If you have chosen to become an adoption social worker, you are on a wonderfully challenging and rewarding career path! You will play an integral part in helping adoptive families build healthy relationships with each other and with their communities. You will have the pleasure of supporting them through their struggles and witnessing their successes. You are probably now curious about exactly which types of jobs you might have within this field. Read this article to find out!
1. Contracted Adoption Social Worker
One option is to work at the very beginning of the adoption process. Both public and private agencies will hire you to help them match adoptive parents with biological parents and children. You will assist parents with preparing paperwork, communicate with the agency and biological parents, and support them in making crucial decisions. You will connect them with resources for adoptive families to help both parents and children adjust to their new lives. You will support biological parents in coping with the process and acquiring services designed to help them with this.
2. Pediatric Social Worker
Many adopted children are being treated for physical and or psychiatric struggles throughout the adoption process. You can specialize in assisting children and families with navigating this difficult aspect of the adoption process. You will support families in securing and attending medical services, as well as transferring birth and medical records. These are difficult burdens for families to manage alone, so this role is crucial.
3. School-Based Social Worker
Older adoptive children often have to switch schools or districts. Many adoptive children experience behavior and learning problems as a result of emotional trauma and adjustment. Educators rarely understand how to meet their unique needs within the school system, and this is where you come in to help. You serve as a liaison between the family and the school to make sure schools meet children's unique needs and families have as smooth of transitions as possible. You will help families access available school, district, and community resources available for adoptive students.
4. Post Adoption Support Specialist
A fourth option is to be a resource locator for families adjusting to their new lives post adoption. You will work extensively with individual families to connect them with the specific social work services mentioned above. This is great if you want to take a holistic approach to adoption social work and track a family's overall adjustment. ChildWelfare.gov posted this descriptive guide to understanding everything families need post adoption.
5. Policy Advisor
All phases of the adoption process are guided by policies and procedures. If you are interested in designing and implementing these policies and procedures and participating in the continual improvement of the adoption system, this would be a great job for you. This is a great fit if you care a lot about the population of adoptive families but prefer to work behind the scenes.
Adoption social work is a diverse field, and adoptive social workers have a wide array of jobs to choose from. If you are just starting to explore the field, visit this page at Indeed.com to explore many different possibilities across the country. You can find a way to help adoptive families that matches your own personality, goals, and passions.