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  1. #1
    navigating HongDou's Avatar
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    Default Breaking Out of Social Work?

    Hey guys! It's been a while. Quick update on my life - I've been working in the field of child welfare for almost 4 years now after graduating with my BS in psychology and I just got into grad school to get my master's degree in mental health counseling (so I can eventually get my LMHC). I plan on working while attending school because I can't afford to go to school full time, but I'm ready for a much needed career change and need some advice on where to look.

    I loved working with youth in foster care. I felt like I was really empowering them, making therapeutic relationships with them, and giving them the confidence to get their lives together. But working there was SO underpaid (I was only getting $36k and the only way that was remotely livable was living with 3 other roommates). The hours were crazy, as there were multiple occasions I was at a hospital until 1 AM with a child voicing suicidal thoughts. I knew if I kept working there I would never be able to manage school on top of that. So I turned to preventive services where I worked with families to help prevent their children from being placed in the foster care system in the first place. However, I'm realizing that came at the cost of doing what I really loved, which was counseling and doing work around clients' behaviors and emotions. Now I'm a pure social worker, mostly working with the families (not with a parent or child individually) on referring them to the right medical services they need. And while I'm making more money, I'm still basically living paycheck to paycheck without really saving any money because I moved in with my boyfriend to a nicer area of the city. Plus, in the grand scheme of things it's still a meager amount of money to live off of ($42k). I get to work from home 3 days a week because my office is far out in another borough, but I find that flexibility isn't worth the small wage and the stress that comes with knowing I'm potentially liable for these medically fragile families. So I'm realizing this job is not going to be sustainable (emotionally and physically) to get through grad school either.

    I want to be somewhere where the hours are more solid like a 9-5 and also that pays AT LEAST $50k so I can start putting more money in my savings account. But because child welfare is such an underfunded industry, I know it's not worth looking for anymore positions there with the experience that I've had. But the problem is I feel I've boxed myself into social work and don't know who else will take me going forward. So basically I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas on where I could look for new job opportunities with my job experience and level of education. Thanks in advance to whoever reads all this lol
    7w6 - 2w3 - 9w1 so/sx

    有时候有时候 there are times, there are times
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    相聚离开都有时候 meeting and leaving, there are times
    没有什么会永垂不朽 there is nothing that endures eternally
    可是我有时候 but sometimes I
    宁愿选择留恋不放手 would rather choose to linger and not let go
    等到风景都看透 until all the scenery has been seen through
    也许你会陪我看细水长流 maybe you'll accompany me to watch the stream flow


  2. #2
    Senior Member Tina&Jane's Avatar
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    You might try looking into schools or hospitals. I know you need specific certifications to work in schools as a social worker or counselor, but depending on where you live you might be able to earn decent money working as a school paraprofessional while you're getting your masters. The hours would also be much better and you'd still be working with kids.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Yuu's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I have no advice.

    I just wanted to say that the way you guys are treated is awful. What you do is greatly needed, admirable work and it’s greatly under appreciated.

    Good luck.
    " Do something, even if it's wrong."

    " I don't wanna have to but I will, if that's what I'm supposed to do
    We don't wanna set up for the kill, but that's what I'm 'bout to do."
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  4. #4
    Remember, Humanity. A Radiant Dawn's Avatar
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    Best of luck.
    Always forward, never back!

    "I always love talking to people and hearing their story. People always have a good life story to tell ya know?"

    Today is the beginning, and tomorrow is the beginning of everything else.

    March on, life's too grand to let things get you down for long. It's a beautiful place and we're so blessed to be here.

    I am a person of fortune and I must seek my fortune.


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  5. #5
    navigating HongDou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina&Jane View Post
    You might try looking into schools or hospitals. I know you need specific certifications to work in schools as a social worker or counselor, but depending on where you live you might be able to earn decent money working as a school paraprofessional while you're getting your masters. The hours would also be much better and you'd still be working with kids.
    I have thought about schools actually. I think my main reservation with them is that NYC public schools are horribly organized so I didn't want to subject myself to that, but maybe I'm being too picky since child welfare isn't much better lol. If they offer more money I think that's what I'm most concerned about, although I'm doubtful haha. I'll still definitely check out some positions though to see what's out there.

    Also it's not necessarily that I liked working with kids more (when I get my LMHC I'm hoping to work with adults), but the downfall of my current job compared to my last is that now I have to communicate on a group level more and I can't focus on individual clients as much because I have to tend to the whole family unit. Although working with kids did feel very fulfilling. Thank you for the help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu View Post
    Unfortunately, I have no advice.

    I just wanted to say that the way you guys are treated is awful. What you do is greatly needed, admirable work and it’s greatly under appreciated.

    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by A Radiant Dawn View Post
    Best of luck.
    Thank you guys
    7w6 - 2w3 - 9w1 so/sx

    有时候有时候 there are times, there are times
    我会相信一切有尽头 I will believe that everything has an end
    相聚离开都有时候 meeting and leaving, there are times
    没有什么会永垂不朽 there is nothing that endures eternally
    可是我有时候 but sometimes I
    宁愿选择留恋不放手 would rather choose to linger and not let go
    等到风景都看透 until all the scenery has been seen through
    也许你会陪我看细水长流 maybe you'll accompany me to watch the stream flow

    Likes Tina&Jane liked this post

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