Youth and Family Services Careers Information
Youth and family services is a division of social services, working specifically to strengthen families and communities. Through their hard work and dedication, youth and family service professionals ensure at-risk youths thrive in their environments.
Youth and Family Services Careers & Degrees
The U.S. departments of Health and Human Services Family and Youth Services Bureau targets at-risk populations such as runaways, homeless youth, victims of family violence, and children of prisoners.
All youth and family services support young adults through Positive Youth Development (PYD), which provides a supportive environment where youths can learn the necessary skills to become successful adults.
Youth and family services can be broken up into four basic programs that provide a variety of services targeted at the specific population listed above: the runaway and homeless youth program, the family violence prevention and services program, the mentoring children of prisoners program, and the abstinence education program.
Counselors, psychologists, social workers, aids, health educators, and administrators work within each of these categories to ensure that the appropriate services are available to the communities and individuals in need.
Youth and Family Services Careers Path
The educational requirements you will need differ depending on which field and position you want to enter.
For social and human service assistant positions, a high school diploma may suffice. Some employers may look for a candidate with relevant experience in the field.
If you’re looking for an entry-level position in social work, health education, and counseling, you will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
If your desire is to become a counselor, psychologist, or licensed social worker, a master’s degree will be required.
Youth and Family Services Careers: Compatible Personality Traits
Great verbal and written communication skills, compassionate, friendly, motivational. Strong leadership ability, and a love for helping others.
Youth and Family Services Careers: Salary Expectations
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded that the median annual salary in 2010 was $57,950.
Youth and Family Services Careers: Job Outlook
Employment of those working in social services is expected to increase by 27 percent over the 2010-2020 decade. This growth, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, will not be distributed evenly throughout the subsections.
The salaries and employment opportunities for professionals in youth and family services fluctuates greatly depending on specialty.
Other variables include education level, experience level, geographic location, and employment type, such as non-profit vs. government or federal agency.
Slightly Off the Footpath
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Social and Community Service Managers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm (visited February 17, 2013); acf.hhs.gov/programs