A behavioral ministry degree prepares students for work in social service jobs that involve psychology, counseling, pastoral ministry, mental health and community outreach. Positions that deal with counseling and working one-on-one with the public may require professional licensure or state accreditation.
Behavior Support Specialist
Behavior support specialists provide on-site, in-home and community-based services to clients. This could include rehabilitation, intervention, program development, event hosting, client engagement and activity implementation. This often involves holistic structured behavioral treatment plans that are conducted by medical, therapeutic and mental health professionals. Behavior support specialists and their peers use these behavior assessments to minimize client problems, monitor goal progress, help teach skills and strengthen environmental supports. They also work with training family, providers and advocates to effectively meet the needs of their clients.
Many social workers are employed by governmental Aging, Disability and Child Welfare agencies, but they are also employed by private community and health care organizations. Social workers who are employed by nursing homes will enable their clients to fulfill their life purposes and maintain the highest levels of functionality. Professional social service workers must meet state standards and comply with federal regulations. They often work as members of multi-disciplinary health care teams. Social workers must sometimes demonstrate maturity and diplomacy in stressful situations with residents and family members who may be upset and despondent.
Therapeutic Support Staff
Therapeutic support staff provides one-on-one emotional care and behavioral interventions to clients who may be children or adolescents. State foster care systems often outsource to supervised residential homes to care for high-needs youth. This could include individuals with behavior disorders, unstable outbursts and special needs. Therapeutic support staff will employ safe communication, conflict resolution, anger management, behavior management and interaction skills to identify issues, de-escalate situations, provide support and model appropriate choices and responses.
Employee counselors tend to be employed by large corporations or large religious organizations to provide information and referral services to employees and their family members through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This could occur through online, in-person and telephonic assessments. EAP employees usually work with other professionals, such as HR managers and mental health counselors, to identify community resources, internal programs and individualized solutions. Sometimes, this may include clinical case management and follow up services for specific problems. Those who deal with certain problems, such as substance abuse, may need clinical licensure.
Youth Program Director
Nonprofit and community organizations, such as the YMCA and the Salvation Army, employ youth program directors to manage specific programs. A youth program director may plan and carry out literacy, science, homework, physical activity and social event planning for K-12th graders. This means that they may track and report on statistics related to meals, behavior, attendance, performance and educational accomplishments. They may be expected to keep files on each child or youth and their progress throughout the year. Youth directors will often communicate with teachers, pastors, social workers, health care staff and community members.
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A behavioral ministry degree opens up additional career opportunities in the areas of residential treatment, adult corrections, mental health hospitals and life skills coaching. A behavioral ministry degree also allows graduates to teach students useful skills in the areas of psychology, coaching, human development, personality theories, research methods and multicultural communication.