The author of this report is asked to focus on career descriptions and outlooks, twelve particular ones, and then describe which ones are most appealing to the author of this report. The careers, in the order that they will be mentioned, are child life specialist, early childhood intervention, adult protective services, court appointed special service, Head Start administrator/teacher, forensic interviewer, children's protected services, pregnancy center employee, adoption center employee, foster care parent or employee, women shelter employee and children's camp administrator. The choice of the most appealing careers to the author will follow the above and precede the conclusion.
Child Life Specialist
A child life specialist works within the pediatric field. They are typically part of a team that focuses on healthcare for children and/or teenage children. Child life specialists use playing, talking and art to connect and help children. These specialists will usually work in places like doctor's offices and private clinics but they can also be present in funeral homes, hospices and schools (Degree Directory, 2013).
The employment outlook for child specialists is improving as the overall number of jobs is increasing. However, the Mayo Clinic notes that the better concentrations of such jobs are in metropolitan and urban areas because children's hospitals are far and away the most common place where these positions exist. The average child specialist earns about $43,000 a year while the top and bottom 10% are around $35,000 and $54,000, respectively (Degree Directory, 2013)
Early Childhood Intervention
Like the child life specialist, early childhood interventionists typically work on a team. Their common points of contact are fellow providers and families with children in crisis or potential crisis. Providers that can be involved include occupational and physical therapists, social service providers and other medical personnel. Such a position requires at least a bachelor's degree with more advanced learning being highly advantageous (Personnel Directory, 2013)
The outlook for the early intervention specialist is extremely good because the need for qualified professionals is very high. Government grants are plentiful that help organizations hire and retain these professionals. Many agencies contract directly with school districts and this allows for a lot of upward and lateral movement from a career standpoint. Working in a daycare or similar environment that caters (implicitly or explicitly) to disabled children is a good idea to get a taste for what a career in this field would be like (Personnel Directory, 2013).
Adult Protective Services
Adult protective services falls under the social work dimension of the career workforce and social workers are in high demand in the United States. Adult protective services personnel function much like the similar (but also different) area for children. There are some times and situations where adults are unable to care for themselves due to disease or age or a combination of the two. Adult protective services help protect adults that are vulnerable so that they do not get themselves hurt or fall victim to the neglect or abuse of others (BLS, 2013)
The outlook for social workers is very high. The increase in positions open for social work-oriented positions is expected to be roughly 25% from 2010 to 2020 which is higher than average. The current amount of positions in the broader social work field is 650,000 but it is expected to rise by 161,200 over the current decade. Work experience and on-the-job training is not typically needed and the median pay for social workers in general is a shade over $20 an hour in the United States, which comes out to about $42,000 a year (BLS, 2013)
Court Appointed Special Service
Court-appointed special service personnel, also commonly referred to as advocates, serve a special purpose in society. These are personnel that are appointed by judges to watch and care for as well as watch out for the best personal interests of children that are savagely abused or neglected by parents, guardians or other people responsible for a child. Such a person often stays involved, directly or indirectly, with the child until the case is adjudicated and finished out by the court (CASA, 2013).
As for the career outlook for this field, paid positions would generally fall under the social work moniker mentioned above. However, many groups and people that engage in this necessary and needed work are volunteers, such as those made available by organizations such as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), who work in a strictly volunteer basis and do not receive any remuneration (CASA, 2013).
Head Start Administrator/Teacher
Head Start administrators and/or teachers would fall under the broader rubric of preschool and other early learning centers and their employees and the outlook for that field is quite good. The average work experience in the field is usually quite narrow to none when first starting to entry into the field is not hard to pull off. Good traits to have include leadership, critical decision making and handling conflict. Their main task is to plan and arrange both academic and non-academic activities for preschool and childcare children. Head Start in particular provides early life educational assistance for children of poor families and is at the mercy of funding levels from the government (Recruiter.com, 2013)
Administrators can make a decent lifting as a school administrator with the median salary hovering at or above $50,000 in some states and around $30,000 in other states. Cost of living has a lot of bearing on that, of course. The overall number of positions has been flat for much of the last decade but it is predicted to spike quite a bit between now and 2018, just five years from now, with total employment going from the low 40,000 range to more than 60,000. The biggest gains are seen coming in Vermont, Arkansas, New York and Colorado, with 25+ percent growth in all of them with Vermont expecting a 50% growth on its own (Recruiter.com, 2013).
A forensic interview will quite often be someone in the forensic psychology field. Forensic psychologists use psychological principles in the criminal justice system and this would obviously hold true for any such person (or in a similar role) that is conducting an interview. Forensic interviews would do interviews for situations surrounding things like civil and/or criminal cases or anything else that involved legal proceedings such as family court and custody hearings (BLS, 2013)
While the outlook is much stronger for psychologists in the industrial, organizational, and clinical/counseling arenas, psychology as a field is improving greatly across the board and this would benefit anyone that is seeking to be forensic interviewer and/or a forensic psychologist. The median pay for a psychologist in 2010 was $68,640 a year which is about $33.00 an hour. The number of psychology positions in 2010 was roughly 174,000 and that is expected to climb by more than a fifth (roughly 37,700) from 2010 to 2020. However, one major stumbling block to getting a job is that having doctoral education (i.e. beyond a graduate degree) is required to have truly good prospects. In other words, a PhD is considered a minimum to have a strong psychology career and BLS notes that a residency period is also typically advantageous or required as well (BLS, 2013).
Children's Protective Services
As noted above for the adult protective services job type, protective services personnel in general full under the social work umbrella. The different with child protection services is that the pool and possibility of victimhood is much higher as most adults are relatively self-sufficient and able to protective themselves but this is obviously not true for many children with children under five years old being the most susceptible to be abused and/or neglected by parents, guardians or other responsible parties. Child protective services personnel would typically work with local law enforcement to make a determination as to whether a child is in danger and how to deal with said child if/when removal from their current living situation is temporarily or permanently called for (BLS, 2013).
Also as noted above, the social work workforce in the United States is well north of half a million and is expected to be pushing a million by the end of the 2010's. When a requirement is called for, and it sometimes is not stipulated, is a bachelor's degree in social work but a master's in social work (MSW) is often called for depending on the applicable agency that is hiring and the position that is sought after. State licensure is also required in many cases although government agencies like child protective service collectives may make exceptions. However, this would not be common in a private sector social work environment (BLS, 2013)
People that work for or wish to work for pregnancy centers often fall under the same classification and type of person that works as a court-appointed special advocate as the job is sometimes volunteer in nature. However, there is paid work that exists for pregnancy center employees although the pay and benefits are often fairly low to none. Pregnancy centers can take…