Group Home Worker: A Career That Offers Challenges and Rewards
If you are interested in helping others learn basic life skills and live independently, you may find a career as a group home worker to be a fulfilling one. These workers are employed in a variety of private settings and play an important role in monitoring clients—from teenagers with behavioral problems to disabled seniors—and ensuring they get the care and guidance they need.
Because group homes—also called residential care facilities—care for people at different stages in life, and with a variety of conditions, a degree in psychology offers invaluable training and preparation for this type of work. A bachelor’s in psychology can:
- Help you understand individual and group behaviors
- Make you more aware of problem behaviors
- Teach you how to deal with and be persistent in difficult situations
- Help you initiate and carry out projects even when information and experience is lacking
A psychology degree can also prepare you for work in a field that is expected to grow, especially as baby boomers age. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 16% job growth for social and human service assistants through 2026, and a median annual income of $33,120.1
So, what will your day be like as a group home worker? Expect it to be challenging and rewarding. You will be both facilitator and teacher, and the possibilities are endless. You might be working with an elderly client who was left with a physical disability following an accident and who wants to regain their independence. You may find yourself working with clients who have a mental illness. Or perhaps you’ll work with teens who can’t live at home because of behavioral problems.
As a group home worker, your job is to monitor behaviors, resolve disagreements, if necessary, and possibly perform drug testing. You’ll also ensure there is clear communication between residents and law enforcement groups, families, and the community. Most important, you will help residents develop the skills they need to live independently. That covers everything from basic hygiene to work-related skills. And it means you might also have to provide transportation to appointments or job sites.
A bs in psychology degree provides a solid educational foundation for this kind of work and for future graduate studies. There are colleges for psychology throughout the U.S. One option to consider is an online psychology degree. By enrolling in an online program, you give yourself greater flexibility. You can take as many or as few courses as you want, do the work at home, and complete your studies according to your own schedule.
Walden, an accredited university, offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology program with concentrations in such areas as addictions, human services, and applied psychology. It’s a program that can help you start or enhance your career and have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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