social Worker?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in child and family social worker roles:
- Investigate or identify children and families in need of assistance
- Conduct counseling sessions with children and families to determine needs, problems, and inadequacies in care or living arrangements
- Refer families to services designed to improve quality of life, including mental health services, job placement services, and government assistance programs
- Conduct follow-up visits over a period of time to evaluate how children and families are progressing
- Investigate reports of abuse and provide recommendations after investigations are complete
A Day in the Life of a Child and Family Social Worker
Child and family social workers are primarily concerned with the health and well-being of children and families. They work with parents and families to ensure living situations and conditions inspire good physical and mental health for those under their care.
Child and family social workers may be called in to investigate and resolve a number of situations. If a teacher or caregiver suspects child abuse or neglect, a child and family social worker may be called in to investigate these suspicions. They evaluate living conditions, speak with children about their circumstances, and counsel parents on proper care for children. In extreme circumstances, social workers may recommend children are removed from the home and placed under alternative caregivers.
In other circumstances, child and family social workers act as support for children and families who are struggling with new life circumstances. They may work in cases where death of a parent, job loss, or recent divorce has left parents and families unable to care for themselves. In these situations, social workers refer families to services that can provide assistance, such as government programs, job placement services, or mental health providers.
Child and family social workers may also help parents struggling to deal with children suffering from mental or behavioral health issues. Social workers provide education, advice, and guidance designed to make the situation better for the entire family.
Typical Work Schedule for Child and Family Social Workers
Most child and family social worker jobs are full-time positions. While the majority of their work may be conducted during normal businesses hours, social workers may also be required to be available on evenings or weekends to meet with children and families in need.
Most child and family social workers are employed by government organizations like Child Protective services (CPS). However, child and family social workers may also find employment with hospitals, private counseling practices, nonprofit organizations, or foster care facilities.
How To Become a Child and Family Social Worker
The minimum requirement for finding work as a child and family social worker is a bachelor’s degree. While most aspiring child and family social workers pursue bachelor’s degrees in social work, psychology or sociology degrees may also be sufficient. Coursework in developmental psychology, grief counseling, and special education can be helpful while in college in order to be better prepared for the types of situations you’ll be faced with as a child and family social worker.
In addition to earning a degree, some states also require social workers to be licensed in order to practice as a social worker in the state. All states have different licensure requirement, so it’s important to check the laws of your state to determine what specific tasks you’ll need to complete. For example, some states only require a bachelor’s degree; others require a bachelor’s degree, a certain number of hours of supervised work experience, and passing a written exam to become licensed.
Some child and family social workers aspire to also become clinical social workers who can conduct counseling for children and families and diagnose mental and behavioral disorders. These social workers are usually required to have a master’s degree in social work in order to become licensed. Additional work to become licensed may also be required, such as additional supervised training hours and continuing education requirements.
Child and Family Social Worker Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Child and Family Social Worker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Child and Family Social Worker's can make an average annual salary of $46,610, or $22 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $33,790 or $16 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#430 Nationally for All Careers
Programs and Degrees
Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Child and Family Social Worker. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.
Highest Education Among Child and Family Social Workers
- 2.1% Doctorate
- 35.6% Masters
- 40.8% Bachelors
- 5.7% Associates
- 9.1% College
- 5.6% High School
- 1.2% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs305,200
2024 Est. Jobs324,200
Job Growth Rate6.2%
Est. New Jobs19,000
How does Child and Family Social Worker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 19,000 jobs for a total of 324,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#359 Nationally for All Careers
What Companies Employ The Most Child and Family Social Workers
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|State government, excluding education and hospitals||68,400||400||0%|
|Local government, excluding education and hospitals||56,500||2,500||3%|
|Elementary and secondary schools; local||31,000||1,800||2%|