There are many different career paths that allow a person to use their professional talents and skills to make the world a better place. One such field that certainly falls into this category is that of human services.
A career in human services by nature is one where one works directly with individuals within the community who are in need of a helping hand. There are those who are at risk from a young age and need an advocate to help them grow up in a safe and secure environment, and there are some who are in need of assistance to get their lives back after experiences with substance abuse.
Being able to work towards such goals can be an incredibly challenging yet rewarding line of work. Moreover, those wishing to pursue a career in human services have a wide variety of jobs that they can choose from.
If you have decided to earn your degree in human services and are looking into the different jobs available in the field, here are a few of the more popular options for you to consider.
While most of the roles that exist within the field of human services have some component of working directly with those who need assistance, the job of a caseworker is one that is particularly focused on such things. In this role, you would be handling cases of individuals who are struggling in their current circumstances.
As a caseworker, you would most likely be responsible for conducting visits to the homes of the people you have been assigned to work with to check in on their progress. Your job would also involve a component of education as you would look to help those you work with understand the best ways to lead healthier, safer lives.
Bear in mind the fact that the job of a caseworker can often be emotional and challenging. However, the work that you would be doing day in and day out would make a truly positive difference in the lives who need help the most.
In order to become a caseworker, you would need to first earn a bachelor’s degree in health and human services. While not always required for certain positions, there are some positions for caseworkers that you would want to earn your master’s degree for.
2. Substance Abuse Counselor
There are also many roles in the field of human services that have a component of mental health workers as well. The fact of the matter is that those who struggle with things like substance abuse are in need of mental health counseling as well as practical information about how to cope with such struggles. This is where the job of a substance abuse counselor comes in.
Your first priority when you are given a new case is to establish where a person is at in their recovery journey. This part of the job is going to be unique to each individual you work with. You will need to work with your patients to come up with a treatment plan that will provide them with the best chances for finding success.
The work of a substance abuse counselor isn’t over when a certain treatment plan is completed. Rather, you will be checking in with them periodically to ensure that they have stayed on the right path and are no longer in need of the type of intervention you provide.
3. Social Worker
The job of a social worker, while similar to that of a caseworker, is much more involved. In fact, there are so many components to this job that require a wide knowledge base and a particular set of skills that those who wish to become a social worker will need to complete their master’s degree.
In addition to offering information and counseling to patients in need of assistance, social workers also deal in public policy and governmental regulations to bring about more positive outcomes for their patients. Social workers must oversee a variety of tasks each and every day, and their advanced education is designed to allow them to meet those challenges with confidence.
There is a growing need for qualified and dedicated social workers in communities across the country. For this reason, there is a great deal of job security for this particular position in human services. This means that it is highly likely that you would be able to find employment as a social worker in your own community to work to make a positive difference in an area that is close to home.
4. Child Advocate
Those who want to use their training in human services and their job as social workers to actively assist children living in unsustainable or unsafe situations to find safe and secure homes should consider pursuing a career as a child advocate. This is an important job wherein your responsibilities would involve working with children who are to be placed in new homes through adoption or foster care.
This line of work can be incredibly challenging but rewarding at the same time. It requires a firm knowledge of your state’s legal regulations with regard to adoption and foster care, as well as the innate ability to recognize when a certain situation isn’t right for a particular child. You would be called upon to speak in court so as to help bring about better results on behalf of the children you are working for. When all is said and done, your work as a child advocate will allow you to make a real difference in the lives of children who have no one else to act on their behalf.
Child advocates are social workers, so in order to pursue this line of work, you would have to earn your master’s degree. The knowledge and skills that you would obtain through the right degree program would help you to assume this role with confidence so that you can advocate for at-risk children in challenging circumstances.