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Child Care Worker

Description

Children are one of society's most precious resources. When something traumatic happens to children or their families it can be difficult for them to express what they are going through. Children cannot articulate their emotions very well so they have a hard time telling people what's going on.

Children can be traumatized by events such as abuse, divorce or even the death of a parent. This type of trauma at a young age can shut a child off, causing them to turn inward, resulting in unstable emotions, self-hatred, confusion and distrust of people around them. Unfortunately, children cannot help themselves. Qualified people need to identify a child's problem and help them deal with it.

Child care workers are some of the few people who are able to get through to these damaged children, connecting with them on their level, in order to help them understand why they are feeling bad, and begin the healing process. Employed by government agencies, hospitals, clinics, private practices, universities, day care centers, children's aid associations, group homes and community centers, child care workers are trained in a number of techniques to help their special charges. They may work one-on-one with the children, or in sessions with the parents, or other children dealing with similar scars. Because the children don't think the same way adults do, the healing process goes a different route than the paths taken by youth or adult workers and their clients. Instead of frank discussions about past behaviors and future life modifications, child workers use songs, stories, drawing, and role play with stuffed animals, to initiallly understand the issues, and develop a strategy for helping them.

A child care worker will also spend time talking with the children, and take them on trips, outings, and to special programs in centers or at hospitals. They may even accompany them to school. The worker may visit them at home or at their foster home, and may go with them to court during custody battles. The child care worker's role is one of friend, therapist, and advocate, as they work with other rmembers of the social services system to ensure a bright and positive future for the children they are working with.
 
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Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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Walden University
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