It is estimated that there are roughly six million children abused in the United States every year. These statistics become more staggering when you consider that five children a day die in abuse-related deaths. Approximately 80 percent of child abuse deaths are children younger than four years old, but there is something you can do to improve the situation.
The Role of Child Protective Services
Every state has some form of a government agency meant to help and protect children. Typically called Child Protective Services or Social Services, the dedicated people at these agencies will intervene in cases of abuse. They will assess the situation, intervene if necessary, and see that the families receive the support they need.
Providing services to children of all ages, they can intervene when a child is being intentionally physically injured, subjected to cruel or unjustifiable punishments, sexually abused or exploited or simply neglected to the point that they cannot grow and thrive. They can remove the child if the situation is deemed too dangerous, but they also put programs into place to help families cope and heal, so the children can remain with their parents.
Reasonable Wages for an Important Job
People working to protect children receive reasonable compensation, but most of them are drawn to these positions out of a desire to help people. Defined as a protective industry by the Bureau and Labor and Statistics, these people receive a median pay level of $42,000 annually. An important field, the need for caseworkers is expected to grow by 25 percent over the next decade.
Caseworkers deal with sensitive situations that are often very difficult. They are highly trained in addition to being passionate about protecting children. Most people in the field are required to have a master’s degree in social work to enter the field. However, you can get started with a bachelor’s degree and continue working on the master’s program over the course of your career.
The Chance to Save a Life
While not as glamorous as being a police officer or firefighter, a social worker has the chance to save lives just the same. It’s your chance to give something back to society and work to make it a little better. The emotional rewards that come with knowing you have made a child’s life better are far greater than monetary compensation or extensive benefits packages.
If you are passionate about helping people, then social work could be the proper path for you. It’s an opportunity to be a child’s hero and rescue from severe abuse or neglect. When possible, you can actually make things better for the entire family by putting important supports into place. While you won’t get rich in this line of work, you will always know that you are a young child’s savior.