What does this field involve?
This area of social care involves being around children pretty much all the time, a lot of whom are from troubled families and underprivileged backgrounds. Therefore, it’s safe to say that if you don’t like children, this line of work is probably not going to be up your street.
It can be challenging and upsetting at times, but it can be massively rewarding to know that you’re making a difference to the lives of children and their families. A graduate job in this field can be a tremendously satisfying experience, if you have what it takes.
What do I need to work with children & families?
It’s all about providing valuable care and support for children and their families, in order to improve the quality of their lives.
If you pursue a career in this area, you might be working as a support worker for children in care, or leading counselling sessions for families that are on the verge of breaking up. Alternatively, you might be supporting children and families that are going through the process of fostering or adoption.
Spending your working hours supporting struggling families and disadvantaged youngsters is a challenging and extremely emotional environment to work in. You’ll have to be utterly selfless, non-judgemental, patient, and above all, you’ll need exceptional communication skills. A lot of your time will be spent listening to people’s problems before determining what can be done to help.
Most employers will be looking for candidates who have some experience of working in social care. Why not get involved with volunteering schemes? It could be a great starting point for getting into this line of work.
What will I be doing in this field?
One of your main responsibilities will be analysing and evaluating the various social problems that are having an impact on the lives of children and their families.
This involves talking to service users, listening to their problems and establishing what needs to be done to improve their situation. The next step would be to act on this and devise programmes of support that will help them, whether it’s suggesting a youth club for children or arranging a relationship counsellor for the parents.
To a certain extent, this line of work crosses over into the world of youth work. For instance, you might be supporting teenagers that are in trouble with the police.
While this area of work can be incredibly harrowing and emotional, and may require you to have a seriously thick skin, as you could be the one of the few things holding a family together and keeping it from falling apart at the seams. Therefore, you’d be making an unbelievable difference to a lot of people – especially the most vulnerable of us all, children.