How Do You Become a Family Services Director?

Family ServicesTo become a family services director, you need to have strong management skills and an understanding of the social work field. These directors are the ones responsible for leading a major organization or department. They handle the financial needs of the organization, including finding grants from the government and soliciting donations from the public, but they also oversee various departments and those responsible for providing help and support to families. If you follow a specific path, you can reach your goal of working as a family services director.

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

One of the first things you need to do is enroll in an undergraduate program. The best degrees for those interested in working in this field are social work, education or business. Business programs often offer a large number of management classes, which will help you understand how to encourage others to work with you. Education courses are helpful for showing you how children think and act and how you need to act around those kids. Though many students enrolled in social work programs later work as social workers, you can also use that degree to work in family services.

Complete an Internship

Your undergraduate years give you a number of opportunities. You can make friends that will be in your life for years to come, form professional relationships with professors and take courses that prepare you for the future, but you can also do an internship. Look for internships available with Child Protective Services and other government agencies. These internships will help you gain a better understanding of the stresses associated with the job and how those working in the field work with their clients.

Finish Your Master’s

To become a family services director, you often need a graduate degree in addition to your bachelor’s degree. Social work is one good area to study, but you can also find some graduate programs that offer degrees in family services. Most of these programs are two-year programs that include an internship as part of your studies. Other programs require that you devote at least three years to your studies. At the end of your second year, you spend one additional year working in the field and gaining the experience that you need to work in family services, including experience working with clients and children.

Gain Additional Experience

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social service managers make a median salary of $59,970 a year. The BLS also found that most entry-level positions only require a bachelor’s degree, but that workers also need a minimum of five years experience working in the field. To become a family services director, you can use your graduate degree in lieu of the experience required for the job. You can also gain some of the necessary experience required through volunteer opportunities at local community centers. Those centers often need help coaching sports teams, working in the daycare center or doing administrative tasks in the office.

Related Resource: Child Welfare Jobs

Family services directors manage the operations of a community center or a government agency. They look out for the best interests of clients and ensure that other workers do their jobs effectively. To become a family services director, you need a minimum of an undergraduate degree and some experience in the field, but some positions may require a graduate degree too.