Social workers specializing in family services help to improve living situations, strengthen relationships, and build bridges to community resources that can facilitate long-term positive change. They address not only the needs of children whose living situations are stressful, but the needs of the family as a whole. Some experts in the field employ a system called family preservation services, where emphasis is placed on keeping families intact rather than moving children out of the home and into the foster care system.
Crisis intervention, family therapy, and coordination of benefits are just a few of the services that family social workers provide. While this field can be challenging and stressful, specialists can enjoy the knowledge that they are making a positive impact on family environments, relationships, and overall well-being.
Typical Roles and Responsibilities of Social Workers in Family Services
Many responsibilities of a family service social worker are similar to those of a child welfare specialist. Tasks might include:
- Conducting in-home assessments and providing intervention when needed
- Helping families to access benefits and aid programs
- Providing family counseling and education regarding healthy communication and coping skills
- Assisting families to integrate in their communities
Family social work careers are often found in government agencies and may include case management or clinical social work positions. In addition, specialists may find positions in community clinics or mental health agencies.
Looking for an open position? Check out our social work job board.
The average salary for family social workers is around $46,000. School systems and local governments are among the highest-paying industries for specialists in the field, with average wages reaching more than $60,000 per year.
Education & Experience Requirements
Clinical social work licensure is a valuable asset for those seeking employment in the family services field. Graduates of accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work can seek licensure – a master’s in social work is preferred in many settings. Individual states may require particular courses or certifications for family services positions; find information on your state’s requirements here.