My Education: BA in Political Science and English
My Prior Experience: I worked for an early youth education program while in college.
My Company: I work for a community based non-profit organization.
Job/Career Overview: My job entails taking care of disadvantaged youth who are wards of the state. Often times these kids do not have any parents or they have given up rights for them. On any day there is a chance that the kids can act up, and many of them indeed suffer from certain social and behavioral conditions that may or may not have put them in their current situation.
Daily tasks involve contacting their representatives, such as case workers and therapists, and following a treatment guideline, which includes various groups, independent living skills, and community work. It also entails being responsible with medications and other health related matters. All of the regulations that must be followed are pretty clearly laid out and understood, and occasionally there are workers from the department of health and human services who come through and ensure that certain rules and guidelines are being followed. There must be a one to three ratio at all times to ensure the safety of everyone at the facility.
I rate this career 6 out of 10.
The best part of my career is being able to help kids in need and actually see them appreciate it and use the skills they learn in the real world. It is rewarding when our kids do well in school or get a job and start saving money.
The worst part of the job, though, is when these things don't happen and kids steer away from their treatment, which often leads to them ending up even worse off.
If I were to advise someone pursuing this type of career, I would alert them that it is indeed frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. It certainly helps to have a high tolerance for behavioral issues and a willingness to forgive certain actions.
As far as education, basic psychology courses or degrees help in identifying certain problems with each child. The bottom line is to just be open to helping them out and being there when they need it the most.