With domestic violence becoming an epidemic in today’s society, counselors in the field of domestic violence prevention will typically find themselves working intimately with women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor Job Responsibilities
As a Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor, you will carry out crisis intervention and assessments of the client’s psychological status, emotional status, and physical health conditions. You will make determinations as to the level of danger the client faces; presence of any substance abuse issues and efficacy difficulties. You will also act as an advocate for your client, initiating strategies that will guide the client towards therapeutic solutions. As a counselor within this field, you will provide clients with sources for personal essentials such as clothing, hygiene products, and food. You will direct them to resources for housing, education, job training, employment, financial advice, and childcare. You will also refer clients to psychologists for comprehensive counseling, legal services, support groups, and outreach services as needed. You will also be responsible for administrative duties such as maintaining client records and case management duties.
Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor Training and Education Requirements
It is recommended that you hold a bachelors degree in social work, family counseling, human services, psychology, or one of the other behavioral sciences. While a Masters of Social Work or masters in other related fields might be preferable, it may not be a requirement in all locations. Certifications in domestic violence and/or substance abuse prevention may also be required. You must verify with the state in which you plan to work what their specific certifications, accreditations, and requirements are. Multiple states require specific on the job training time with an established counselor serving as mentor, before allowing you to take state licensing tests or issuing official recognition of your proficiency within the field.
Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor Salary and Wages
As you enter the field of domestic violence prevention counseling keep firmly implanted within your mind that your salary is established by several factors. The first consideration is where you are in the country, secondly your level of education, and third your level of experience. Finally the position’s title also affects the salary that is given. Director of Abuse Prevention would garner a higher salary grade than a counselor under that person’s supervision.
The average salary for a Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor is about $40,000 per year. Whereas within the state of Maryland counselors can expect to earn anywhere from $27,000 to $30,000 annually and if you are in Macomb, Illinois with a master’s degree your salary will be in the area of $32,000 yearly. A Spanish bi-lingual counselor in Stamford, Connecticut can expect in the range of $33,280 to $38,000. Each of these offerings quoted fall below the average but there are those that are higher. A Spanish bi-lingual counselor in Livermore, California holding either a MA/MS/MSW will earn annually from $39,520 to $45,448 commensurate with experience.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor Certifications
As a Domestic Violence Prevention counselor there are multiple certifications available to enhance your proficiency and hone your skills. Differing states may offer slight variations, titles, and qualifications for certifications. The following are several available certifications:
1) Certified Domestic Violence Counselor (CDVC)
2) Domestic Violence Specialist (DVS)
3) National Certified Counselor (NCC)
4) Substance Abuse Counselor (SAC)
5) Certified Forensic Addictions Specialist
6) Certificate in Victim Services
Additionally some of the CEU certifications available to augment the skills set of the Domestic Violence Prevention counselors are:
- Methods to Recognize, Escape & Prevent Domestic Violence
- Child Abuse Recognition, Investigation, & Protection
- Anger Management
- Dealing With Difficult People
Through membership in varied associations you will be able to keep current on available certifications.
Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor Professional Associations
Professional associations are of great value to any counselor. They allow the counselor to obtain the opportunity to avail him or herself of ongoing educational services, seminars, conferences, further certifications, and valuable networking opportunities. As a Domestic Violence Prevention Counselor, there are several associations available that offer resources, supplementary training, and opportunities to assist in the fight against domestic violence through the establishment of legislation and policy. For further information, you may research the following associations online:
1) National Association of Forensic Counselors
2) International Association of Counselors and Therapist
3) American Mental Health Counselors Association
4) American Psychotherapy Association
5) Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences
6) National Association of Social Workers
7) National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
Additionally the following associations admit members based on educational credentials and job related criteria:
1) American Psychological Association
2) Center for Clinical Social Work
Furthermore most states have established statewide coalitions to aid in the fight against domestic violence. These coalitions unite in an effort to centralize needed services for domestic violence victims.