Children and families

These roles are designed to help address the needs of vulnerable children, young adults and those experiencing domestic violence. You'll need to have a solid understanding of the issues these groups face, have the ability to run workshops and programs and be able to work within complex legal and ethical frameworks.

Children and family support worker

Child and family support workers help children, young people, families and those facing hardship or disadvantage. They provide support, information, advocacy, case management and activity-based programs across a range of circumstances, including:

  • people in at-risk situations (physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, family violence, lack of housing, violent crime, developmental delays and disability)
  • people who need educational or financial support
  • people who need help with parenting or early childhood issues, including day care.

Your future role

Child and family support worker roles might include:

  • liaising with service providers to develop joint initiatives and integrated responses to issues affecting children and families
  • developing clear referral pathways and coordinating service delivery to families and children
  • creating support plans for children and families at risk
  • developing interventions for families who are at risk or need further support
  • counselling
  • mandatory reporting.

Skills and experience

The skills and experience that will help get you started in this role include:

  • ability to work in an inclusive manner with children and young people and to follow a participatory decision-making model
  • well-developed communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to be empathic
  • ability to follow procedures and instructions and to apply the principles of ethical decision-making
  • ability to work within a legal and ethical framework with issues of a highly confidential nature
  • knowledge of a range of assessment and counselling skills and referral services.

Qualifications and requirements

For this role you'll need qualifications and requirements that include:

  • undergraduate qualifications in psychology, social work or a related field
  • Certificate IV in Community Services Work or Diploma in Community Services Work
  • counselling course or undergraduate units in counselling, including HPY210
  • experience volunteering with a community organisation
  • Working with Children Check, Police Check and first aid certificate.

Employers

Employers could include community-based services, referral services, telephone or online counselling services, larger not-for-profits, community health services, and resource centres, such as:

Youth worker

Youth services and programs are widespread and varied across a range of sectors, including education, health, mental health, housing, family and children's services, substance abuse, justice, and sport and recreation. However, they all address the needs of youth – particularly those who are vulnerable or at risk.

Your future role

Youth workers work in a range of community-based environments. Duties could involve:

  • counselling on youth helplines
  • helping young people at risk of entering the youth justice system – assessing needs and helping them develop positive life goals and access other support and services
  • running youth peer support programs, delivering regular and mutual support in group settings, and aiming to facilitate change to maintain safe behaviours and healthier lifestyles
  • working with specific youth cohorts, such as recently arrived or refugee youth, to provide support in settling into life in Australia
  • running outreach programs for youth
  • delivering programs to help young people in local communities reach their full potential
  • running programs in juvenile detention to improve the custodial experience for young detainees
  • client support and supervision in residential programs
  • delivering youth support and mentoring programs.

Skills and experience

The skills and experience that will help get you started in this role include:

  • knowledge of community development principles and practice
  • knowledge and/or experience in working with specific youth cohorts and an understanding of the range of issues facing young people
  • experience in liaising and networking effectively with a range of stakeholders
  • experience in organising and facilitating forums, workshops and events
  • good communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • ability to work unsupervised at times, independently manage a work schedule, be flexible and use initiative to meet individual and program needs.

Qualifications and requirements

For this role you'll need qualifications and requirements that include:

  • undergraduate qualifications in psychology, social work or a related field
  • Certificate IV in Community Services Work or Diploma in Community Services Work
  • counselling course or undergraduate units in counselling, including HPY210
  • experience volunteering with a community organisation or school
  • Working with Children Check, Police Check and first aid certificate.

Employers

Employers in this area are typically not-for-profit organisations or community-based organisations. They might include specific youth services, community groups, local councils and general health and community organisations. Examples include:

Domestic/family violence worker

There’s a range of services designed to help those experiencing domestic/family violence – primarily for women and children. Services might include telephone counselling, referral to services such as emergency accommodation or crisis counselling, supporting women and children to remain at home or find temporary shelter, and advocacy for support services, the police and the criminal justice systems.

Your future role

Domestic violence workers undertake a range of tasks and activities, including:

  • developing risk assessments, case support and safety plans where required
  • liaising with agencies such as police and legal services
  • advocating to agencies and other providers on behalf of clients
  • counselling
  • mandatory reporting
  • facilitating work programs for children affected by domestic/family violence
  • running men’s behavioural programs
  • providing parenting support.

Skills and experience

The skills and experience that will help get you started in this role include:

  • well-developed communication skills to work with staff, clients, other agencies and the public
  • understanding and experience of the provision of crisis intervention and support along with awareness of appropriate crisis responses and supplier services
  • knowledge of a range of assessment and counselling skills and referral services
  • an understanding of current family violence legislation
  • knowledge of issues stemming from family violence, including homelessness and abuse
  • ability to assess and support women's and children's needs
  • ability to operate as part of a team.

Qualifications and requirements

For this role you'll need qualifications and requirements that include:

  • undergraduate qualifications in psychology, social work or a related field
  • Certificate IV in Community Services Work or Diploma in Community Services Work
  • counselling course or undergraduate units in counselling, including HPY210
  • experience volunteering with a community organisation
  • experience working autonomously
  • Working with Children Check, Police Check and first aid certificate.

Employers

Employers could include specific domestic or family violence community-based services, referral services, telephone or online counselling services, larger not-for-profits who support victims of domestic violence, community health services and resource centres such as: