Careers Working with Abused Children

Children are among the most vulnerable members of society, and this article focuses on professionals that may work with abused children. Learn more about careers in this field, including salary and job growth information.

Career Options for Working with Abused Children

Some abused children may suffer from physical assaults and are identified because of their physical injuries. Other abused children may suffer from psychological abuse that may cause them to act inappropriately or lose interest in school or friends. Below are occupations that help abused children to cope with life struggles and changes.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Job Growth* (2014-2024)
Pediatricians $168,990 10%
High School Teachers $58,030 6%
Lawyers $118,160 6%
Registered Nurses $68,450 16%
Police and Detectives $61,600 4%
Child, Family and School Social Workers $43,250 6%
Forensic Science Technicians $56,750 27%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Working with Abused Children


Pediatricians are professionals who have earned a medical degree and completed a residency and internship to specialize in the medical care of children. They work with all individuals under the age of 18, and perform regular health checks to ensure that their patients are developing normally. Since pediatricians work with children they may be amongst the first to identify medical signs of abuse or neglect, and may help determine if an injury is the result of abuse.

High School Teachers

Teachers work with children during the school year, and since they observe children on a regular basis they may help identify warning signs that suggest a child is being abused. High school teachers may have teens in their classes who have been abused and have been placed in foster care. Besides teaching in their specialized subject, high school teachers alert other school staff, such as principals and school counselors, when they have concerns about a student's performance or if they become aware of abuse. High school teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree and if they teach in the public school system they must also have a teaching license.


Lawyers may work with abused children to pursue legal action on their behalf. They may represent a child in a court proceeding or help them take legal steps to protect themselves from further abuse. For example, lawyers may help abused children convince the court that they should not continue living with an abusive parent. Lawyers are required to have a law degree and a law license.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses must have a nursing license and a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in nursing. They provide direct medical care to patients. Registered nurses who work in emergency rooms may be likely to observe children who have injuries they suspect are the result of abuse. Some nurses also work in schools. Nurses in these environments may help identify abuse victims and help document and treat their injuries.

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives may be involved with the investigation of alleged child abuse. They may question suspects, and they may also interview a child to help determine what has happened to them and who is responsible. If someone is charged, police and detectives may also testify in court. The training requirement for police and detectives vary; they need to complete academy training, and some law enforcement agencies prefer applicants with a degree.

Child, Family and School Social Workers

Child, family and school social workers need to have a bachelor's degree. They focus on helping people in their community. Those who work in schools may be in regular contact with children who have been abused. Social workers may also be involved in responding to assertions of abuse or neglect in the community, and they may be involved in removing a child from the care of an abusive parent.

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic science technicians must earn a bachelor's degree to work in this field. They are involved in recovering evidence from crime scenes, and may also process that evidence in laboratories. Those who are working on a case that involves child abuse may need to take a child's fingerprints or DNA as part of the evidence related to the case. Their work can play an important role in ensuring that criminals, including child abusers, are identified and prosecuted.

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