A child welfare worker spends his or her time providing a wide range of services to children who are in need. From disabled children to homeless kids, there is much diversity in the socioeconomic groups that child welfare workers work with. The main goal of a child welfare worker is to assess a child's individual needs, followed then by making sure those needs are met through a variety of appropriate services. If you are interested in becoming a child welfare worker, you are probably wondering what type of degree you will need to earn.
Social Work Degree
Pursuing a degree in social work is one of the best ways to become a child welfare worker. For most job positions in this field of work, a bachelor's degree will suffice; however, with a more advanced degree you will notice increased job opportunities as well as an increase in your salary. You will definitely want to pursue a master's degree or doctorate degree if you are interested in a being a child welfare supervisor or seeking a teaching position.
Some states will mandate that you have a degree in social work to become a child welfare worker; however, some will allow you to obtain a degree in another major. Some of the more popular majors include elementary education, family studies and political science. If you choose to earn a degree in another field of study, keep in mind that you will lose a competitive edge and will not be as marketable to employers. In fact, you may have to end up pursuing a completely different career path than that of a child welfare worker.
Types of Social Work Degrees
No matter the degree program you take part in to become a child welfare worker, you will most likely have to take part in supervised fieldwork. In addition, the following applies:
– If you choose to take part in a bachelor's program, you will have to complete four years of study. The program can be completed online or at a traditional campus. Your fieldwork will of course be completed through some type of entry-level position.
– If you choose to take part in a master's program, you will first have to complete a bachelor's program. Your master's program will take an additional two years to finish. Like a bachelor's program, you can complete the master's program online or at a traditional campus. Your fieldwork will focus more on research methods and theories, and it will most likely be in an upper-level position.
– If you choose to pursue a doctorate degree in social work, you will first have to earn both your bachelor's and master's. In addition, you will have to complete 3200 hours of clinical work under the supervision of a licensed clinical social worker. Once again, you can finish your coursework either online or through a traditional campus.
No matter the level of degree that you earn to become a child welfare worker, you will want to make sure that you are a social work major. If you want to specialize in a certain field of study, this will be extremely valuable and can lead to a higher salary, but your main area of study needs to be social work.