Three essential skills for child social workers
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Helping vulnerable children can be a calling for many. To know that your work will directly improve the lives of young people gives a sense of satisfaction that doesn’t come with every job.
There are currently over 23,166 professionally qualified social workers in Australia, according to Deloitte, making this a highly competitive industry to get into. However, years of recruiting candidates into top roles in this sector means that KLC knows what companies look for when hiring. Here are some essential assets to landing your dream child social worker role.
By helping vulnerable children you know you are making a difference through your job.
On top of tertiary qualifications, to be employed as a social worker you need experience. Placements not only allow you to put into practice the theoretical skills you have learnt, but also show you are passionate about becoming a social worker.
Although most relevant courses will include placement-style elements, you can always add to this through voluntary positions. The precise area of child social work you want to enter will influence the type of volunteering you do, but possibilities include schools, summer camps and youth groups.
2. Current and valid Working with Children’s check
By law, everyone working with children must undergo pre-employment screening checks. These simply confirm that there are no reasons why you can’t work around children. Whilst they’re mandatory in most of Australia’s states and territories, there isn’t a federal framework of requirements, so you need to check how this works for the region where you’re applying.
It’s also highly advisable to have a full, clean driving license, although this isn’t usually mandatory for job applications. Aside from getting between case locations as part of a normal routine, social workers need to be able to respond quickly in emergencies – so relying on public transport or other people to get you from A to B can be troublesome.
Volunteering at a summer camp can show your passion for working with children.
3. Knowledge of the ‘Best Interests’ principle
Again, this isn’t usually obligatory, but it is highly regarded by employers. The best interests principle applies throughout Australia and other countries, and dictates that all actions and decisions regarding children should be in their best interests.
Showing in-depth knowledge of this principle, and researching how it would apply to the role to which you are applying, is a great way to stand out from other candidates.
Knowing what employers expect is key when applying for jobs in popular professions such as social working. KLC has years of specialised knowledge and great contacts in this sector, for more information reach out to our team today.