Working for child protection services can be very beneficial. However, this may be demanding and stressful too. Every state has different requirements for the job. Nevertheless, there are some similarities in the states.
Researching Job Requirements
Understand what Child Protective Services does. Child Protective Services (CPS) is not a regular 40-hour-week job. It may include overtime, irregular hours, the need to enter dangerous situations, etc. You may need to examine the allegations of neglect and remove children from their parents’ homes. You may need a police escort for some situations, and you probably will encounter those who are hostile towards you.
The caseworkers also coordinate the teams of service providers, employees and family members. As part of this teamwork, the families doing casework help navigate and reach government benefits.
Causeworkers may need to be present in court to testify. They may need to prepare court reports, assist lawyers with court proceedings, and co-ordinate the Witness Subpage.
CPS is huge as a caseworker with a job paperwork. About 40% of your time report and other necessary paperwork will be spent in documenting the facts by drafting it.
Research education requirements. Most CPS jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, usually in social work. With this degree, you will learn many relevant skills, such as how to manage customer’s intentions, crisis interference and how to manage the case. Some employees receive a master’s degree in social work.
You may also need to complete an internship as part of your educational needs. As part of the internship, students receive experience in supervised casework.
If you want to work in a big city like New York City, you will be advised to learn a foreign language. Applicants who have language skills in any other language (such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Bengali) will be attractive applicants because they are more easily serving families who do not speak English.
Check licensing requirements. You may need to become a licensed social worker before some states may be appointed by CPS. In other states, licensors may be optional. In order to find licensing requirements in your state, you should contact your state’s CPS and ask.
In addition, some states may only provide advanced licenses, such as licensed Master in Social Work (MSW).
See Job Description. The best way to understand job requirements is to see an actual job description. Job descriptions are posted regularly on the Internet. You can find job postings on most CPS websites.
For example, the Indiana Department of Child Services has a link to “Career with DCS”. When you click on it, you can select “Family Case Manager”. You will be taken to the inaugural list.
By writing “Child Protective Services” you can search for job opportunities on aggregator sites such as excit.com and then select the city or state you want to find.
Applying for a Job
Start one again. To apply for a job at CPS, you have to start again. Ensure that the resume highlights aspects of your experience that are relevant for employment in CPS: Your education, work experience and volunteer experience.
There are many sample resumes on the internet. If you have less than 10 years of experience, then you should try to keep your resume under one page in length. If you have 10 or more years of experience, then you can consider starting two pages again.
Apply for jobs. The way you apply it will depend on the CPS department you are applying for. Some CPS departments will require that you fill out a paper application. Others can request that you create a profile in an online jobs center and complete an electronic application. However, it may be necessary for other people to send you a cover letter and a resume email.
Interviews for posts. After applying for a position, the interview committee or person who works with the decision to hire, will review all the applications and will likely call in a small number of applicants for the interview. The purpose of a job interview is to allow a potential employer to inspect your abilities and to find out if the job corresponds to your credit and career goals. You can prepare for the interview:
Do research in the CPS department. Try to know about the office as soon as possible. If you have done internships or voluntarily before, then be prepared to talk about your experience and how it makes you qualified for the job.
Getting Organized Print additional resumes of your resume or cover letter Carry them in a clean folder.
Practice with a friend. You should come up with a list of questions that you think CPS will ask you and then practice answering a friend or with a mirror. Focus on your speaking style and mannerisms. You want to be confident and relaxed.
Prepare for a job interview for more suggestions.
Be persistent. You can not get the first job for which you apply. This does not mean that you are not eligible to work for CPS. Rather, it means that a person has applied for a job with better qualification or connection and has received it on you.
If you have not got a job, you want to take informal follow-up action with someone on the Interview Committee and ask what you can do to strengthen your application. Do not argue about why you did not get the job you applied for. Instead, focus on the next job and stay ahead.
If someone shares insights about increasing your credibility, be sure to thank them. They can remember you when new jobs are opened.
Remove vulnerabilities in your resume. If you have received feedback about the intervals or weaknesses in your resume, then you should address them to strengthen future applications. If you have not got a social work degree, you may need to do additional coursework in that area. Or, if you have no experience working with families and children, then you may need to get something.
For example, as you gain experience, you can volunteer in a CPS for better understanding of day-to-day job duties. In Texas CPS, more than 3,000 volunteers contribute 135,000 hours per year to volunteer service.