In Home Counselor (Female, Age 25) in Norwalk, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 25 who works as a In Home Counselor in Norwalk, CA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleIn Home Counselor
Salary$42,400
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
LocationNorwalk, CA
Years Experience5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a non-profit agency, which serves low-income and working poor families in the community of Southeast Los Angeles County.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am an in-home counselor for the Family Preservation Program. I provide situational counseling as well as case management services to 13 families.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
2 weeks vacation, Paid sick leave, HMO health insurance, dental, vision

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I feel undercompensated at my current position. However, social work is a low paying field.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, my job entails working with others on a daily basis. My clients are children and families. I see each of my clients four times per month. Additionally, I work with other professionals as a part of a multidisciplinary team. I enjoy working with others as a part of my job and cannot imagine a social work position which would not require working with others on a daily basis.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 4
Hours: 3
Co-Workers: 5
Supervisors: 6
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8amDriving in traffic…gotta love the commute in SoCal! I go to my second job (remember, I said social work doesn’t pay very well).
8am to 9amI do data entry for a couple of hours a day at another agency.
9am to 10amStill doing data entry…
10am to 11amDriving from my second job to my “real job.”
11am to 12pmI check my voicemail and email and return messages. The calls are from clients and other social service providers. I work on getting referrals for my clients. This entails searching the internet and making more phone calls.
12pm to 1pmI work on written documentation of the services I have provided to all of my clients. This involves writing progress notes in a computer-based system. The services I document are my in home counseling sessions, as well as any other face-to-face contacts and also all of the telephone calls that are made on behalf of my clients. I also send faxes and file my paperwork.
1pm to 2pmI attend group supervision with the other clinical staff in my agency. This is led by the Clinical Director and lasts for 2 hours.
2pm to 3pmDuring group supervision, we address several areas. We do case consultations and practice diagnosing clients according to DSM-IV criteria. We also work on treatment plans and learn different therapeutic techniques.
3pm to 4pmI use www.mapquest.com to map out my home visits for the remainder of the day. I gather all of the necessary paperwork and materials for my home visits and drive to the first home visit.
4pm to 5pmI arrive for the scheduled home visit. The client is not home, so I call them. They have forgotten about the appointment and arrive 20 minutes late. During the home visit we address parenting issues. The children are being defiant and the mother is overwhelmed. I educate the mother regarding appropriate parenting techniques, including time out and loss of privileges. I also demonstrate the time out technique and encourage the mother to participate.
5pm to 6pmI drive to my next home visit. I meet with the mother and father to address communication issues. I spend the next hour educating them on healthy communication patters and facilitating a discussion on what improvements can be made in their communication. We discuss how their poor communication skills negatively impact their marriage and their parenting skills. I give them homework to complete before our next home visit.
6pm to 7pmI drive to my next home visit. I am meeting this family for the first time. I utilize the home visit in order to explain my job and the role I will have with the family. We go over initial paperwork and I begin gathering information for my initial intake assessment. I work on building rapport with the family.
7pm to 8pmAfter finishing all of my home visits, I go home…
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was referred by a friend.

What was the application process?
I submitted a resume.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, I interviewed for my current position. I completed one individual interview, in which 2 management-level staff interviewed me.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I was asked about my experience and why I was interested in the job I was applying for. I was also asked situational questions (about what I would do in certain job-related circumstances. I was also asked about my professional boundaries with clients.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I was not prepared by my employer for my job, based on their assumption that my past experience was preparation enough. Their assumption was (somewhat) true.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
There was not formal training for my current position. However, I attend occasional job related trainings.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. My social work education and training is invaluable. I would not have been hired for my position without my educational background.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Yes, I had two internships, which both taught me social work skills that have been useful for my current position.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
I would recommend that they get at least a four year degree in a major that would be useful in a helping profession. A bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, human services or social work would be appropriate. A Master’s Degree in social work or marriage and family therapy would be most useful.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A person in the field of social work should be a “people person” who enjoys interacting with others. They should be empathetic and compassionate, as well as organized and able to work independently. In many social work positions, they will also need a valid driver’s license, insurance and their own car. They should not have any felony convictions.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Learn from others in the profession. Make self-care a priority, or else you’ll get burnt out!

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I plan to work in the field of social work for the remainder of my career.

What are your current career goals?
I would like to obtain my LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). I am also interested in doing therapy with adolescents in a corrections setting.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I absolutely LOVE being a social worker. It’s not for everyone, but I have never regretted my decision to enter this field. However, be aware that it is NOT a high paying field!

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Social Services Clinician Intern11 monthsUnpaidAs an intern, I was responsible for doing individual and group therapy. I worked with an adolescent population in a corrections setting.
Prior Job 2Children’s Social Worker I11 months34620I was an Emergency Response Children’s Social Worker. I completed investigations for reports of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.5

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.975Azusa Pacific UniversityBachelor of Social Work
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
4California State University, Long BeachMaster of Social Work

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