A family service worker is in charge of providing support services to families in a community, referring them to other agencies or programs as needed. They serve as the primary point of contact of family members, ensuring they maintain an active line of communication. Their responsibilities typically revolve around enrolling family members into social services programs, gathering and verifying information, maintaining databases, and assisting in all procedures, all while updating families for any progress. Furthermore, a family service worker needs to coordinate with other social workers to provide the most effective service.

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Family Service Worker Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real family service worker resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Help children/youth in state custody achieve permanency whether through reintegration, adoption or custodianship.
  • Practice motivational interviewing techniques to assist individuals in identifying personal hurdles in order to set goals and work towards rehabilitation.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with stakeholder (DSS staff, schools and community partners).
  • Integrate the individual support plan (ISP) objective into the individuals' daily schedule.
  • Provide courtesy interviews or conflict investigations for other county DSS.
  • Determine participants' eligibility for program by gathering data and maintaining information to ensure clients are compliant for TANF program regulations.

Family Service Worker Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, family service worker jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a family service worker?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of family service worker opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 81,200.

On average, the family service worker annual salary is $37,674 per year, which translates to $18.11 an hour. Generally speaking, family service workers earn anywhere from $28,000 to $49,000 a year, which means that the top-earning family service workers make $24,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a family service worker, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming an advocate, therapeutic support staff, child welfare specialist, and crisis intervention specialist.

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Family Service Worker Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 18% of Family Service Workers are proficient in Social Work, Foster Care, and Child Abuse. They’re also known for soft skills such as Emotional skills, Communication skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Family Service Workers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Social Work, 18%

    Interviewed, assessed, counseled, screened, and explained multiple social work programs and provided case management activities to clients.

  • Foster Care, 10%

    Coordinated supplemental in-home support services to foster care providers and relative care providers as required.

  • Child Abuse, 9%

    Reviewed and discussed information obtained by workers investigating suspected child abuse and neglect complaints to determine if allegations can be substantiated.

  • Protective Services, 5%

    File complaints/motions and testify in juvenile court regarding abuse/neglect cases and provide accommodations for continued protective services.

  • Mental Health, 5%

    Attended individual educational planning meetings, participated in family team meetings, and collaborated with mental health case managers and clinicians.

  • Court Reports, 4%

    Documented all casework activities and developed court reports for custody hearings and presented testimony when necessary.

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"social work," "foster care," and "child abuse" aren't the only skills we found family service workers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of family service worker responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a family service worker to have happens to be emotional skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that family service workers can use emotional skills to "used family crisis intervention techniques regarding emotional support, involved others in the process. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform family service worker duties is the following: communication skills. According to a family service worker resume, "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives." Check out this example of how family service workers use communication skills: "maintained contact and communication with the juvenile court officer of the assigned youth. "
  • Family service workers are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a family service worker resume: "social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "utilized exceptional communicative and interpersonal abilities to establish and maintain positive rapport with patients through crisis intervention and counseling. "
  • A family service worker responsibilities sometimes require "organizational skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment." This resume example shows how this skill is used by family service workers: "provided case specific court testimony crisis intervention skills used verbal skills organizational skills time management skills crisis intervention skills"
  • Yet another important skill that a family service worker must demonstrate is "problem-solving skills." Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a family service worker who stated: "advised family service worker i's on strategies for conflict resolution and resources for families in need of our services. "
  • See the full list of family service worker skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a family service worker. We found that 69.0% of family service workers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 13.1% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most family service workers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every eight family service workers were not college graduates.

    Those family service workers who do attend college, typically earn either a social work degree or a psychology degree. Less commonly earned degrees for family service workers include a sociology degree or a criminal justice degree.

    Once you're ready to become a family service worker, you should explore the companies that typically hire family service workers. According to family service worker resumes that we searched through, family service workers are hired the most by Texas, City of Norfolk, and Sheltering Arms. Currently, Texas has 23 family service worker job openings, while there are 11 at City of Norfolk and 8 at Sheltering Arms.

    If you're interested in companies where family service workers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Washington County, Prince William County, and A Second Chance. We found that at Washington County, the average family service worker salary is $48,334. Whereas at Prince William County, family service workers earn roughly $45,030. And at A Second Chance, they make an average salary of $44,970.

    View more details on family service worker salaries across the United States.

    For the most part, family service workers make their living in the non profits and government industries. Family service workers tend to make the most in the government industry with an average salary of $40,197. The family service worker annual salary in the education and professional industries generally make $39,919 and $39,528 respectively. Additionally, family service workers who work in the government industry make 9.8% more than family service workers in the health care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious family service workers are:

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    What Advocates Do

    An advocate is a voice for the voiceless. It is their responsibility to speak on behalf of an individual or a particular cause. Most of the duties will vary depending on the line of organization or duty involved; however, an advocate must have extensive knowledge or background on the subject matter. Furthermore, an advocate must be present at gatherings regarding the cause, assist in the negotiation and mediation processes involving contracts and legal documentation, provide or convey accurate information, and defend what they represent.

    We looked at the average family service worker annual salary and compared it with the average of an advocate. Generally speaking, advocates receive $1,823 higher pay than family service workers per year.

    Even though family service workers and advocates have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require child abuse, mental health, and crisis intervention in the day-to-day roles.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a family service worker responsibility requires skills such as "social work," "foster care," "protective services," and "court reports." Whereas a advocate is skilled in "cpr," "customer service," "developmental disabilities," and "cleanliness." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Advocates tend to make the most money in the government industry by averaging a salary of $40,536. In contrast, family service workers make the biggest average salary of $40,197 in the government industry.

    Advocates tend to reach similar levels of education than family service workers. In fact, advocates are 2.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.8% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Therapeutic Support Staff?

    A therapeutic support staff member specializes in providing guidance and counseling to individuals with emotional support needs, mainly children. They are primarily responsible for building rapport with clients while assessing their different conditions and needs. Through this assessment, therapeutic support staff can develop specific treatments in collaboration with mental health practitioners. One may directly work with schools, clinics, and other medical health facilities. Furthermore, it is essential to maintain all clients' records and monitor their progress, regularly updating the assigned physician or caseworker.

    The next role we're going to look at is the therapeutic support staff profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $3,588 lower salary than family service workers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both family service workers and therapeutic support staff are known to have skills such as "social work," "mental health," and "rehabilitation. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real family service worker resumes. While family service worker responsibilities can utilize skills like "foster care," "child abuse," "protective services," and "court reports," some therapeutic support staff use skills like "autism," "emotional support," "compassion," and "mental health interventions."

    On the topic of education, therapeutic support staff earn similar levels of education than family service workers. In general, they're 3.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Child Welfare Specialist Compares

    Child welfare specialists are professionals who are responsible for protecting children and youngsters from harm by visiting their homes and other residential facilities to investigate their living conditions. These specialists are required to determine the suitability of the homes and resources of foster and adoptive parents for child placement. They must serve as child advocates by attending court proceedings to provide inclusive court proceedings. Child welfare specialists must also work closely with local enforcement to ensure the safety of children.

    The third profession we take a look at is child welfare specialist. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than family service workers. In fact, they make a $12,703 higher salary per year.

    By looking over several family service workers and child welfare specialists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "social work," "foster care," and "protective services." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from family service workers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "child abuse," "child development," "rehabilitation," and "criminal justice." But a child welfare specialist might have skills like "child welfare," "adoptive parents," "law enforcement entities," and "dcfs."

    Interestingly enough, child welfare specialists earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $48,390. As mentioned previously, family service workers highest annual salary comes from the government industry with an average salary of $40,197.

    When it comes to education, child welfare specialists tend to earn similar education levels than family service workers. In fact, they're 4.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Crisis Intervention Specialist

    A crisis intervention specialist provides counseling services and intervention to patients in high-stress situations. Their responsibilities include conducting assessments to understand the clients' conditions, studying their medical histories and personal background, developing treatment plans, and regularly monitoring their behavior and progress. They may also coordinate with the patients' families or guardians, provide care advice, or refer patients to other specialists when necessary. Moreover, a crisis intervention specialist gives emotional support and guidance to patients, helping them deal with stress.

    Now, we'll look at crisis intervention specialists, who generally average a higher pay when compared to family service workers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $17,004 per year.

    While both family service workers and crisis intervention specialists complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like social work, mental health, and crisis intervention, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a family service worker might have more use for skills like "foster care," "child abuse," "protective services," and "court reports." Meanwhile, some crisis intervention specialists might include skills like "patients," "crisis stabilization," "triage," and "emergency services" on their resume.

    Crisis intervention specialists earn a higher salary in the professional industry with an average of $57,529. Whereas, family service workers earn the highest salary in the government industry.

    The average resume of crisis intervention specialists showed that they earn higher levels of education to family service workers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 11.1% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.8%.