media release

Child Protection front-line boost thanks to Liberal Government reform

The Liberal Government’s initiative to broaden the accepted qualifications for child protection workers has resulted in a boost to front-line case manager roles.

To help fill dozens of vacancies, a 100-day Marshall Liberal Government commitment following the March 2018 pledged to broaden qualifications for child protection workers.

Since May 2018, an additional 32 Professional Officers (POs) have been recruited into case manager roles in line with the new initiative. This includes a combination of new hires and existing employees, who may have previously been working in support roles.

The reform means the Department of Child Protection now accepts degree level
qualifications that relate to child protection, such as health and human services, in addition to social workers.

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson said the recruitment success meant that more vulnerable children in South Australia can be better supported.

“For many years, I have been acutely aware of staffing shortages right across the child protection system that existed under the former Labor Government,” said Minister Sanderson.

“That’s why I’m pleased to announce that as a result of the Liberal Government’s initiative to broaden the accepted qualifications for child protection workers to help fill vacancies we have seen a boost in numbers to the front-line.

“It’s really fantastic to see staff recruited from a whole range of areas including the sciences, health, nursing and psychology, which adds huge depth and knowledge to our workforce and benefits children in care.

“In line with this new reform, qualifications of staff now include Bachelor of Psychological Studies Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Nursing and Psychology.

“This new approach is already in place in other jurisdictions and was endorsed by Royal Commissioner Margaret Nyland.

“I’d urge prospective candidates holding related qualifications to apply for child protection roles in what is no doubt a rewarding and challenging field helping support our most vulnerable children.”

In addition to the 32 new Professional Officers, an extra 83 additional social workers and case managers were recruited for the period from March 2018 to May 2019.

“We are committed to continuing to recruit front-line staff in both metropolitan and our regions, to ensure our children and young people are getting the best support and care possible,” said Minister Sanderson.