Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Child and family social workers will be needed to work with families to strengthen parenting skills, prevent child abuse, and identify alternative homes for children who are unable to live with their biological families. In schools, more social workers will be needed due to rising student enrollments. However, employment growth of child, family, and school social workers may be limited by federal, state, and local budget constraints.
Students who hope to pursue people-oriented professions after graduation should gain some social service experience while they are still in school. Tutoring, volunteering at a teen drop-in center or a hospital, working as a camp counselor, and answering phones for a helpline can all be relevant experiences. If your goal is to work with some specific population -- troubled teens, the elderly, autistic children -- try to gain some firsthand experience with this population. In part, this will serve as a valuable credential when you apply for jobs or graduate training. It will also let you know if working with this population is as rewarding for you as you expect it to be. The Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC) , Center for Student Involvement , and Center for Civic Engagement are good sources of information about volunteer opportunities in Evanston and surrounding communities.