Social Worker
Community and Health

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Child Protection Worker
Family Support Worker
Welfare Centre Manager

Welfare Worker

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Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingSkill Level 5

Social workers help people to deal with personal and social problems, either directly or by planning or carrying out programs that benefit groups or communities. Social workers provide information, Future Growth Strong counselling and support to people experiencing personal and social problems. They provide support services, such as counselling, facilitation of support groups and administering education programs, to clients experiencing a diverse range of difficulties. Social workers also help their clients and clients' families with practical issues, such as accessing income support, travel and accommodation subsidies and finding emergency accommodation. They may offer support to clients with a disability or chronic illness, victims of violent and/or sexual crimes, people who have attempted suicide or self harm, homeless people, drug addicts and many others experiencing a personal crisis.

ANZSCO ID & description: 2725: Assesses the social needs of individuals, families and groups, assists and empowers people to develop and use the skills and resources needed to resolve social and other problems, and furthers human wellbeing and human rights, social justice and social development. Registration or licensing may be required.


Knowledge, skills and attributes

A social worker needs:

  • a caring and compassionate nature
  • a high level of organisational and communication skills
  • the ability to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • the ability to assess their clients' difficulties objectively

Family Counselling

 

Duties and Tasks

Social workers may perform the following tasks:

  • counsel individuals through a crisis that may be due to death, illness, relationship breakdown or other reasons
  • provide clients with information on services to assist them
  • provide letters of referral or reports that will help clients to obtain other services such as crisis accommodation or social security benefits
  • guide small groups of people to share their experiences, support each other and learn social skills
  • help community groups to plan and carry out programs to help themselves (e.g. assisting newly arrived immigrants to form an association)
  • research community problems, needs and solutions through client contact and records of welfare and health agencies
  • analyse statistics and write reports
  • develop policy and evaluate programs
  • manage and train staff
  • attend professional meetings
  • lobby to change social welfare policies and procedures in the pursuit of social justice for all members of the community.

 

Specialisations

Social workers specialise in fields such as

* family

* youth and child welfare services

* medical and health services

* disability services

* psychiatric and general mental health services

* juvenile and family law courts

* aged care and disabilities

* income support and

* mediation.


Working with Elderly


Working conditions

Some social workers travel to visit clients or run group meetings. In country areas they may travel long distances. They may also be involved in private practice, research or teaching. Social workers work in a variety of environments including schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, government agencies, courts and in private practice. They may also conduct home visits or run group support sessions in halls, churches or other community facilities. The majority of social workers in  Australia are based in the metropolitan regions, however, there are employment opportunities for social workers throughout the regional areas as well.

Tools and technologies

Social workers use standard office equipment, including computers, faxes and photocopiers. Depending on their area of specialisation they may also use counselling aides, such as children's toys, psychological tests and art supplies. Many social workers also need a drivers licence so that they are able to visit clients at home.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a social worker you usually need to complete a degree majoring in social work.

Most universities in Australia offer relevant courses. To work with children in Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check issued by the Working with Children Screening Unit of the Department of Community Services.

 

Family Support Worker
Community and Health

Clerical or OrganisingHelping or advisingSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

 

A family support worker is assigned to at-risk clients through governmental or social service agencies. They assess the needs of the family, help resolve issues and promote wellbeing, human rights and social justice. They may offer counselling and mediation services, identify appropriate social services and help families navigate the protocols of the social system. Future Growth Strong

Family support workers give assistance to families facing social problems and act as a liaison between them and different government organisations. Family support workers are social service agents who work in a variety of capacities in assisting at-risk citizens. This may include offering counseling and mediation services, helping identify and access appropriate social services and helping families get back on their feet following periods of unemployment, emotional, mental or physical crisis or financial distress. The position requires tact, diplomacy, good communication and problem-solving skills and the ability to interface with a wide range of personality types.

Family support workers provide emotional and practical assistance and guidance to children and families in need. They work in settings such as foster care or adoption agencies, child protective services agencies or family services organisations. Most family support workers focus on providing social services and assisting with the promotion of physical well-being and mental health.

ANZSCO ID: 411713

Knowledge, skills and attributes          

To become a family support worker, you would need:

  • the ability to take initiative and work independently
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • the ability to build rapport with children and adults
  • leadership qualities
  • a non-judgmental attitude and respect for individuals' differences
  • the ability to plan and organise
  • to maintain confidentiality in your dealings with clients
  • a caring personality with a strong sense of social justice and empathy
  • a thorough understanding of services offered and systems to follow
  • strong organisation skills and attention to detail to prepare reports, manage caseloads and follow-up appointments
  • excellent oral and written communications skills to interact with a wide range of individuals
  • good problem solving skills, tact and diplomacy

  Family Support Worker
(Source: Seek)

Duties and Tasks

As a family support worker, you would:

  • meet with individuals or families referred by social workers or medical professionals
  • determine the type of emotional support and help needed
  • discuss and plan the practical aspects of the assistance with the individual or family
  • deliver the assistance, or work with other professionals as necessary
  • provide necessary support to help children stay with their families if possible
  • keep accurate and up to date client records.

A family support worker is typically assigned to clients by governmental and social services agencies. The role involves establishing a relationship with individual families, assessing their needs, their eligibility for various types of public aid, and walking them through the application processes. Family support workers help clients understand the rules and regulations attached to various forms of social services support and aid, and assists them in navigating what can be complex financial and personal documentation of assets, income and expenses. Other responsibilities of the job include helping families ensure they are getting the benefits they are entitled to and making recommendations for things like job training and accessing various community resources.

Examples of skills you may help individuals or families to develop would include:

  • caring skills

  • teaching children how to learn through play

  • dealing with behaviour difficulties

  • managing finances and household budgets.


Working conditions

You would usually work a standard hours number of hours. Part-time and flexible work arrangements should be readily available. You may need to be available out of hours if you are working with a family that has school age children.

You would typically meet and work with families in their own homes, but would be based in an office with other colleagues. You might also work in early childcare education centres. Family support workers usually work for government organisations, or for private companies contracted by the government to provide these services.

A drivers’ licence may be needed for some jobs.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a family support worker you usually need tertiary qualifications in social welfare, health or allied areas. A diploma is usually the minimum requirement, but employers often require a bachelor’s degree. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

If you are working with children, you would be required to complete the equivalent of a Working with Children check. A National Police Certificate may also be required.

Family support workers are typically required to have a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field. Social workers and clinical social workers are generally required to hold a master's degree, have clinical experience, and be licensed by the state in which they work. Specialized training related to interpersonal communication and financial planning are also an asset. Individuals who are bilingual may have an advantage when applying for positions in areas with a diverse population base. Job-seekers with advanced training or education often have the opportunity to advance into supervisory or managerial positions.

Opportunities

Growth is expected as the population grows, and families seek assistance for an increasing number of issues, including accessing government services. Growth may be tempered, however, but the amount of government funding available for family support services.

Welfare Centre Manager
Community and Health

Helping or advisingSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Welfare Centre Managers manage centres, programs or projects concerned with social welfare support. Welfare centre managers devise, plan, organise and run programs that help members of the community to live fulfilling lives. They liaise with community and social workers to determine what services are required by specific sections of the community. These may include services such as healthcare, housing, employment, education and training, and culture and recreation. Welfare project managers devise and establish projects that provide these Future Growth Very Strong services, liaise with business and local government to garner financial and community support for these projects, assist with budgeting, and report on progress. Welfare project managers work all over Australia, assisting communities everywhere to realise their goals.

ANZSCO ID: 134214

Alternative names: Welfare Project Manager

Knowledge, skills and attributes         

  • to have respect for the rights and views of a wide range of individuals
  • an interest in community and social issues
  • self-motivation and the ability to work independently
  • project management and time management skills
  • budgeting and financial management skills
  • to enjoy assisting people
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • the ability to take initiative and work independently
  • the ability to build rapport with children and adults
  • leadership qualities
  • a non-judgmental attitude and respect for individuals' differences
  • the ability to plan and organise
  • to maintain confidentiality in your dealings with clients
  • a caring personality with a strong sense of social justice and empathy
  • a thorough understanding of services offered and systems to follow
  • strong organisation skills and attention to detail to prepare reports, manage caseloads and follow-up appointments
  • excellent oral and written communications skills to interact with a wide range of individuals
  • good problem solving skills, tact and diplomacy

Welfare Worker
Source: UWA

 

Duties and Tasks

  • Provides overall direction and management for the service, facility, organisation or centre.
  • Co-ordinates and administers health and welfare programmes and clinical services.
  • Monitors and evaluates resources devoted to health, welfare, recreation, housing, employment, training and other community facilities and centres.
  • Controls administrative operations such as budget planning, report preparation, expenditure on supplies, equipment and services.
  • Liaises with other health and welfare providers, boards and funding bodies to discuss areas of health and welfare service co-operation and co-ordination.
  • Represents the organisation in negotiations, conventions, seminars, public hearings and forums.
  • Controls selection, training and supervision of staff.

Working conditions

Welfare centre managers mostly work in the offices of government departments or community welfare organisations. They spend most of their time in the office, but may travel to visit welfare centres, schools, hospitals or other community organisations. They usually work regular business hours but may be required to work longer hours to meet project deadlines. They may also need to be able to provide training, present workshops and other presentations, and attend meetings. Project managers can also expect to work under pressure.

Tools and technologies

Welfare centre managers use computers and other office equipment, particularly project and data management software and other online planning tools. They may also use project management software to assist in planning and managing the various aspects of the project or projects they are working on. They may also need access to a vehicle to visit particular groups or individuals in the community.

Education and training/entrance requirements

Previous relevant experience and a formal qualification in business management, social work, community development or another related field is generally needed to work as a Welfare Centre Manager. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Welfare Centre Managers.

To become a welfare centre manager you usually need to study a degree in community services, community development, welfare, human services or social work.

The Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management is offered at registered training organisations throughout Australia. Most universities in Australia offer relevant courses.

Most employers will also require those working in management roles to have experience using leadership skills in a related industry or occupation. Many welfare centre managers will have worked for a number of years in welfare work before progressing to a managerial role.

Required registration and licensing: If working with children in this occupation in Australia, you must obtain a Working with Children Check (WWCC) from the Department of Communities.


Welfare Worker
Community and Health

Helping or advisingSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Welfare workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities to improve quality of life by empowering, educating and supporting people and by helping them to change their social environment. Welfare workers deal with situations which may involve emotional, social and financial difficulties. Future Growth Very Strong

Some specialise in helping families, adolescents, people with substance abuse issues, homeless people, people with disability, people escaping domestic violence, victims of crime or criminals.

Welfare, Recreation, and Community Arts Workers assist individuals and families with financial, emotional, or social difficulties in a variety of ways. They may assess current living situations and environments and offer advice on ways to improve those situations. They also work to secure food, housing, and other social benefits and help with access to job training and education. Welfare workers work with individuals, families and groups with difficulties to improve their quality of life by empowering, educating and supporting them to help them work towards positive change in their lives.
Welfare Support Workers provide support, information and advice to clients on emotional, financial, recreational, health, housing and other social welfare matters, and evaluate and coordinate the services of welfare and community service agencies.

Welfare workers may assist individuals or groups with social, emotional or financial difficulties. They may support and help clients access professional services for issues such as unemployment, marital problems, homelessness, illness or drug abuse. They may also provide intensive short-term crisis counselling for victims of domestic abuse, disasters and other crises.

ANZSCO ID: 272613

Alternative names: Welfare Case Worker, Welfare Support Worker, Welfare, Recreation, and Community Arts Worker

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people
  • tolerance and an open mind
  • good planning and organisational skills
  • able to take initiative
  • sense of responsibility
  • able to deal with conflict in stressful situations
  • ability to perceive when others are in need of help
  • empathy
  • oral and written communications skills
  • positive and nonjudgmental attitude
  • use of logic and reasoning to resolve complex problems
  • commitment to human rights and social justice
Homeless

Duties and Tasks

Welfare workers may perform the following tasks:

  • provide support and assistance to clients who experience difficulties such as marital problems, unemployment, illness or drug abuse
  • assisting with information on counselling, housing services, food access, etc
  • improving care and programs available for community members
  • interviewing individuals and families to determine specific needs
  • publishing reports on the efficiency and quality of community services
  • setting up plans of action to ensure better qualities of life
  • working with victims of abuse by providing counselling, care, and financial assistance
  • assessing clients' needs and planning, developing and implementing educational, training and support programs
  • interviewing clients and assessing the nature and extent of difficulties
  • monitoring and reporting on the progress of clients
  • referring clients to agencies that can provide additional help
  • assessing community need and resources for health, welfare, housing, employment, training and other facilities and services
  • liaising with community groups, welfare agencies, government bodies and private businesses about community issues and promoting awareness of community resources and services
  • supporting families and providing education and care for children and disabled persons in adult service units, group housing and government institutions
  • supervising offenders on probation and parole
  • assisting young people to solve social, emotional and financial problems
  • preparing submissions for funding and resources, and reports to government bodies and other agenciesarrange for clients to be referred to appropriate specialists or community agencies
  • help clients with long-term problems to bring about self-directed change in their lives
  • assess risks and provide intensive short-term crisis counselling for victims of domestic violence or child abuse
  • help to establish or administer neighbourhood houses or community groups
  • evaluate data and write reports, including submissions requesting funding for continuing programmes and new projects
  • act on behalf of clients who have a complaint against an organisation or government department
  • arrange and evaluate support services, such as Meals on Wheels delivery to elderly people living alone
  • recruit, train and coordinate volunteer staff
  • assist community groups to identify and implement strategies to deal with local issues

 

Welfare Worker
(Source: YourCareer)

Working conditions

Welfare workers can work individually or as part of a team. They may work in an office, visit clients in their homes and attend evening community meetings. Welfare workers are employed by state, territory and federal government departments, local councils, hospitals, health centres, unions, industry, non-government organisations, and community groups. Increasing numbers are self-employed in private practice or as consultants. They may work in offices, in short-term or long-term accommodation services, or in refuges.

Welfare workers may be employed as fieldworkers, project officers, programme coordinators, community health workers, student or staff counsellors, or human services workers. Some welfare workers are employed in supervisory, administrative or policy-making roles.

Depending on the organisation that they work for and the nature of their work, they may have to work shiftwork, including weekends and public holidays.

Demand for this occupation is largely influenced by government funding in the social welfare field.

Tools and technologies

Welfare workers use computers and other office equipment to maintain and update their clients’ progress. They may also use computers to write reports and secure funding, and manage budgets or financial plans.

They may require a driver’s licence to travel to clients’ homes or within the community, and attend evening community meetings.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a welfare worker you usually have to complete a VOC qualification in community services work or community services advocacy. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you complete a degree specialising in human services, community welfare, community development or a related discipline. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with English. The Certificate IV in Community Services Work and the Diploma of Community Services Work are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia. You can also undertake a traineeship. The community services work (level 4) traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.
You usually need a formal qualification in society and culture, behavioural science, human welfare, community service, or another related field to work as a Welfare Support Worker. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.


A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.

You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Additional Information

To become a member of the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA) you need to complete an approved degree or 2-year diploma in community services work, human services community welfare, community development or a similar discipline that is approved by ACWA. Contact the association for further information and a current list of approved courses.

To work with children or vulnerable people in NSW, you must obtain a Working with Children Check from the Office of the Children's Guardian. To work with children in the ACT, you need to obtain a Working with Vulnerable People Check from the ACT Office of Regulatory Services. A National Police Certificate may also be required.

 


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Materials sourced from
the Job Guide,
Jobs & Skills WA [Child Protection Worker; Social Worker
; Welfare Worker; Welfare Centre Manager;];
CareerHQ [Family Support Worker; ]
Good Universities Guide [Social Worker Image;]
Upskilled [Family Support Worker; ]
Chron.Work [Family Support Workers; ]
CareersOnline [Welfare Worker; ]
Open Universities [Welfare, Recreation & Community Arts Worker; ]

JobOutlook [Social Worker;
Welfare Centre Managers; Welfare Support Workers; ]

 

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physio

Optometrist

Special Care Worker

Medical Practitioner

Chiropractor

Ophthalmologist

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Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

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acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Cardiologist

House Parent

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon

Medical Radiation Therapist

Vet

Firefighter

Garbage Collector

Paramedic

Teacher

Dentist

Chaplain

Nurse

Midwife

Child Care Worker

Social Worker

Real Estate Agent

physio

Optometrist

Special Care Worker

Medical Practitioner

Chiropractor

Ophthalmologist

Audiologist

Podiatrist

Medical Imaging Technologist

  Speech Pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Natural Therapist

SES Officer

Art Therapist

Dermatologist

Psychiatrist

Plastic or Reconstructive Surgeon

acupuncturist

Osteopath

Paediatrician

Neurologist

Indigenous Community Worker

Oncologist

Sports Doctor

Retirement Nursing Home Manager

Cardiologist

House Parent

Rheumatologist

Community Worker

Youth Worker

Anaesthetist

Intensive Care Specialist

Surgeon