What does a Child, Family, and School Social Worker do?

Provide 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.

Jobs Roles

  • Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems to determine what services are required to meet their needs.
  • Counsel individuals, groups, families, or communities regarding issues including mental health, poverty, unemployment, substance abuse, physical abuse, rehabilitation, social adjustment, child care, or medical care.
  • Maintain case history records and prepare reports.
  • Counsel students whose behavior, school progress, or mental or physical impairment indicate a need for assistance, diagnosing students' problems and arranging for needed services.
  • Consult with parents, teachers, and other school personnel to determine causes of problems, such as truancy and misbehavior, and to implement solutions.
  • Counsel parents with child rearing problems, interviewing the child and family to determine whether further action is required.
  • Develop and review service plans in consultation with clients and perform follow-ups assessing the quantity and quality of services provided.
  • Collect supplementary information needed to assist client, such as employment records, medical records, or school reports.
  • Address legal issues, such as child abuse and discipline, assisting with hearings and providing testimony to inform custody arrangements.
  • Provide, find, or arrange 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.
  • Refer 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.
  • Arrange for medical, psychiatric, and other tests that may disclose causes of difficulties and indicate remedial measures.
  • Work in child and adolescent residential institutions.
  • Administer welfare programs.
  • Evaluate personal characteristics and home conditions of foster home or adoption applicants.
  • Serve 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.
  • Place children in foster or adoptive homes, institutions, or medical treatment centers.
  • Supervise other social workers.
  • Recommend temporary foster care and advise foster or adoptive parents.
  • Determine clients' eligibility for financial assistance.
  • Conduct social research.
  • Lead group counseling sessions that provide support in such areas as grief, stress, or chemical dependency.
  • Serve on policy-making committees, assist in community development, and assist client groups by lobbying for solutions to problems.
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