How to Make a Career Out of Helping Children and Families

How to Make a Career Out of Helping Children and Families

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Explore the many options when considering a career to help children and families.

Can you think of anything more rewarding than making a career out of helping other people? It is an honor to be entrusted with the wellbeing of another person, especially when that person is particularly vulnerable, such as an expectant mother or a young child.

Working with children and families means seeing the world through a new lens, learning from some of the world's most intuitive and innocent citizens, and living life to the fullest. Children have a way of making the best out of even the most heartbreaking situations. That’s part of what makes it so rewarding to make a career out of helping young people and those around them.

Working with vulnerable children can be eye-opening and sometimes heartbreaking, but you’re comforted by the fact that you are doing all you can to help them and their loved ones navigate the tough times. It all becomes worth it when you get to make a sick child laugh or see the most deserving families finally celebrate after struggling.

It’s no wonder so many gravitate toward a career that allows them to help children and families. And the good news is that this fulfilling career path has endless options. Which one will you choose?


Did you know that there are approximately more than five million nurses in the US? Despite the massive number of nurses, we’re still seeing a nursing shortage that is set to increase. Nursing is a versatile career that abounds in choices; nurses can work in almost any country, in an array of settings, and there is a massive number of specialties to choose from.

Nursing is a popular career for a number of reasons. Nurses have evolved from being comforters to being the backbone of healthcare, providing irreplaceable care, treatment, education, and comfort to patients. Nurses are needed in just about every corner of the globe, so your skills as a nurse will never go to waste.

This is a popular career choice for those who love working with children and families, and for good reason. Some aspects of working with children and families in a medical setting can be upsetting, particularly when working in an oncology ward or when caring for children who have been mistreated. But the sense of fulfillment that comes from caring for these children is unlike anything else you will ever experience. It takes a selfless and strong person to care for children when they need it most, even if it is upsetting to witness their misfortune.

A unique aspect of nursing in the US is that each state has its own unique regulations when it comes to medical care. This means that it’s best to obtain a nursing qualification in the state in which you hope to live and work. If you wanted to become a nursing practitioner in Texas, for example, you’d be better off attending a NP school in Texas rather than in Florida, since the regulations will differ by state.

Mental Health

Millions are affected by mental illness in the US, with suicide as the 2nd leading cause of death for children aged 10-14. Children and teenagers are particularly prone to poor mental health, with 50% of lifelong mental illnesses appearing by age 14.

Like nursing, the psychiatric workforce is facing a shortage. This, combined with the fact that almost half of America’s mental health professionals don’t accept insurance, leaves many children, teenagers, and families untreated and in a precarious position with their mental health.

If you’re caring, empathetic and understanding, you may find fulfillment with a career in mental health. You can become a safe space for young people who need counseling due to mental illness, difficult circumstances, substance abuse, grief, or other factors that contribute to poor mental health.


A good teacher can change lives. As a teacher, you’ll have the honor of helping shape the next generation and the opportunity to positively influence the many, many young people who will pass through your classroom.

Teachers of all kinds are in demand, whether that be working with children in grade school, young adults in college, or disabled individuals in a specialty school. Your classroom can be their safe harbor where they’re safely tucked away from stressors they may be experiencing

Social Work

Being a social worker means meeting children and young people in a number of situations, many of them heartbreaking. This career may involve helping children and families battling physical or mental illness, addiction, death, abuse, and more.

Your work may take you to hospitals, courtrooms, foster homes, rehabilitation centers, and anywhere else you may find children in need of help, support, and love.

Sports Coach

Coaching individuals or teams may be the perfect job for those who love sport and love helping others. Coaching isn’t just about the sport, although that aspect of it is pretty important. It also involves supporting, bonding with, mentoring, and encouraging kids while helping them develop their sporting ability, finding opportunities for them, and seeing the potential in them.


Working with young children in a daycare, preschool, or nannying environment means getting to witness children navigate the world through play, exploration, and learning. Watching a child blossom and grow is incredibly rewarding, and caring for children has the added benefit of helping their families too.


Working with expectant or brand-new parents and their brand-new babies is a highly rewarding way to spend your days. Not only do you get to witness a very small person enter the world and experience their “firsts,” you also get to support their excited and nervous parents as they too enter a new world: the world of parenthood.


Volunteering is a broad term, and most people can’t make a career out of volunteering without having another form of income- but volunteering can become your life's passion. There are so many ways to volunteer in a way that benefits children in families. Whether you’re volunteering in a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, hospital, school, community event, or a food bank, you will be directly and indirectly improving the lives of children and families in big and small ways.

How to Make a Career Out of Helping Children and Families

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