I am a big advocate of child welfare work as a career path, and also an advocate of the needs of child welfare workers. I worked in the child welfare field for many years, and interfaced with the community at every level; I made good contacts, got good at assessment and engagement, and worked with people in their environments during some of the hardest moments of their lives. It is very rewarding work, and the policies and supports of the employing agency make a very significant difference in retention and satisfaction of workers (and thus the quality of services for clients). I believe that professionally trained social workers are uniquely prepared to do this kind of work, and that salaries will increase where the work is professionalized. There is little agreement about entry requirements for the work across the nation, and many states do not differentiate work tasks between Bachelors and Masters level preparation; therefore, the rewards for continued education are low, and the enhanced skils of MSW-trained workers may not be recognized.
I collected the data below from current job ads. If you are a child welfare worker and inclined to share (and feel free to post anonymously), post your salary, years of experience, job title, employer, and degree in the comments below to give us a wider idea about child welfare worker salaries. If you have any corrections for my infographic below, please send me an email.