Should I Become a Family Case Manager?
Family case managers work to help at-risk youths find families and stable home environments. They work with kids dealing with abuse, neglect, and drug addiction to find loving homes for them to live and thrive.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree in social services or related field. Master's or doctorate degree for career advancement.|
|Degree Field||Social services.|
|Experience||Working as a case worker.|
|Key Skills||Computer proficiency, good communication skills, ability to work with different cultures, setting personal goals, and mediation.|
|Salary (2015)||$37,157 per year (Median salary for case managers)|
Sources: PayScale, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Obtain a High School Degree
High school students consider psychology or education classes to prepare for advanced study. Students should also develop first-hand experience, such as volunteering at a public health clinic or mentoring children.
Step 2: Complete a Bachelor's Degree Program
A bachelor's degree is required to enter social services. Related programs are found in social work, sociology, psychology, and human services. Students are able to complete an internship and take classes in current societal issues, statistics, human behavior, and social science research.
Step 3: Gain Work Experience
Requirements to become a family case manager vary and depend on the work environment. For example, groups working with homelessness or victims of domestic violence prefer candidates with experience in those fields. Since case management involves traveling to meet with families, many positions require a valid driver's license and a flexible schedule.
Other common requirements include computer proficiency, good communication skills, and the ability to work with a variety of cultures. A family case manager provides clients with necessary resources to improve their day-to-day living and their future, which includes helping set personal goals or mediating family situations.
Step 4: Complete a Master's Degree Program
A master's degree in social work or a related field is required for some positions, especially those involving supervision and training other employees. Obtaining this degree is also required to obtain licensure as a social worker; however, not all positions in family case management require a license.
On-campus or online master's degree programs prepare candidates for a particular role in social work, such as clinical work or administrative leadership. They also provide more training in a certain area of need, such as mental health or child and family support.
Step 5: Consider Leadership Positions and Further Education for Career Advancement
Career opportunities for a family case manager are similar to those for other social work positions. After gaining experience working with clients, a family case manager can take a leadership position to contribute to policy management and other administrative goals.
Some social workers choose to open a private counseling practice. Similar to many social workers, a family case manager with a doctoral degree in social work is able to teach or research at the university level.