If you are a naturally caring and compassion person, then you might dream of a career where you can help others on a day to day basis. You might also be interested in working with children, which can be intensely rewarding for the right candidate.
A child protective service worker has to be dedicated, kind and resilient, but the work is incredibly fulfilling. If you are ready to begin a career in protective services, here is your guide to getting started.
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree Online
For even an entry-level career in this field, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in one of several related subjects. The majority of protective service workers will have a social work degree, but that is not your only option. Potential majors include psychology, child development or sociology. Thanks to the rise of Internet education, potential students no longer have to attend lectures at a busy college campus in order to earn their degree.
You can choose to study your degree online through an accredited online college, which means that you watch lectures on your own time and according to your own schedule. This is perfect for busy students, those with jobs or those who also have families to care for during the day.
Step 2: Gain Internship or Clinical Experience
One of the most important steps in becoming a protective service worker for children is getting some kind of hands-on experience in the field. Even if you opt for an online degree, you will eventually have to spend time in a job-related setting. The length and scope of your clinical experience or internship will vary greatly depending on your preferences, and it could range from a week-long full-time rotation in a child protection agency to a one-year job with an adoption agency.
Step 3: Become Licensed or Registered in Your State
It is important to remember that before you can officially start your career as a child protective service worker, you will have to become licensed or registered in whatever state you want to find employment. This generally involves an exam to test your knowledge in the field, and it may also include a background check or criminal record check. This ensures that those who work closely with vulnerable children have clean records and the best interests of the child at heart.
Step 4: Have the Right Traits Needed to Succeed
Even if you have everything that it takes to succeed on paper, remember that not everyone is the right fit for this kind of career. Protecting and advocating for children can be mentally and emotionally draining, even when it is for a good cause. The best child protective service workers will be detail-oriented, organized, compassionate, kind and caring.
If you want to have a career that makes a difference, working in child protective services could be the perfect fit.