CHOOSING A CAREER / SEP. 25, 2014
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How to Become an Education Welfare Officer in the US

How many times did you skip school when you were a teenager? This is what an education welfare officer (EWO) attempts to prevent. These education professionals work with families, students and schools to improve overall school attendance and help solve problems affecting all of the parties involved. In other words, an education welfare officer helps teens make the grade.

The Work of an Education Welfare Officer

Education welfare officers often work with young people who have problems at home or who are suffering from other kinds of issues at school. EWOs also investigate these matters by sifting through personal records, producing plans to achieve better attendance and monitoring a student’s behavior.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

-  Identifying attendance discrepancies and finding out why students aren’t going to school

-  Aiding families to ensure they receive all of the social benefits they’re entitled to

-  Explaining to families their legal responsibilities to ensure their child attends classes

-  Writing reports and preparing evidence for all types of legal procedures

-  Helping create school action plans for those students who are excluded from school or ill

-  Being the facilitator between schools, students, families, psychologists and bureaucrats

-  Coming up with new ways to help parents better communicate with the schools

-  Regularly checking up with parents by inviting them to school and making home visits

-  Referring families to specialists, government agencies and others who can help

-  Concluding if the work that young people do outside of school is helpful and legal

Salary & Hours

 

Median Hourly Wage

 

Median Annual Salary

 

$18.00

 

$37,500

     
     
             

The hours of EWOs are normal Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. either at an office or at schools. There are times where EWOs may have to travel to the student’s parents’ home in the evenings or on weekends. Also, EWOs are required to visit different schools in their jurisdiction. Governments do offer part-time work, term times and job share options.

Skills

The position of educational welfare officer will require these professionals to have the following skills:

-  Excellent and clear communication and listening abilities

-  A manner that is calm, confident, respectful, sensitive and astute

-  Superb record keeping and organization of important documents and reports

-  Understanding important and relatable aspects of the law and education

-  Moderate to expert experience in IT and other computer fields

Qualifications

Governments at any level require their EWOs to have post-secondary education in any type of social, human sciences and education welfare. In addition to holding a degree, authorities demand EWOs to maintain a number of certifications and training that involve teaching, working with youth and being involved in the community that would assist at-risk populations.

Career Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), EWOs and other kinds of social workers can expect a faster-than-normal employment growth of 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. However, the BLS does warn there may be setbacks in certain countries because of governments reducing the size of their budgets and thus creating various budget constraints for schools.

Education welfare officers help students attend government schools and ensuring that they get the education that their parents pay for through their taxes. By working with at-risk students, EWOs can help these students refrain from landing on the street, joining criminal gangs and/or becoming impoverished as they get older.

Photo by Tulane Public Relations via Flickr.

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