If you have considered a career in social work but have a passion for children and families, you might want to look into a career as an adoption specialist. Millions of couples struggle with conception every year, but there are countless more children all around the world who need a consistent, loving home. The adoption specialist steps in to help make these matches happen. She often counsels communities, family units or individuals about the issues surrounding adoption. She’ll handle the interview process, act as a liaison between all of the various organizations involved, and even help to develop the strategies that families use to make their adoption dreams come to fruition. It’s a crucial position that makes a very real difference in the lives of those involved. Here is how you can become an adoption specialist.
An adoption specialist often follows the same path as a family or child social worker, at least at first. The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree from a respected program. Look for schools that offer degrees in social work, juvenile corrections, childhood development or youth services. Many adoption specialists will go on to obtain a master’s degree. It’s another couple years of school, but you can expect better pay and more opportunities. While at school you must look for opportunities to expand your understanding of psychology, and your ability to evaluate people. You’ll also need to turn yourself into an exceptional counselor and sometime therapist. You’ll be dealing with some seriously emotional situations, and you’ve got to be prepared for everything that will come at you.
After you graduate, it’s time to look into the certification and licensing programs. All of these requirements vary depending on your state. Reach out to your regional adoption agency to determine what’s next in the process. The certification will also be different depending on what sort of role you want to fill, such as if you want to work for an adoption agency or for a parental support organization. The closer you are to the final adoption decisions, the more difficult the certification process.
Most of the work is done through education, but your value systems will do a lot to determine your success in this work. First of all, you have to be content in a supportive role. Adoption is a process that requires a ton of paperwork, analysis and adherence to the rules. You have to work well with others and be willing to take strong, hands-on supervision. If you have trouble following the rules you will not do well in this field. At the same time, you have to perform in an independent working environment. Your insight into the potential parents will be developed on your own. You’ve got to make things work creatively, handle your tasks autonomously, and be entirely self-sufficient.
The most important skill in your repertoire is how you develop, improve and maintain interpersonal relationships. The whole purpose of an adoption specialist is to serve others. It isn’t a competitive field, with huge room to move up the ladder and make significantly more money. People do this job because of a passion for people, and the enjoyment of the career will live or die based on your ability to relate with and connect to a wide range of people. Check out http://www.xcel2000.com for a full-bodied look at the work of an adoption specialist, to help you decide if it is for you.