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Social Worker

Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

Social workers help people to deal with personal and social problems, either directly or by planning or carrying out programmes that benefit groups or communities.

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; community development; schools; and correctional services.

TASKS

    Social workers may perform the following tasks:

  • provide counselling and support through a crisis that may be due to death, illness, relationship breakdown or other reasons
  • provide clients with information about services that can 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
  • assist community groups to plan and carry out programmes to help themselves (assisting newly arrived immigrants to form an association, for example)
  • 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 programmes
  • 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

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • emotional maturity
  • keen analytical abilities
  • able to view other people's problems objectively
  • good organisational and communication skills
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • commitment to social justice
Very Good Outlook
Very Good Outlook for this career!


Interest Area

Medical Helping/Community Service Influencing/Personal Contact

EDUCATION & TRAINING


Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Police Check First Aid Working With Children check

To become a social worker you usually have to complete a degree in social work at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with English. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in social work.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    Before undertaking professional placements required by courses, students will need to obtain a National Police Certificate, a Provide First Aid Certificate, immunisations and a Working with Children Check (NSW) or a Working with Vulnerable People Check (ACT). Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

    There is no legal registration for social workers in any Australian state or territory. However, the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the professional body that sets standards for social work in Australia, and many jobs require eligibility for membership of AASW. Graduates of AASW-accredited Bachelor of Social Work degrees are automatically eligible for membership of AASW.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Social workers are employed in a variety of community and social welfare fields and may work in state, territory and federal government departments; hospitals; community health centres; local government authorities; or non-government organisations. Some social workers are self-employed, working as counsellors, therapists and consultants.

With their broad academic and practical training, qualified social workers may also work in non-social work areas as project officers, policy makers, managers or administrators.

Employment prospects are affected by the level of funding from federal, state and territory governments. Applicants can expect competition for available positions in metropolitan cities, while opportunities in rural areas will continue to grow.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Social Worker Australian Association of Social Workers ACT Health Community Services Department of Family and Community Services (NSW) NSW Working with Children Check Office of Regulatory Services (ACT)


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