Investigate cases and find supportive homes for abused or neglected kids.
What does a Child Welfare Caseworker do?
As any Dickensian Factory Worker can attest to, life as a child can be hard. Though child labor laws have improved, many of the problems faced by orphans in the 1830’s are, unfortunately, still big problems some kids have to deal with today.
A Child Welfare Caseworker’s job is to improve the lives of kids who are abused, neglected, or facing other problems. The biggest issues Child Welfare Caseworkers deal with are child abuse (whether sexual, verbal, or physical) and neglect. They usually work for Child Protective Services, and get assigned to a case when they get called. CPS gets called whenever the police has a domestic violence case on their hands, or when someone, like a Teacher, suspects child abuse. If you’re a Child Welfare Caseworker, you talk with the child and parents to discover what the issue is, and then depending on the seriousness of the problem, you can remove the child from the home. You find and screen potential foster parents, and then provide them with financial and social support when they take on new cases.
Other issues you deal with include homelessness (especially among runaway teens), drug, alcohol or gang problems, and truancy (that’s when someone doesn’t go to class). This is a rough job and it can take its toll on the people who do it. But don’t worry, it’s not all sad. You also help with adoptions, and in the case of child abuse, you serve as the one stable adult whom kids can rely on until they find a happy home to join. So you’ll find satisfaction in knowing that, in spite of the many rough patches you have to face in this career, you’re also instrumental in bringing happy endings to the traumatic journeys a lot of kids go through in their young lives.