I graduated in May 2005 with a Masters Degree in Social Science Administration, from Case Western
Reserve University- Mandel School of Applied Social Science in Cleveland Ohio. At the beginning of
graduate school, I never thought I would take a position with Children’s Services or dreamed that I
would now be living in California!
Working within the field of children and families is
one that requires many levels of assessment skills, interviewing strategies, and observation techniques.
In addition, as a social service practitioner, you must possess strong writing skills, to be
able to accurately and articulately state the facts in a child abuse and/or neglect case, to give a
professional opinion and recommendation to your supervisor, the Courts and other agencies. Being
able to work well under pressure, being able to prioritize, and having trust in your instincts, and
those “gut reactions” when something doesn’t feel “right” are all important attributes for any social
The Department offers new employees a training unit, where seasoned mentors guide you
through the learning and skill gaining necessary in a new position. Workers are put through a
six week CORE training program, which outlines a wide variety of topics, and the skills necessary
to be successful within Children’s Services. New workers are given the chance to learn at their own
pace and rarely leave the training unit in less than 3 months. In addition, Children’s Services makes
every effort to help the new practitioner acquire the supervision hours necessary for full licensure in
the state of California.
Working for the County of San Bernardino also has its advantages. I have found the pay and benefits
package to be excellent and better than I had expected. We’re located within an hour of a variety of different
recreational activities including, museums, concerts, plays, symphonies, amusement parks, fishing, boating,
skiing, hiking, surfing, and camping.
In addition to enjoying where I live, I’ve been given the opportunity to have an impact in children’s lives,
in ways that are almost unimaginable. Helping a child escape physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse,
or neglect, and then helping to find a home that is warm, safe and loving is rewarding beyond words. Even
better is to assist a parent in getting their life together, so that they can then provide and care for their children,
and then reunifying the family.
If you’re looking for a challenging, rewarding, time-consuming, sometimes down and dirty career field,
then Children’s Services is the place for you. I never thought of myself as CFS material. I was wrong! I love
my job, and even if you find it isn’t the right place for you, you will gain skills and experience that will assist
you in any other job you take, guaranteed!