Child Abuse Counselor Career Guide


A child abuse counselor administers clinical treatment to facilitate children trying hard to cope with sexual or physical abuse. These counselors are trained in such a manner that they find it easy to communicate with children who became a victim of abuse. The most popular therapy utilized by these counselors is play therapy, as children feel the safest while playing. This therapy is used because it is always difficult to maintain a child’s attention only with an interview. These proficient counselors must be loving, mature, patient and empathic. It is a quite a challenging as well as a rewarding career. People who want to help children lead a normal life without assistance of others must pursue this radiant career.

Job Duties

Child abuse counselors work with children who have been suffering from a trauma, mishap or any other issue. With a variety of techniques and good communication skills, they gain the attention of children. The two workable strategies used by them are play and art therapy. Children under the age of 10 are treated with play therapy, as at this age they have yet not developed the expression and verbal skills to be able to communicate properly. Children bring along their favorite toy as allowed by the counselor to make them feel comfortable. Counselors try to create a fantasy world for them in which play scenarios, drawing and hand puppets are used. The responses of children at the end of the play are noted to plan treatments.

Related: How to become a Child Abuse Counselor.

On the other hand, art is another significant channel to understanding  the emotions of those going through their teenage years. A comfortable environment and trust of a  counselor becomes the basis of recovery. Child abuse counselors address  destructive behaviors and thoughts to safe children from using any kind of drugs or becoming  violent now or in the future. They update parents and guardians about their children’s behavior and at the same time administer required treatment, which might include group therapy to interact with peers.

Job Outlook

A career in child abuse counseling requires a solid educational background in psychology and a lot of experience in dealing with victims of abuse. These counselors work in various popular settings, for instance, schools, private clinics and non-profit organizations. The employment rate of these counselors is projected to grow by 19% till the year 2020, as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary Outlook

Well qualified counselors in this field earn an average salary of $44,000 per year, according to figures collected in 2012. (

Educational Requirements

Most of counseling positions require at least a master’s degree in counseling or psychology. You need to pass four  years of a bachelor’s program in psychology from an accredited institute to qualify for a master’s degree program. This program generally takes 2 years to complete, which paves way for a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in development or child psychology. Child abuse counselors  need to select a specialized area which might include serving autistic children or a subject which focuses on emotional and mental conditions of children. The National Board for Certified Counselors through a test certifies the counselors for a license. (

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