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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Careers for HDFS Graduates

Graduates of Human Development and Family Science have a wide array of career options, many of which are available to graduates of any of the HDFS emphasis areas. Currently, only in the case of a Child Life position is a certification required that would only be available to those students completing all of the requirements of the Child Life emphasis area and passing the Child Life Council’s Certification Exam.

Listed below are positions held by former graduates. Where possible we have provided some information on the types of duties that each position entails. A few graduates also informed us of additional education they completed before landing the job. We hope this list will be useful to you as you consider your future as an employed HDFS grad.

Careers sign

  • Child and Family Advocate with the Child Advocacy Center at Rainbow House, Columbia, MO.
    Address the needs of and provide support to families who come to the center with children who have been victims of sexual abuse. Help them to learn to effectively deal with the trauma of abuse.
  • Independent Living Specialist with Services for Independent Living, Columbia, MO.
    Provide case management, information and referral, advocacy, independent living skills training, peer counseling and other related services to persons with disabilities.
  • Program Coordinator for Granny's House, Columbia, MO.
    Coordinate and manage programs, organize and facilitate child and family events, and create and foster relationships with the families and children of the Douglass Park community
  • Community Support Specialist for Pathways Community Behavioral Healthcare.
    Provide community based psychiatric rehabilitation services for mentally ill individuals
  • Attorney focused on family law, after completing law school.
  • Trainer for Child Care Providers with Community Partnerships, Columbia, MO.
  • Teach for America Campus Coordinator. Recruit teachers from campuses across US to work for Teach for America.
  • Assistant Teacher in the Child Development Center at University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO.
  • Director of Residential Life on a college campus.
  • Social worker for Burrell Behavioral Health in Columbia, MO.
  • HIV Case Management Supervisor. Supervise HIV and HCV case managers in service delivery and care coordination for HIV positive individuals
  • Quality Assurance Officer and Project Director for Phoenix Programs in Columbia, MO.
    Conduct Quality Assurance Audits and report findings to Training Manager for service improvement. Work with accreditation agencies to ensure compliance. Direct grants targeting at-risk youth aimed at reducing substance use disorders and suicide risk.
  • Senior Counselor for Phoenix Programs in Columbia, MO.
    Supervise counselors in individual counseling, group education, group therapy, treatment planning, assessment, and screening, all dealing with alcohol and chemical addictions.
  • HIV Transitional Case Manager. Provide case management services to HIV positive offenders in Department of Corrections who are within 6 months of being released from prison.
  • HIV Case Manager. Provide case management services (e.g., resource acquisition and benefit monitoring) and care coordination to HIV positive individuals.
  • Counselor’s Assistant at the Family Counseling Center in Columbia, MO.
    Conduct intake interviews, provide support to the residential unit, including crisis management; conduct educational programs for clients.
  • Drug Court Counselor. Provide substance abuse counseling, treatment planning, group education, group counseling, and case management to participants of county Drug Court.
  • Substance Abuse Counselor for Phoenix Programs in Columbia, MO.
    Provide substance abuse counseling, treatment planning, group education, group counseling, and case management.
  • Intake Coordinator at Phoenix Programs. Coordinate intakes for both residential and outpatient clients at agency serving men with chemical dependency. Complete admission forms, coordinated assessment appointments, and assign counselors.
  • Certified Child Life Specialist at University of Missouri Women's and Children's Hospital, Adolescent Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
  • Certified Child Life Specialist at St. Louis Children's Hospital, Hematology and Oncology Unit.
    Educate patients and their families about the child’s diagnosis and treatment, normalize the hospital environment for patients through play, activities, and special events. Prepare patients and their families for medical procedures. Oversee the in-patient playroom 2 days a week, which includes supervising volunteers, facilitating weekly activities, engaging patients in play, and keeping the playroom clean.
  • Exceptional Education Teacher at Metropolitan Public School in Nashville, TN.
    Teach Life Skills for grades K-2 in a self contained classroom, with the purpose of eventually incorporating the children into general education classrooms. Plan and teach lessons, hold IEP meetings, write IEPs, and collect data to document student progress.
  • School Social Worker at Academie Lafayette (French Charter School) in Kansas City, MO.
    As a licensed social worker (with a MSW), conduct one-on-one and group counseling for children and also work with teachers to help support students. Link families to community resources.
  • Associate Director – Webster University Office of Admission, St. Louis, MO.
    Work with evening undergraduate transfer students as an admission counselor, and serve as the sole admission counselor and recruiter for 2 specialized graduate-level programs—the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia, and an international program, the Global Master of Arts in International Relations. Each August, I am sent to Europe to meet the new class in this program which enables students to live and study for 8 weeks each in London, Vienna, Geneva, Leiden (the Netherlands) and either Beijing or Bangkok.
  • Director of Program Development for the Boys' Club of New York.
    Evaluate the effectiveness of current programs targeted at the emerging needs of New York City's boys. Work to expand services, and implement new programs across three city clubhouses.
  • Teach for America Teacher in Hartford, CT.
    Have taught first and sixth grade classes.
  • Early Childhood Educator at the Family Center in St. Louis, MO.
    One of 2 full-time teachers in a full-day classroom of 3-5 year old children.
  • Lead Toddler Teacher at Southeast Missouri State University Child Development Center.
    Plan and implement daily developmentally appropriate activities for toddlers.
  • Child Life Specialist III at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, CA.
    Develop and provide appropriate education and support to pediatric patients and their families.
  • Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Center for Women in Transition, St. Louis, MO.
    Assist women in the criminal justice system in making a successful transition back to their families and communities.
  • Community Support Specialist with Burrell Behavioral Health Child and Adolescent Services, Columbia, MO.
    Provide case management for severely mentally ill, low income youth ages 4-17.
  • Community Support Specialist with Burrell Behavioral Health.
    Manage caseload of clients, all of whom have a mental health disorder/diagnosis, and link these clients with resources in the community in order for them to better function in society independently.
  • Admissions Representative at Grantham University. Assist students with enrollment and advisement, especially military veterans needing assistance with securing their education benefits.
  • International Admissions Evaluator and Residency Officer for the University of Missouri.
    Evaluate the academic credentials of international undergraduate applicants and meet with prospective students about the admissions process. Evaluate applications for granting residency to out-of-state students.
  • 911 Dispatcher for St. Peters Police Department.
    Answer 911 calls and dispatch officers.
  • County Extension Agent in Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
    Offer programming in the areas of: Nutrition, Health and Aging, Marriage, Parenting and Family Life, and Family and Consumer Economics. Supervise the 100 Extension Homemakers in the county as well as work with the 4-H program
  • Marriage and Family Therapist at McCambridge Center for Women, Columbia, MO.
  • Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher at Lafayette High School, Wildwood, MO.
  • Therapist Dealing with Co-occurring Disorders at Missouri Institute of Mental Health.
    Educate individuals in medical settings (e.g., family medicine clinics, and student health center) about the long term effects of their substance use. Administer substance abuse assessments to patients, and then provide education or treatment referrals. Also manage health coaches by training them in motivational interviewing and educate them on up to date information about substances.
  • Instructor at Stephens College in Columbia, MO.
    After receiving master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy, teach Ethics in Counseling, Theories in MFT and Group Counseling in the Masters of Education program.
  • Library Assistant at Wake County Public Libraries, NC.
    Present programs for 3 year olds and their parents, manage educator's resource collection ("Mailbox" and other publications for preschool teachers), work with grant funds to create and provide book bag kits for preschool classes to check out.
  • Legislative Aid for U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C.
    Worked in the areas of healthcare and education.
  • Infant/Toddler Teacher at The Child Development Center of St. Louis Children's Hospital.
    Primary caregiver to classroom of infants and toddlers. Job also includes creating developmental portfolios for the children, as well as developing and implementing web materials and weekly lesson plans.
  • Elementary School Social Worker for Shawnee Mission School District, KS.
    Address students’ socio-emotional needs through individual, group, family, classroom and school-wide interventions.
  • First Grade Teacher at Harrisburg (MO) Elementary School.
    Teach all subject areas to first graders. Plan and implement intervention plans and peer assisted learning strategies.
  • Child Advocacy Center Clinical Coordinator for Rainbow House, Columbia, MO.
    Clinical counseling with abused/neglected children, teaching parenting classes, grant writing, and providing education to the community.
  • Teacher in a CSS Classroom for the Springfield (MO) Public Schools.
    Work primarily with students who have been diagnosed with autism (obtained a Masters in Special Education).
  • Owner and Director of Private Child Care Facility, The Playground, in Columbia MO.
    Work with state agencies to maintain licensure; manage about a dozen full and part time staff daily; and maintain the health and welfare of the children in the facility. Do all bookkeeping for the facility, payroll, taxes, billing Social Services for Foster Care Children and partial payment for parents who are on child care assistance.
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher for Park Hill High School in Kansas City, MO.
  • Intake Counselor at the St. Louis Crisis Nursery.
    Provide abused and at-risk children with one-on-one therapeutic interventions and care, as well as provide counseling and resources to parents. Also coordinate volunteers.
  • Therapist for a rural health center in Northeast Missouri (after earning a MSW).
    Provide therapy for children, families, pregnant and postpartum mothers, and other adults in various rural communities, as well as do counseling at the Juvenile Justice Center. Work on a Health Literacy Project through a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.
  • Foster Care Case Manager for Boys and Girls Town of Missouri.
    Manage cases for children in protective custody and work with their families to help find a permanent living situation for the children either by reunification with their parents, adoption, or legal guardianship. Work closely with area juvenile offices and report to the juvenile court regarding the status and progress of cases.
  • Kindergarten Teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District (after obtaining teacher certification).
  • Development Officer for the University of Missouri Children's Hospital.
    Raise money for Children's Hospital and maintaining relations with local businesses.
  • Eligibility Specialist for Section 8 Housing with Charter Oak Communities - Housing Authority of the City of Stamford, CT.
    Manage required certifications for over 1600 low-income clients to receive federal housing assistance through HUD.
  • Staff Training Specialist for the Association for Individual Development in Aurora, IL.
    Coordinate instructors and schedule all agency-wide trainings, maintain employee training records and ensure agency compliance to state regulation regarding training programs in this non-profit agency that provides services for people with disabilities in the Chicago suburbs. Also teach the New Employee Orientation and state-mandated training for people that work directly with clients.
  • Child and Family Advocate at the Howard County Head Start.
    Plan and teach 2 half-day classes for 3 - 5 year-olds. Also advocate for the children and their families, and work with each family to set and attain goals. Organize parent events and monthly meetings.
  • Special Events Coordinator for the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation.
    Fundraising, event planning, and development work for major donors and corporate sponsors.
  • Youth Advisor for a YMCA teen leadership program.
  • Support Director at Forest Bluff Montessori School in Lake Bluff, IL.
  • Child Protection Caseworker for Family Integrated Treatment Court (Family drug court) in Jefferson County, CO.
    Work with parents with substance abuse/chemical dependency issues in a family drug court setting; assess for risk and safety of children; provide case management services for families involved in child protective services; work toward family reunification (obtained MSW after undergraduate).
  • Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher at Parkway North High School, St. Louis, MO.
  • Culinary Representative with the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Colorado.
    Travel to high school and give a multimedia presentation and culinary demonstration to attract students to the school.
  • Program Specialist for the Department of Defense (Army Community Service).
    Assist families with adjustment to military life; provide education and outreach to encourage self-sufficiency and resilience, either in group formats or one-on-one.
  • Children and Family Services Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services: Division of Children and Families.
    Investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect, interview children and adults to complete safety and family assessments, help families connect with resources to be safe parents, notify the juvenile court system when necessary by completing affidavits for immediate temporary custody of children, accompany Douglas County Sheriffs to help remove children, prepare children for foster care, testify in court when necessary.
  • Family Development Coordinator with Central Missouri Community Action.
    Coordinate and teach the Family Development Credential training, a curriculum that equips front-line workers to use a strengths-based approach to working with families; manage the Cole County Circles Initiative, which facilitates relationships between low-income families and middle-income families as they work their way out of poverty; teach Bridges Out of Poverty, a training program to help middle-income families understand the struggles low-income families face; grant-writing and management; billing for services.
  • Employment and Training Coordinator with Central Missouri Community Action.
    Assist laid-off workers and TANF recipients to retrain and find new employment through job readiness classes.
  • Director of Development for Open Arms Pregnancy Resource Center.
    Had responsibility for raising a $300,000 budget. This position was made possible because I completed my internship at the agency.
  • Child Life Specialist at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Specialty Hospital in Maryland Heights, MO.
    Work with infants and preschooler doing developmental activities, distractions, parent training, and play to increase development and growth while they are hospitalized. Also am a Certified Infant Massage Instructor and do infant massage with patients, as well as train their parents in infant massage techniques.
  • Pre-Kindergarten Teacher in an inclusion classroom in St. Louis, MO. Work with 4 and 5-year-olds, some of whom are typically developing children and others who are non ambulatory students with severe physical problems as well as developmental delays in speech and cognition. (masters completed).
  • Director of Kay Senior Care Center associated with the Church Street United Methodist Church in Knoxville, TN.
    This is a Licensed Adult Day Care serving seniors with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers. (masters in Public Health).
  • Human Resources Department of Horn Creek Camp, Colorado. Coordinate hiring and staffing for this Christian Rocky Mountains camp that offers year- round facilities for family camps, student and school retreats, military family retreats, etc.
  • Lead Teacher for a 4 to 5-year-old classroom at the YMCA. Also was a lead teacher in an infant/toddler classroom at a local domestic violence shelter.
  • Associate Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Provide customer service, filling out investment and insurance paperwork, balancing investment accounts, and conducting other financial transactions.
  • Teacher in a 3rd grade classroom at El Dorado Spring Elementary School. (masters of education).
  • School Counselor for Rockwood School District.
    Deliver curriculum about bullying, study skills, relationships, etc. Work through problems with students that often entail family and friend relationships. Process paperwork for student testing for special services, meet with parents, students, teachers, and administrators to help students be successful in school.(masters in counseling).
  • Member Services Director for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. Oversee the Leadership Development Consultant program; represent the international organization doing university interaction and communication.

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