The growing need nationwide for those with expertise in child and family studies has led to a rapid expansion in the number of jobs available for college graduates. Working adults who complete their bachelor’s degree specializing in this critical field enjoy various career options.
Those careers span many work environments, including child care services, nursing homes, community centers, schools, and counseling services. While job duties vary by employer, child and family workers always focus on working with families to strengthen parenting skills, prevent child neglect and abuse, and connect people in need with services that improve their lives.
For professionals motivated to play a vital role in lifting up the lives of those who need support, Merrimack College’s online Bachelor Degree Completion Program with a specialization in Child and Family Studies can help them achieve their career goals.
The Importance of Advocates for Children and Families
Workers entering the child and family studies field continue a long tradition of providing help to those in danger of getting left behind. The impact they can make on the lives of children and their parents is powerful. In many cases, people simply need guidance on the information and resources available to help them change the direction of their lives.
Choosing this career also protects children. Typically working for a government agency or nonprofit organization, child and family workers identify children living in homes where they are neglected or abused, removing them from these situations. Much of their work focused on disadvantaged communities where life can become dangerous for children and parents alike.
The Child and Family Services field is more a calling than a career. These jobs attract “compassionate, dedicated individuals” who “help strengthen families and promote the well-being of children.”
Child and Family Studies Jobs
Students completing a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in child and family studies can choose from many potential careers. Indeed recently compiled a list of potential child and family studies jobs graduates with a bachelor’s degree in the field can pursue:
- Child care provider. They work for employers who provide childcare. Duties include preparing meals, providing activities, and helping with homework.
- Youth advocate. Youth advocates work to better the lives of the children they work with, helping them in areas like schoolwork or preparing for adulthood.
- Nursing home activities director. They plan activities for nursing home residents that keep them physically and mentally active, including games, crafts, and bringing in special speakers.
- Family advocate. Family advocates work with parents and adults to ensure that the needs of their children are a priority. They also determine if options such as foster care or family therapy are needed.
- Victim advocate. They work with crime victims, providing them with the crisis intervention and emotional support they need. They may also testify in court.
- Family support worker. Family support workers determine if a family or individual is eligible to receive state or federal assistance.
- Social services assistant. They connect people with the necessary community services, including psychology and rehabilitation.
- Social worker. Working with children and families is one of the fastest-growing areas in social work.
A Specialization in Child and Family Studies
Merrimack College offers an online bachelor degree completion program for working adults ready to finish their degrees and boost their careers. The online program allows them the flexibility to schedule classwork around personal and professional responsibilities.
Child and Family Studies is one of a half dozen specializations in the program. The others are Business Studies, Communication Studies, Health and Wellness Studies, Leadership Studies, and Psychology Studies.
All students complete core courses in the degree completion program. They then focus on their chosen specialization. In the case of child and family studies, courses include:
- Child, Growth and Development (0-8)
- Family and Community Engagement
- Social Policies and Human Services in the Community
- Child Psychopathology and Treatment
- Administration of Early Childhood Programs
- Developing Social Maturity and Emotional Competency in Youth Foundations of Social Emotional Development
- Leadership and Human Resource Development in Early Childhood Programs
- Early Childhood Curriculum Instruction and Assessment
For working professionals who want to dedicate their career to improving the lives of the most vulnerable members of society, including children, earning an online bachelor’s degree with a specialization in child and family studies takes them one step closer to fulfilling their career aspirations.