Employment Outlook & Career Guidance for Child Abuse Counselors

Child Abuse EmploymentThe latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor project that the increase in positions as a Child Abuse Counselor will increase by 11% between the years of 2012-2022. Although this is slightly less than the average for other counseling positions (12% growth was projected); the Occupational Data Handbook had a positive outlook for Child Abuse Counselors when the socio-economic factors were integrated. The expected rise in the growth rate above 11% was partially due to an enlarged population base; society’s increasing utilization of counselors for handling emotional and behavioral issues; as well as the growth of the health-care industry which depends upon Child Abuse Counselors for cases requiring specialized assistance. The National Child Abuse Hotline is a not-for-profit organization which supplies the only hotline with crisis counselors available 24/7.

Dr. Sara Beckett, Psy.D. an administrator with the company, says that in the United States 4-7 children die daily from child abuse.

As an Administrator employed by the National Child Abuse Hotline, I am privy to statistics which indicate a growing need for qualified Child Abuse Counselors. Last year there were 3 million child abuse reports involving approximately 6 million children. These numbers are not dissipating.

What Types of Positions Can a Child Abuse Counselor Hold?

Types of employment a Child Abuse Counselor can secure are greatly determined by the educational degrees which are held and the definitive standards in the state in which they reside. For example, some states allow counselors holding a master’s degree to work in state government positions; others require a doctorate. Although the requirements are varied, most states require licensure of the counselor.

Private Practice: A Child Abuse Counselor can establish a private practice, when state requirements have been satisfied. Private practice allows the counselor to work with the child from a holistic standpoint since more than likely a family member or guardian will have sought the professional assistance. The counselor will be in an environment of their choosing and have control over their work schedules. Counselors in private practice may accommodate their clients and work evenings and/or weekends. Although market factors will be an influence, private practice gives the counselor freedom to set their own fees.

One thing to consider with regards to going into private practice is the fact that the private practitioner will be doing much more than counseling; they will be running a business in every sense of the word. Together with the American Counseling Association, Anthony Centore, PhD, LMHC created a resource seminar for counselors considering opening a private practice. He feels quite strongly that counselors realize the business aspect of owning a private practice.

If you hate business, think about joining an agency. It is shocking to me how many counselors I meet that want to start their own practice who will outright tell me they hate business. Your practice is a business!” - Dr. Anthony Centore, Ph.D.,LMHC: “The Thrive Center” Virginia Office

Government Employment

State Children’s System: Departments of Behavioral Health: Every state government has agencies designed specifically to handle child welfare issues. For example, in the state of Alabama the Children’s Health System offers various types of positions for Child Abuse Counselors. Duties include outpatient and inpatient counseling services to children, adolescents and their families. When necessary the counselor may function as an instructor, trainer and provider of supervision for other personnel.

Social Worker: Counties employ counselors to handle cases where child abuse has been established or is suspected. There are a variety of settings where Child Abuse Social Workers are typically employed: mental health clinics, schools, child welfare, human service agencies, and county hospitals. They generally work full-time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Private Hospitals: Psychiatric Emergency Departments of private Medical Centers employ on-call Child Abuse Counselors to respond to emergency situations arising from their trauma centers.

Private Schools: Private schools hire Child Abuse Counselors to diagnose and advise with regards to pupils they suspect to be at risk.

Junior College Instructor: Many junior college classes are taught by instructors which hold a master’s degree. A Child Abuse Counselor with a master’s degree in Child Abuse Counseling would be able to seek work in those particular community colleges.

Ways for Child Abuse Counselors to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate

  1. Before interviewing familiarize yourself with the hiring organization. Consult any available internet articles; during the interview a wisely timed comment regarding an award or public recognition the company received might set you apart from other interviewees.
  2. Be sure and prepare yourself for a panel interview. Imagine the questions the panel will ask you and how you will respond. Practice answering the questions in a way that exudes confidence. Let your answers flow; avoid sounding rehearsed; and be concise and to the point.
  3. Make sure you have your list of questions organized so that you appear self-assured in your inquiries.
  4. Arrive early and take a few moments to relax.
  5. Take notes during the interview; employers will sense that you are a serious applicant and appreciate your saving important points for later review.
  6. Be professional yet friendly; show that you are someone who would be a positive addition to their workforce.
  7. Follow up the interview with an appropriate email or thank you note.

Writing on behalf of the American Counseling Association (ACA), author Rebecca Daniels-Burke encourages counselors to be in control of their career outlook. She writes,

  • “Counseling graduates ARE getting good jobs. But it is taking longer. Adjust your expectations.”
  • “People aren’t leaving the lower level jobs as quickly as they used to. Adjust your expectations.”
  • “Speak with family and friends, explain the situation. They need to adjust their expectations.”
  • “If you can, enjoy some free time, soon enough you will be working. Manage your expectations.

The latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor project that the increase in positions as a Child Abuse Counselor will increase by 11% between the years of 2012-2022. Although this is slightly less than the average for other counseling positions (12% growth was projected); the Occupational Data Handbook had a positive outlook for Child Abuse Counselors when the socio-economic factors were integrated. The expected rise in the growth rate above 11% was partially due to an enlarged population base; society’s increasing utilization of counselors for handling emotional and behavioral issues; as well as the growth of the health-care industry which depends upon Child Abuse Counselors for cases requiring specialized assistance. The National Child Abuse Hotline is a not-for-profit organization which supplies the only hotline with crisis counselors available 24/7.

Dr. Sara Beckett, Psy.D. an administrator with the company, says that in the United States 4-7 children die daily from child abuse.

As an Administrator employed by the National Child Abuse Hotline, I am privy to statistics which indicate a growing need for qualified Child Abuse Counselors. Last year there were 3 million child abuse reports involving approximately 6 million children. These numbers are not dissipating.

What Types of Positions Can a Child Abuse Counselor Hold?

Types of employment a Child Abuse Counselor can secure are greatly determined by the educational degrees which are held and the definitive standards in the state in which they reside. For example, some states allow counselors holding a master’s degree to work in state government positions; others require a doctorate. Although the requirements are varied, most states require licensure of the counselor.

Private Practice: A Child Abuse Counselor can establish a private practice, when state requirements have been satisfied. Private practice allows the counselor to work with the child from a holistic standpoint since more than likely a family member or guardian will have sought the professional assistance. The counselor will be in an environment of their choosing and have control over their work schedules. Counselors in private practice may accommodate their clients and work evenings and/or weekends. Although market factors will be an influence, private practice gives the counselor freedom to set their own fees.

One thing to consider with regards to going into private practice is the fact that the private practitioner will be doing much more than counseling; they will be running a business in every sense of the word. Together with the American Counseling Association, Anthony Centore, PhD, LMHC created a resource seminar for counselors considering opening a private practice. He feels quite strongly that counselors realize the business aspect of owning a private practice.

If you hate business, think about joining an agency. It is shocking to me how many counselors I meet that want to start their own practice who will outright tell me they hate business. Your practice is a business!” - Dr. Anthony Centore, Ph.D.,LMHC: “The Thrive Center” Virginia Office

Government Employment

State Children’s System: Departments of Behavioral Health: Every state government has agencies designed specifically to handle child welfare issues. For example, in the state of Alabama the Children’s Health System offers various types of positions for Child Abuse Counselors. Duties include outpatient and inpatient counseling services to children, adolescents and their families. When necessary the counselor may function as an instructor, trainer and provider of supervision for other personnel.

Social Worker: Counties employ counselors to handle cases where child abuse has been established or is suspected. There are a variety of settings where Child Abuse Social Workers are typically employed: mental health clinics, schools, child welfare, human service agencies, and county hospitals. They generally work full-time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Private Hospitals: Psychiatric Emergency Departments of private Medical Centers employ on-call Child Abuse Counselors to respond to emergency situations arising from their trauma centers.

Private Schools: Private schools hire Child Abuse Counselors to diagnose and advise with regards to pupils they suspect to be at risk.

Junior College Instructor: Many junior college classes are taught by instructors which hold a master’s degree. A Child Abuse Counselor with a master’s degree in Child Abuse Counseling would be able to seek work in those particular community colleges.

Ways for Child Abuse Counselors to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate

  1. Before interviewing familiarize yourself with the hiring organization. Consult any available internet articles; during the interview a wisely timed comment regarding an award or public recognition the company received might set you apart from other interviewees.
  2. Be sure and prepare yourself for a panel interview. Imagine the questions the panel will ask you and how you will respond. Practice answering the questions in a way that exudes confidence. Let your answers flow; avoid sounding rehearsed; and be concise and to the point.
  3. Make sure you have your list of questions organized so that you appear self-assured in your inquiries.
  4. Arrive early and take a few moments to relax.
  5. Take notes during the interview; employers will sense that you are a serious applicant and appreciate your saving important points for later review.
  6. Be professional yet friendly; show that you are someone who would be a positive addition to their workforce.
  7. Follow up the interview with an appropriate email or thank you note.

Writing on behalf of the American Counseling Association (ACA), author Rebecca Daniels-Burke encourages counselors to be in control of their career outlook. She writes,

  • “Counseling graduates ARE getting good jobs. But it is taking longer. Adjust your expectations.”
  • “People aren’t leaving the lower level jobs as quickly as they used to. Adjust your expectations.”
  • “Speak with family and friends, explain the situation. They need to adjust their expectations.”
  • “If you can, enjoy some free time, soon enough you will be working. Manage your expectations.

Ways for a Child Abuse Counselor to Increase His/Her Salary

Education: If you have a Bachelor’s Degree, enroll in a (child abuse counseling) Master’s Degree program. If you hold a Master’s Degree move forward and obtain a Ph.D. The highest paying jobs in the country in this field are held by those with advanced degrees. Also, some employers have a pay scale requiring them to compensate you for furthering your education.

Consult: Those who specialize in one aspect of child abuse can find work as a consultant to many organizations that need the expertise but are not hiring additional employees. The fee is negotiated between the counselor and the company; consulting fees typically take into account travel expenses and other consulting related costs.

Become an Expert Witness: Law firms that specialize in civil litigation requiring expert testimony will commonly hire one expert for their trials. They develop a working relationship with the expert and this facilitates procedures inherent in the legal process.

Court Appointed expert witnesses are also hired to evaluate and or testify for the case at bar. These Child Abuse Counselors are appointed by the judge or magistrate and in essence work on behalf of the state.

Government Contracts: Child Abuse Counselors in private practice have the option of seeking out contract work from the state or local governments. The counselor does not work as a state employee; but rather as a sub-contractor.

Education: If you have a Bachelor’s Degree, enroll in a (child abuse counseling) Master’s Degree program. If you hold a Master’s Degree move forward and obtain a Ph.D. The highest paying jobs in the country in this field are held by those with advanced degrees. Also, some employers have a pay scale requiring them to compensate you for furthering your education.

Consult: Those who specialize in one aspect of child abuse can find work as a consultant to many organizations that need the expertise but are not hiring additional employees. The fee is negotiated between the counselor and the company; consulting fees typically take into account travel expenses and other consulting related costs.

Become an Expert Witness: Law firms that specialize in civil litigation requiring expert testimony will commonly hire one expert for their trials. They develop a working relationship with the expert and this facilitates procedures inherent in the legal process.

Court Appointed expert witnesses are also hired to evaluate and or testify for the case at bar. These Child Abuse Counselors are appointed by the judge or magistrate and in essence work on behalf of the state.

Government Contracts: Child Abuse Counselors in private practice have the option of seeking out contract work from the state or local governments. The counselor does not work as a state employee; but rather as a sub-contractor.