Provides social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers.
This career is part of the Human Services cluster Family and Community Services pathway.
A person in this career:
- Maintains case history records and prepare reports.
- Interviews clients individually, in families, or in groups, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems to determine what services are required to meet their needs.
- Serves as liaisons between students, homes, schools, family services, child guidance clinics, courts, protective services, doctors, and other contacts to help children who face problems, such as disabilities, abuse, or poverty.
- Develops and reviews service plans in consultation with clients and performs follow-ups assessing the quantity and quality of services provided.
- Consults with parents, teachers, and other school personnel to determine causes of problems, such as truancy and misbehavior, and to implement solutions.
- Counsels parents with child rearing problems, interviewing the child and family to determine whether further action is required.
- Addresses legal issues, such as child abuse and discipline, assisting with hearings and providing testimony to inform custody arrangements.
- Arranges for medical, psychiatric, and other tests that may disclose causes of difficulties and indicate remedial measures.
- Refers clients to community resources for services, such as job placement, debt counseling, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, or financial assistance, and provide concrete information, such as where to go and how to apply.
- Provides, finds, or arranges for support services, such as child care, homemaker service, prenatal care, substance abuse treatment, job training, counseling, or parenting classes to prevent more serious problems from developing.
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