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Become A Foster Care Worker

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Working As A Foster Care Worker

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $42,350

    Average Salary

What Does A Foster Care Worker Do

A Foster Care Worker helps improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families as well as increases the family's well-being and the academic functioning of children. They counsel families about issues regarding their child's care and develop healthy living situations.

How To Become A Foster Care Worker

Although most social workers need a bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in the state in which they practice.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the most common requirement for entry-level positions. However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology.

A BSW prepares students for direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. These programs teach students about diverse populations, human behavior, social welfare policy, and ethics in social work. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship.

Some positions require a master’s degree in social work (MSW), which generally takes 2 years to complete. Master’s degree programs in social work prepare students for work in their chosen specialty by developing clinical assessment and management skills. All programs require students to complete a supervised practicum or an internship.

A bachelor’s degree in social work is not required in order to enter a master’s degree program in social work. Although a degree in almost any major is acceptable, courses in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended. Some programs allow graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work to earn their master’s degree in 1 year.

In 2015, there were more than 500 bachelor’s degree programs and more than 200 master’s degree programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

Some universities offer doctoral programs in social work, where students can earn a Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) or a Ph.D. Most doctoral programs in social work require students to have a master’s in social work and experience in the field. Many doctor’s students go on to work as postsecondary teachers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states have licensure or certification requirements for nonclinical social workers. Requirements vary by state.

All states require clinical social workers to be licensed. However, some states provide exemptions for clinical social workers who work in government agencies. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work and a minimum of 2 years of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass a clinical exam to be licensed.

Because licensing requirements vary by state, those interested should contact their state board. For more information about regulatory licensure boards by state, contact the Association of Social Work Boards.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Clients talk to social workers about challenges in their lives. To effectively help, social workers must be able to listen to and understand their clients’ needs.

Empathy. Social workers 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. Being able to work with different groups of people is essential for social workers. They need strong people skills to foster healthy and productive relationships with their clients and colleagues.

Organizational skills. Social workers must help and manage multiple clients, often assisting with their paperwork or documenting their treatment.

Problem-solving skills. Social workers need to develop practical and innovative solutions to their clients’ problems.

Time-management skills. Social workers often have many clients and administrative responsibilities. They must effectively manage their time to provide adequate service to all of their clients.

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72,605 Foster Care Worker jobs

A New Day, LLC
Norcross, GA
Therapist-Foster Care Population

$42,350 Estimated

Samaritas
Grand Rapids, MI
Foster Care Worker - Full Time, Grand Rapids

$42,350 Estimated

Great Lakes Caring
Toledo, OH
Campus Care Attendant - Foster Ave

$42,350 Estimated

Samaritas
Jackson, MI
Supervisor, Foster Care

$42,350 Estimated

Centene Corporation
Chicago, IL
Foster Care Liaison

$42,350 Estimated

Centene Corporation
Kankakee, IL
Foster Care Liaison

$42,350 Estimated

The Mentor Network
Lawrence, MA
Foster Care Caseworker

$42,350 Estimated

Samaritas
Ann Arbor, MI
Foster Care Worker, Full time , Ann Arbor, MI

$42,350 Estimated

The Children's Center of Wayne County
Detroit, MI
Clinician (Family)-Therapeutic Foster Care

$42,350 Estimated

The Mentor Network
New Bedford, MA
Foster Care Caseworker

$42,350 Estimated

Centene Corporation
Rockford, IL
Foster Care Liaison

$42,350 Estimated

Centene Corporation
Aurora, IL
Foster Care Liaison (Clinical)

$42,350 Estimated

The Mentor Network
Auburn, MA
Foster Care Caseworker

$42,350 Estimated

Atria Senior Living
Foster City, CA
Memory Care Caregiver - Atria at Foster Square

$47,430 Estimated

Easter Seals
Joliet, IL
Foster Care Case Manager

$30,370 Estimated

Families Especial, Inc.
Brownsville, TX
Foster Care Case Manager

$30,830 Estimated

Ohioguidestone
Berea, OH
Foster Care Case Manager

$30,830 Estimated

Unitedhealth Group
Richmond, VA
Licensed Behavioral Health Care Advocate - Foster Care - Telecommute in Richmond, VA

$42,350 Estimated

Samaritas
Grand Rapids, MI
Foster Care Team Lead - Full Time, Social Work, Grand Rapids, Masters Preferred

$42,350 Estimated

The Mentor Network
Mobile, AL
Foster Care Case Manager

$30,830 Estimated

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Real Foster Care Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Foster Care Social Worker The National Center for Children &Amp; Families Bethesda, MD Sep 01, 2014 $55,000
Foster Care Social Worker The National Center for Children & Families Bethesda, MD Jun 27, 2012 $55,000
Therapist-Treatment Foster Care The Martin Pollak Project, Inc. Baltimore, MD Aug 31, 2012 $48,000
Foster Care Social Worker SCO Family of Services New York, NY Aug 03, 2009 $45,000
Foster Care Social Worker SCO Family of Services New York, NY Aug 26, 2009 $45,000
Foster Care Social Worker Guardians of Love, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 23, 2010 $44,400
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Top Skills for A Foster Care Worker

ChildAbuseIndividualServicePlansTreatmentPlansCrisisInterventionServicesPermanencyPlanningCourtReportsMentalHealthServicesWeeklySupervisionCommunityResourcesBiologicalParentsFamilyCourtHearingsBirthParentsFamilyServicesBiologicalFamiliesDcfsSocialWorkersSubstanceAbuseTreatmentBirthFamiliesCourtProceedingsSocialServices

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Top Foster Care Worker Skills

  1. Child Abuse
  2. Individual Service Plans
  3. Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Investigated any alleged child abuse, prepared court reports, testified in court proceedings and conducted audit peer review of records.
  • Develop comprehensive treatment plans or Individual Service Plans for each assigned child/adolescent.
  • Develop goal and treatment plans, referred to as Appraisal, Needs & Services Plan.
  • Provided crisis intervention services to foster families and biological families.
  • Participate in Family Group Conferences to strengthen family involvement in permanency planning.

Top Foster Care Worker Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Foster Care Worker

  1. Lutheran Social Services
  2. First Home Care
  3. New Alternatives for Children
  4. Pamela Bradford/Life Line
  5. Dockside Services
  6. Etowah County Department of Human Resources
  7. Department of Social Services
  8. Alamance County Government
  9. McDowell County Department of Social Services
  10. Youthville Detroit
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