Careers in child welfare


Our child welfare programs offer fulfilling and challenging career opportunities for individuals who have a passion for working with children and families involved in child welfare. We are committed to creating an environment for staff to build experiences and skills for a career versus a job. We continuously try to evolve in how we support staff.

Currently we are offering the following experiences for staff:

  • Various forms of coaching for new hires into the Family Case Management, Intensive In-Home, and Family Support programs.
  • A supervisor/worker ratio of 1:6
  • We offer leadership development and mentoring for staff interested in expanding their career opportunities; 84 percent of leadership/supervisor hired in the program since 2010 have been internal hires.
  • Educational assistance including:
    • Tuition assistance for staff to put toward a degree program for any position at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
    • Opportunities to participate in University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Part-time Title IV-E program, allowing staff to earn their master's degree in Social Work while working
    • Opportunities to participate in UWM's Full Time IV-E program for eligible staff

phtCareersChildWelfare1Associated challenges of a career in child welfare programs

  • Can you deal with the emotional drain and trauma of working with abused children?
  • Are you able to work with children who have been badly mistreated, who are bruised, have broken bones or severe burns?
  • Are you willing to work with diverse clients across Wisconsin?
  • Are you willing to occasionally work beyond regular business hours on short notice in order meet the needs of the children and families in our care?
  • Are you willing and able to work evenings and weekends?
  • Are you willing and able to have explicit and crucial conversations with children and their families about subjects such as sexual practices and body parts?
  • Are you willing and able to remove a child from his or her parent's home, if necessary?
  • Are you willing and able to go into unfamiliar and potentially unsafe neighborhoods, at times alone, to assess the immediate safety needs of a child?
  • Are you willing and able to visit clients in their homes which may be in various conditions of disrepair or cleanliness?

If you are interested in applying for a position, search for the program titles on the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin job search website.

Watch a realistic job preview video

Information about typical tasks

Careers in Child Welfare

Family case management

  • Completion of safety assessments and develop safety plans
  • Facilitation of Family Team Meetings
  • Service coordination
  • Permanency planning
  • Caseloads of up to 15 children who are court-ordered into foster care
  • Frequent presentations of case information in court
  • Minimal monthly contact with parents of children in foster homes
  • An average of 6 hours per month facilitating family interactions

Intensive in-home

  • Weekly contact with children and parents in their home
  • Completion of safety assessments
  • Develop and oversee in-home safety plans
  • Facilitating family team meetings
  • Coordination of community services
  • Caseload of eight families
  • Minimal court involvement

Family support

  • Conducting supervised family interactions using the Visit Coaching Model
  • Assessment of the parents' skills and capacities through use of the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory, Ages and Stages Questionnaire and other tools
  • Enhancing parents' protective capacities through the Nurturing Parents Program curriculum in one-on-one and group sessions
  • Support parents in enhancing home management and other life skills
  • Transportation of children to and from visits with family
  • Assisting families engage in getting basic needs met through community resources