Individuals who nurture and teach children of all ages in child care centres, nursery schools, preschools, public schools, family child care homes and before and after school programs. They play an important role in a child's development by caring for the child when parents are at work or away for other reasons. Some parents enroll their children in nursery schools or child care centres primarily to provide them with the opportunity to interact with other children. In addition to attending to children's basic needs, these workers organize activities that stimulate the children's physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth. They help children explore their interests, develop their talents and independence, build self-esteem and learn how to get along with others.
Individuals who work in organizations that are concerned with adoption, children's protective services, foster care, parenting support and other services that ensure the welfare of children and their families. They may investigate home conditions to protect children from harmful environments; evaluate foster and home environmental factors and the personal characteristics of potential adoptive or foster parents to determine their suitability for that role; place and take responsibility for children and their well-being in foster or adoptive homes, institutions and medical treatment centres; counsel children and parents, guardians, foster parents or institution staff concerning a child's adjustment to the foster home situation; and/or counsel adoptive parents pending legal adoption. They may also aid parents with child rearing problems, counsel children and youth who have difficulty adjusting socially; advise parents on how to care for children with disabilities, arrange for homemaker services during a parent's illness and provide service to unmarried parents including care during pregnancy and planning for the child. If children have serious problems in school, child welfare workers may consult with parents, teachers and counsellors to identify underlying causes and develop plans for treatment.
Individuals who convert written language text or oral language statements into another language or facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear by converting between spoken communication and sign language. Included are translators who translate written material from one language to another; interpreters who translate oral communications from one language to another during speeches, meetings, conferences, debates and conversations or in court; terminologists who conduct research to itemize terms connected with a certain field, define them and find equivalents in another language; and sign language interpreters who use sign language to translate spoken language and vice versa during meetings, conversations, television programs or in other instances. Specializations include conference interpreters who work at events with non-English or non-French speaking attendees; guide or escort interpreters who accompany Canadian visitors abroad or foreign visitors in Canada to ensure that they are able to communicate during their stay; judiciary interpreters and translators who help people appearing in court who are unable or unwilling to communicate in English/French; literary translators who adapt written literature from one language into another; and localization translators who provide for the complete adaptation of a product for use in a different language and culture.
Individuals who help people function as best they can in their environment, deal with their relationships and solve personal and family problems. Social workers often see clients who face a life-threatening disease or a variety of social problems which may include inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial distress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy or anti-social behaviour. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts including those involving child or spousal abuse; provide services for prison inmates, parolees, probationers and their families; help workers cope with job-related pressures or with personal problems that affect the quality of their work; advise elderly people or family members about their choices in areas such as housing, transportation and long-term care; coordinate and monitor services for older adults; and run support groups for family caregivers or for the adult children of aging parents.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.