A Family Specialist performs social work for families in need. They are focused on helping individuals and families to improve their lives.

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Family Specialist Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real family specialist 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.
  • Complete family assessments and supervise visit documentation for family DHS worker and also for court hearing purposes.
  • Co-Facilitate state require GPS: MAPP training for prospective adoptive parents.
  • Do MAPP trainings with potential foster and adoptive parents to assist them to make an inform decision.
  • Assess the families' capacity to protect their children, and ensure compliance with the DHS safety plan.
  • Develop deep trust and credibility through empathy, integrity, compassion and consistently providing sound advice and helpful support.
  • Conduct pet meet-and-greet sessions with potential adopters.
  • Advocate for responsible pet ownership through community outreach.
  • Mediate conflicts between patients, handle medical emergencies, assist patients in developing and implementing positive and cooperative living skills.
  • Used evidence base practices; including treatment plans, documenting treatment progress, TF-CBT, CBT and DBT.
  • Schedule interviews with clients as necessary for re-evaluation of Medicaid benefits.
  • Provide thorough documentation according to government and medicaid standards for therapy sessions in monthly reports.
  • Work closely with special education personnel with career transition planning and IEP development.
  • Co-Facilitate DBT groups for adolescents providing psycho-education in distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills.
  • Complete risk assessments and develop comprehensive intervention plans to address safety, communication, and problem solving abilities.

Family Specialist Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, family specialist 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 specialist?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of family specialist opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 81,200.

On average, the family specialist annual salary is $40,115 per year, which translates to $19.29 an hour. Generally speaking, family specialists earn anywhere from $31,000 to $51,000 a year, which means that the top-earning family specialists make $26,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a family specialist, 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 a case worker, protective service specialist, family support worker, and family service worker.

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Family Specialist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 22% of Family Specialists are proficient in Social Work, Foster Care, and Substance Abuse. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Emotional skills, and Problem-solving skills.

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

  • Social Work, 22%

    Provided social workers with letters declining and/or accepting clients cases as well as termination letters making recommendations for families after intervention.

  • Foster Care, 11%

    Provide clinical intervention and supervision visitation between biological parents and their children who are currently placed in foster care.

  • Substance Abuse, 7%

    Provided substance abuse counseling to families and monitored caseloads after completing intake assessments, screenings and enrolling families in treatment programs.

  • Crisis Intervention, 7%

    Provided behavior modification, counseling, and crisis intervention services to adolescents with mental illness in an intensive residential facility.

  • Child Abuse, 6%

    Court documentation* Drug and alcohol screening* Individual/Family counseling* Extensive case loads* Daily documentation* Marital counseling* Conflict resolution* Boundaries* Child Abuse education/reporting

  • Community Resources, 5%

    Worked collaboratively with case workers on case plans and provided culturally acceptable community resources for families of diverse backgrounds.

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Some of the skills we found on family specialist resumes included "social work," "foster care," and "substance abuse." We have detailed the most important family specialist responsibilities below.

  • Communication skills can be considered to be the most important personality trait for a family specialist to have. According to a family specialist resume, "clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives" family specialists are able to use communication skills in the following example we gathered from a resume: "determined financial assistance through verbal communication by interviewing customers along with conducting family assessment plans. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling family specialist duties is emotional skills. According to a family specialist resume, "social workers often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations." Here's an example of how family specialists are able to utilize emotional skills: "provide case management and mental health services for children and adolescents who face emotional, behavioral and learning disabilities. "
  • Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for family specialists to have. This example of how family specialists use this skill comes from a family specialist resume, "social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "helped create energy and excitement around apple products and provided the right solutions to get products back into customers' hands. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "interpersonal skills" is important to completing family specialist responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way family specialists use this skill: "social workers need to be able to work with different groups of people" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical family specialist tasks: "co-facilitated dbt groups for adolescents providing psycho-education in distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness skills. "
  • Yet another important skill that a family specialist must demonstrate is "organizational skills." Social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a family specialist who stated: "maintain full accountability for handling all aspects of family services operations in accordance with organizational goals. "
  • See the full list of family specialist skills.

    We've found that 64.7% of family specialists have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 17.5% earned their master's degrees before becoming a family specialist. While it's true that most family specialists have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight family specialists did not spend the extra money to attend college.

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

    When you're ready to become a family specialist, you might wonder which companies hire family specialists. According to our research through family specialist resumes, family specialists are mostly hired by Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, Rose Hills Mortuary, and Service Corporation International. Now is a good time to apply as Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth has 33 family specialists job openings, and there are 13 at Rose Hills Mortuary and 11 at Service Corporation International.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, family specialists tend to earn the biggest salaries at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Wells Fargo, and King County. Take Brigham and Women's Hospital for example. The median family specialist salary is $51,757. At Wells Fargo, family specialists earn an average of $51,506, while the average at King County is $50,354. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on family specialist salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire family specialists from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include Apple, Youth Villages, and Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious family specialists are:

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    What Case Workers Do

    Caseworkers are social workers who watch over the welfare of underprivileged individuals and at-risk families by counseling and providing them with assistance. Usually employed under the government or a local non-profit organization, a caseworker must conduct a thorough interview and house visits to determine the needs of the family. They then refer them to any programs or agencies that can give them the specific care and help needed. Furthermore, it is crucial to identify neglect and abuse signs, reporting them to the authorities right away.

    In this section, we compare the average family specialist annual salary with that of a case worker. Typically, case workers earn a $1,344 higher salary than family specialists earn annually.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both family specialists and case workers positions are skilled in social work, foster care, and substance abuse.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a family specialist responsibility requires skills such as "social services," "child development," "family support," and "provide technical assistance." Whereas a case worker is skilled in "patients," "customer service," "intake assessments," and "mental illness." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Case workers tend to make the most money in the education industry by averaging a salary of $40,730. In contrast, family specialists make the biggest average salary of $55,461 in the technology industry.

    The education levels that case workers earn is a bit different than that of family specialists. In particular, case workers are 5.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a family specialist. Additionally, they're 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Protective Service Specialist?

    Protective Service Specialists provide information to individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency through child support services and employment opportunities. Most of these specialists recommend family services include parenting education, drug counseling, and financial base services. They review applicant documentation to determine eligibility for federal and state aid programs, including food stamps, Medicaid, and emergency assistance. Also, protective service specialists assist families with the resources that can help resolve the issues that risk the children's placement. They may even provide staff supervision about referrals obtained to ensure that they meet the criteria for services and intervention.

    Next up, we have the protective service specialist profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a family specialist annual salary. In fact, protective service specialists salary difference is $10,178 higher than the salary of family specialists per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of family specialists and protective service specialists are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "social work," "foster care," and "substance abuse. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real family specialist resumes. While family specialist responsibilities can utilize skills like "child abuse," "child development," "family support," and "provide technical assistance," some protective service specialists use skills like "aps," "criminal justice," "adult protective," and "collateral contacts."

    On average, protective service specialists earn a higher salary than family specialists. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, protective service specialists earn the most pay in the government industry with an average salary of $51,289. Whereas, family specialists have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $55,461.

    On the topic of education, protective service specialists earn similar levels of education than family specialists. In general, they're 1.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Family Support Worker Compares

    A family service worker is a social service agent who assesses the needs of family and promotes wellbeing, social justice, and human rights through governmental and social service agencies. Family service workers offer services that can include counseling and mediation to families that will help them navigate the protocols of the social system. They act as liaisons between families facing problems and different government organizations. Family service workers also ensure that families in need are getting the benefits they are entitled to, as well as help them access various community resources.

    The family support worker profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of family specialists. The difference in salaries is family support workers making $1,908 lower than family specialists.

    While looking through the resumes of several family specialists and family support workers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "social work," "foster care," and "substance abuse," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from family specialists resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "child abuse," "social services," "provide technical assistance," and "family therapy." But a family support worker might have skills like "family services," "behavior management," "protective services," and "excellent organizational."

    Additionally, family support workers earn a higher salary in the government industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $40,316. Additionally, family specialists earn an average salary of $55,461 in the technology industry.

    Family support workers typically study at lower levels compared with family specialists. For example, they're 5.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.5% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Family Service Worker

    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.

    Family service workers tend to earn a lower pay than family specialists by about $2,441 per year.

    While their salaries may vary, family specialists and family service workers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "social work," "foster care," and "substance abuse. "

    Each job requires different skills like "social services," "family support," "family therapy," and "at-risk youth," which might show up on a family specialist resume. Whereas family service worker might include skills like "protective services," "family services," "rehabilitation," and "criminal justice."

    Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The government industry tends to pay more for family service workers with an average of $40,197. While the highest family specialist annual salary comes from the technology industry.

    The average resume of family service workers showed that they earn similar levels of education to family specialists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 4.3% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.5%.