26 May 2017
The media has made no bones about the fact that Australia is currently experiencing levels of domestic violence against women that could best be described as of ‘epidemic proportions’. But, what about children?
As an industry, the child protection services industry is crying out for compassionate and qualified people to aid families who need help fostering positive relationships.
We’re all familiar with Rosie Batty’s story; her son was tragically killed by his own father. Given the public nature of this incident, Rosie has since become well known as a tireless campaigner against family violence in Australia. In a quest to turn this epidemic around, Rosie wants every Australian to make family violence their business.
This is where there is hope, and a bright side. Our future child protection officers will be helping to combat this issue.
Kirily is on her way to becoming a child protection officer
When Kirily moved from the USA a few years ago, she was searching for work. Knowing she wanted to help people, but not really sure how to translate that into reality, she started browsing courses within the community services space. It was the Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention that really called out to her.
“There was just something about this course that caught my attention. When I first came across it, I just knew it was meant to be, I really wanted to help families in crisis.”
“I started asking around to find out about getting started in the industry and there was so much positive feedback. Either through word of mouth or from Facebook, people who had studied this course at TAFE Queensland loved it.”
Kirily is focused on getting work in the child protection services, and found the course to be perfect. She says that in addition to the coursework, the real-world experiences shared by the teaching staff were inspiring.
“The teachers I had were amazing to learn from. Their knowledge about helping young people was shared so generously with us, and really helped put the coursework into context.”
Kirily says her achievement in completing the course was not only due to the teaching staff, but also the two work placements she undertook as part of her studies.
“Having the opportunity to apply what I was learning in a real life situation made a big difference to my studies. I now have the confidence to hit the ground running in my first job after graduating, and look forward to being well suited to my chosen career.”
What does a child protection officer actually do?
Core skills required to be an effective child protection officer are the ability to be an active listener and to be able to empathise with the child’s point of view. You will also need to be able to respond to client needs and undertake case management in a child protection setting.
As you gain experience in this field, you will take on a wide range of duties, both in and out of the office. A day in the life of this career path includes assessing, investigating and managing cases, working with children who are at risk, and potentially introducing measures to protect children, while also helping to improve family behaviour.
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