Jobs in an Adoption Agency: Career and Salary Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue working in adoption agencies. Read on to learn more about career options along with job outlook and potential salary information. Schools offering Social & Community Services degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Would Be an Adoption Agency Job?

Adoption agencies often hire social workers to assist in placing children in appropriate homes and ensuring the transition goes well. Social workers employed by adoption agencies usually work closely with a variety of families looking to adopt, evaluating them and guiding them through the adoption application process. They will make visits, do interviews and write reports. They will be a part of the recommendation team for whether a child will be placed with certain families or not. If this career appeals to you, read on for further information.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's degree preferred
Licensure State license required to practice social work--states have various licensing requirements
Key Responsibilities Evaluate and provide assistance to families looking to adopt children, help match children with potential families, update case records, and check up on families who have recently adopted to ensure compatibility as well as child safety and happiness
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% for all child, family and school social workers*
Median Salary (2015) $38,529 for social workers working in adoption or foster care services**

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **PayScale.com

What Jobs are Available in an Adoption Agency?

Adoption agencies frequently hire social workers to fill the roles of adoption social workers, although exact job titles can vary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social workers working in adoption services might be referred to as child welfare social workers or family services social workers (www.bls.gov).

Employers might include public and private adoption agencies licensed by the state or intercountry adoption agencies that facilitate the adoption of a child born in another country by a family in the U.S. According to a February 2012 search of job postings on CareerBuilder.com, social workers can specialize in various stages of the adoption process, including pre- or post-adoption services.

What Duties Might I Perform?

As a social worker employed by an adoption agency, you might meet with prospective adoptive families and evaluate their suitability to adopt. You could conduct home studies and have a role in matching children with families. You also might conduct follow-up visits with families and children once the adoption process is underway.

Additionally, you might manage a caseload of prospective families as well as children waiting for adoption. Other typical duties include providing counseling, training and other types of support to adoptive families, in addition to maintaining case records and writing reports.

Will I Need a Degree or License?

The BLS states that you might be able to find an entry-level social work position in a community agency with a bachelor's degree in social work; however, it's more likely that you'll need a master's degree in the field. Social workers in all states need to be licensed, registered or certified; however, requirements vary by state.

A search of job postings on CareerBuilder.com in April 2015 confirmed that while a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field might be acceptable to work in an adoption agency, a master's degree is often preferred. In many cases, a minimum number of years' experience is required. Social worker jobs at adoption agencies also tend to require a driver's license since you might drive to families' homes or other locations in carrying out your duties.

What Salary Can I Expect?

Your salary likely will depend on your level of education and experience. Other factors might include whether you work for an independent private agency, a nonprofit agency, directly for the government or for a government-funded organization. The median salary for social workers specializing in child or family services, such as adoption services, was $42,350 per year, according to a May 2015 BLS report. PayScale.com reported in March 2017 that the median salary for permanently employed social workers in the adoption and foster care services industry was $38,529.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to work with people, but feel an adoption agency job is not for you, there are alternative career fields such as school counselor, substance abuse counselor and community service manager that may be a better fit. Community service managers plan and supervise community programs or social service events. Substance abuse counselors work in communities seeing recovering addicts in individual settings or in group therapy dealing with anything that might set back their recovery. School counselors help students with academic and personal issues that might hinder their progress in school. All these careers require at least a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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