Careers in Human Development and Family Sciences

Degree-holders in human development and family sciences find work in a variety of sectors, providing services to families and individuals across the life-span.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, several occupations such as social and community service managers, preschool and childcare center directors and preschool teachers, social workers and recreational workers have a career outlook that is growing faster than average for all professions.

Some career possibilities include:


  • Residential caregiver
  • Program coordinator
  • Intake/discharge planner
  • Roles in senior citizen centers

Early Childhood Development

  • Childcare program roles
  • Child life specialist
  • Director of child care program
  • Roles in early intervention
  • Child advocacy
  • Certified family life educator

Family Social Services

  • Adoption
  • Case manager
  • Probation officer
  • Child protection
  • Child welfare work
  • Employment training
  • Public aid

Other Sectors

  • Domestic violence prevention
  • Hospital social services
  • Youth work as a counselor or activities coordinator

Graduates of the M.S. in Applied Human Development and Family Sciences have additional career opportunities that include:

  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Researchers
  • Programming and administration of social services
  • Senior services program director
  • Child life program director
  • Youth services director
  • Family preservation program administrator
  • Prevention services director
  • Head Start administrators
  • Program evaluators 

Completion of the AHDFS program may also prepare students for entrance into doctoral programs.

Where Our Graduates Work

  • Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Bright Horizons Family Solutions
  • Camelot Therapeutic Day Schools
  • Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital
  • Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services
  • Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement Center
  • DeKalb County Youth Service Bureau
  • Head Start
  • Kane County Court Services
  • Loyola University Medical Center
  • Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank
  • The Ounce
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Safe Passage
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Growing Place, Inc.
  • United Way of Lake County
  • Vocamotive

Practicum and Internships

HDFS offers supervised practicum and internship opportunities to give you professional experience in child development and family social services. The practicum and internship courses are designed to help you connect your academic knowledge to real-life practice and build relationships in the field. The following are some of the organizations where our program students served internships:

  • 19th Judicial Circuit Court
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Cook County Juvenile Court
  • YMCA
  • DeKalb County Court Services
  • Elder Care Services
  • Illinois Department of Child and Family Services
  • Kane County Health Department
  • Kankakee County Juvenile Probation
  • Methodist Youth Services
  • Rosecrance Center
  • Vocamotive

Contact Us

Family and Consumer Sciences
118 Wirtz Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115

Kristine Radtke
Program Coordinator

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