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Child protection worker

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Summary of occupation

Child protection workers work in the areas of child protection, children in care and family support. They respond to concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of children and help families strengthen their capacity to provide care and safety for children and other family members.  Child protection workers assess and investigate the care and management of children, also providing reports and recommendations when needed.

Entry levels positions – high demand to fill fixed term and permanent vacancies that arise across metropolitan and country locations. Advertised as an open pool to meet demands to fill vacancies.

Progression in this field is usually into senior child protection roles or team leader roles.

There are child protection support roles available in this field.

ANZSCO description: Assesses the social needs of individuals, families and groups, assists and empowers people to develop and use the skills and resources needed to resolve child protection and family issues, and furthers human wellbeing and human rights, social justice and social development.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Child protection workers community, Child protection workers parent support
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A child protection worker needs: 

  • to enjoy working with children and families
  • the ability to identify potential risks to children
  • knowledge of issues in the protection and care of children and young people
  • the ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills
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Working conditions

Child protection workers’ work environment is usually a combination of office and out of office. They have regular contact with clients and community resources. Some flexibility in working hours may be required.  Positions are usually available in country and metropolitan locations.

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Salary details

On average, child protection workers can expect to earn between $1 223 and $1 676 per week ($63 576 and $87 166 per year), depending on their level of experience. As a child protection worker develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Child protection workers use standard office equipment, including computers, faxes and photocopiers. They usually need a current ‘C or A’ class driver’s licence to visit clients.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a child protection worker, you usually need to complete a degree in social work, psychology or a relevant human service area.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
The Department for Child Protection and Family Support has an established qualifications framework for assessing the tertiary qualifications for all child protection worker positions.

To work for the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, you must undergo the Department’s client and child protection record check. You will also need to obtain a National Police Certificate, and hold a current driver’s licence.

To work with children in Western Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services​.​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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