A social work practice helping children and families offers unique challenges and tremendous rewards.

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Once you’ve answered the initial call to pursue a social work career, you might be ready to consider a specialization in the field. If you’ve found that working with children and families is particularly fulfilling, focusing on foster care might be the right next step for you.

Earning a Master of Social Work degree can help you develop the specialized skills you need to help children and families create and maintain healthier, happier home situations. And you can help those family members to become more productive contributors to their communities.

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Here are five great reasons to choose a career in foster care:

  1. You care about the welfare of children and families, and you want to help them. You want to have a positive impact on children and on your community, and you understand that if it’s not you who reaches out, then who will? Learn how one Walden University graduate has changed the lives of foster children in his community.
  2. Getting paid to help people change their lives for the better is like getting paid twice. When you do meaningful work that you love, you’re earning much more than a paycheck. You’ll also be nourishing a healthy, positive sense of self and earning the respect and admiration of your professional peers and the community.
  3. You enjoy being challenged. Few jobs offer so many opportunities to exercise your critical-thinking, communication, and relationship skills. There are an enormous number of moving pieces to consider and juggle, from the legal issues of child protection to treatment options to educating parents and prospective foster families. A big part of the job is working smoothly with a variety of public welfare officials, service providers, school systems, and police officers. When you work in foster care, you’ll be establishing and maintaining a wide network of professionals to help the children and families in your care.
  4. The profession needs you. There are many career opportunities in foster care, from social worker to manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for all social workers is projected to grow 16% between 2016 and 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 14% during that same time period.
  5. You enjoy investing in longer-term goals. Children need safety, a long-term care plan, and a sense of permanence in their lives. You can help them achieve this through a commitment to your education and your community.

When you’re ready to commit to your educational and professional goals, consider an online social work degree program. At Walden University, you can continue working in your current position while pursuing your BSW, MSW, or PhD in Social Work. Walden’s online MSW program offers four specializations, including Social Work With Children and Families.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online social work degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-1

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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