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Become A Domestic Violence Counselor

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Working As A Domestic Violence Counselor

  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Stressful

  • $41,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Domestic Violence Counselor Do

Social and human service assistants provide client services, including support for families, in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.

Duties

Social and human service assistants typically do the following:

  • Help determine what type of aid their clients need
  • Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
  • Help clients find assistance with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
  • Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to their clients in their communities
  • Coordinate services provided to clients
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Transport clients—for example, by driving them to appointments or to services within their community
  • Check in with clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately

Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.

Social and human service assistants help clients to identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the intended services and that the services are meeting their needs. They work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or other social and human service workers.

With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that the children live in safe homes. They help parents get the resources, such as food stamps or childcare, they need to care for their children.

With the elderly, these workers help clients stay in their own homes and live under their own care whenever possible. Social and human service assistants may coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help with the clients’ day-to-day needs, such as running errands and bathing. In some cases, human service workers help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to make a job more accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing and making meals.

For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also may find support groups for people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.

With veterans, assistants help people who have been discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as locating housing and finding ways to apply skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They may also help their clients navigate the overwhelming number of services available to veterans.

For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find the appropriate resources to help them cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they may find personal care services or group housing to help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves.

With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help the clients locate jobs and housing. They also may help them find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get various administrative paperwork in order.

With former prison inmates, human service assistants find job training or placement programs to help clients reenter society. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them start a new life for themselves.

With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing for their clients and locate places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also may help homeless people find resources to address other problems they may have, such as joblessness.

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How To Become A Domestic Violence Counselor

Requirements for social and human service assistants vary, although they typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers prefer to hire workers who have additional education or experience.

Education

Although a high school diploma is typically required, some employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work experience or education beyond high school. A certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject such as human services, gerontology (working with older adults), or social or behavioral science is common for workers entering this occupation.

Human service degree programs train students to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and handle people who are undergoing a crisis. Many programs include fieldwork to give students hands-on experience.

The level of education that social and human service assistants have completed often determines the responsibilities they are given. Those with a high school diploma are likely to do lower level work, such as helping clients fill out paperwork. Assistants with some college education may coordinate program activities or manage a group home.

Although postsecondary education is important, some employers may prefer or allow for applicants who have related work experience. In some cases, candidates may substitute such experience in place of postsecondary education. 

Training

Many social and human service assistants, particularly those without any postsecondary education, undergo a period of on-the-job training. Because such workers often are dealing with multiple clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, on-the-job training in case management helps prepare them to respond appropriately to the different needs and situations of their clients.

Advancement

For social and human service assistants, additional education is almost always necessary for advancement. In general, advancement to case management or social work jobs requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or a related field.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Social and human service assistants talk with clients about the challenges in their lives and assist them in getting help. These workers must be able to listen to their clients and to communicate the clients’ needs to organizations that can help them.

Compassion. Social and human service assistants often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Social and human service assistants must make their clients feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues. Assistants also need to build relationships with other service providers to become familiar with all of the resources that are available in their communities.

Organizational skills. Social and human service assistants often must complete lots of paperwork and work with many different clients. They must be organized in order to ensure that the paperwork is filed properly and that clients are getting the help they need.

Problem-solving skills. Social and human service assistants help clients find solutions to their problems. They must be able to listen carefully to their clients’ needs and offer practical solutions.

Time-management skills. Social and human service assistants often work with many clients. They must manage their time effectively to ensure that their clients are getting the attention they need.

Some employers require a criminal background check. In some settings, workers need a valid driver’s license.

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Domestic Violence Counselor Career Paths

Domestic Violence Counselor
Substance Abuse Counselor Therapist
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Therapist Case Manager
Senior Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Substance Abuse Counselor Therapist Clinician
Clinical Supervisor
8 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinician Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinical Social Worker Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Crisis Counselor Mental Health Counselor Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Crisis Counselor Mental Health Counselor Medical Social Worker
Senior Social Worker
6 Yearsyrs
Crisis Counselor Program Coordinator Lead Teacher
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Team Leader Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Alcohol And Drug Counselor Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Alcohol And Drug Counselor Mental Health Therapist Clinical Therapist
Clinical Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Alcohol And Drug Counselor Behavioral Specialist Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Family Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Domestic Violence Advocate Family Support Specialist Ambulatory Care Coordinator
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Domestic Violence Advocate Family Support Specialist Therapeutic Support Staff
Targeted Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Group Facilitator Adjunct Professor Superintendent
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Group Facilitator Mental Health Therapist Mental Health Case Manager
Housing Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Group Facilitator Outpatient Physical Therapist Program Supervisor
Assistant Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Advocate Mental Health Worker Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Juvenile Counselor 3.2 years
Service Counselor 2.7 years
Clinical Counselor 2.5 years
Court Advocate 2.3 years
Personal Advocate 2.3 years
Victim Advocate 2.2 years
Outreach Counselor 2.2 years
Advocate 2.1 years
Intake Counselor 2.1 years
Crisis Counselor 2.0 years
Shelter Advocate 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Domestic Violence Counselor
Internship 15.1%
Case Manager 10.4%
Counselor 9.1%
Volunteer 7.9%
Associate 3.4%
Advocate 2.3%
Top Careers After Domestic Violence Counselor
Case Manager 10.4%
Counselor 8.8%
Therapist 8.8%
Internship 7.9%
Volunteer 4.8%
Clinician 4.8%

Do you work as a Domestic Violence Counselor?

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Top Skills for A Domestic Violence Counselor

  1. Crime Victims
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Child Abuse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided domestic violence counseling and crisis intervention to abused women and their children in a confidential shelter setting.
  • Investigated assigned cases reported to the State of Florida concerning child abuse and neglect.
  • Answered crisis hotline and provided crisis management intervention.
  • Provided legal advocacy services, such as assisting clients with filling obtaining orders of protection.
  • Provided crisis intervention, safety planning, individual and group counseling, referral advocacy.

Domestic Violence Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

73.1%

Unknown

14.3%

Male

12.6%
Ethnicity

White

58.1%

Hispanic or Latino

20.0%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.1%

Portuguese

5.3%

French

4.3%

Armenian

2.1%

Thai

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Urdu

2.1%

Swahili

1.1%

Romanian

1.1%

Shona

1.1%

Hindi

1.1%

Hmong

1.1%

Bosnian

1.1%

Norwegian

1.1%

Croatian

1.1%

Braille

1.1%

Tagalog

1.1%

Serbian

1.1%

Czech

1.1%

Ilocano

1.1%
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Domestic Violence Counselor Education

Schools

Capella University

14.1%

University of Phoenix

11.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.4%

Liberty University

5.4%

Temple University

4.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

Walden University

4.7%

Adelphi University

4.7%

New York University

4.0%

Webster University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

Columbia University

4.0%

University of Illinois at Springfield

4.0%

Grand Canyon University

4.0%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.4%

University of California - Berkeley

3.4%

Roosevelt University

3.4%

Delaware State University

3.4%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.4%
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Majors

Social Work

21.8%

Psychology

13.0%

Mental Health Counseling

9.2%

Counseling Psychology

7.8%

Human Services

7.2%

School Counseling

7.0%

Criminal Justice

5.0%

Law

4.6%

Clinical Psychology

3.6%

Business

3.1%

Sociology

2.9%

Education

2.7%

Family Therapy

2.3%

Nursing

1.9%

Human Development

1.7%

Ethnic, Gender And Minority Studies

1.3%

Human Resources Management

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Public Administration

1.2%

Social Sciences

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

45.1%

Bachelors

26.0%

Other

10.9%

Doctorate

8.1%

Associate

5.3%

Certificate

3.8%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.3%
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