About the program

Switch to Social Work is a new way to gain a social work qualification in the child and family services sector. Participants will obtain a Master of Social Work (Child and Family Services). The program has been developed by the Victorian Government, working with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, community services organisations and La Trobe University.

Switch to Social Work is an earn and learn program. Participants are employed as a paid intern at a community services organisation while they study. This practical real-world work supports their study with on-the job experience in the areas they will be qualified to work in.

To learn more, watch one of our recorded information sessions.

Earn while you learn

The program provides:

  • Full tuition fee scholarships
  • A cost-of-living allowance in year one
  • Participant centered support services
  • On-the-job training
  • An entry level industry wage in year two


Switch to Social Work offers supported pathways to further study.  

Participants were eligible to apply if they: 

  • Had a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than social work
  • Had completed at least one year, or equivalent, of full-time study in social science and behavioral sciences
  • Had the right to live, work and study in Australia, including:
    • Australian citizens
    • Permanent residents
    • Holders of a permanent Humanitarian Visa (866) or predecessor

Participants could not apply if they currently worked as a practitioner in the child and family services sector. 

They must also:  

  • Be committed to working in the child and family services sector for at least three years after their study 
  • Study full-time (as they cannot study part-time or defer the program) 
  • Take part in all areas of the program, including placements and travel  
  • Pass a Working with Children Check 
  • Pass an International Police Check. 

The program advocated for applications that are representative of our diverse community. 

Applications are now closed.

Switch to Social Work could make reasonable adjustments to accommodate participants application or learning needs without compromising academic integrity or work experience.   

La Trobe University’s AccessAbility Advisors could support participants with:  

  • Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other types of neurodiversity  
  • Mental health conditions  
  • Physical disabilities  
  • Caring responsibilities.  

Contact us

The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is providing wraparound support for Switch to Social Work participants and host employers. We will help you on your journey to becoming a professional social worker, supporting your participants, or provide further information about the program.

Fill in the contact form and a team member will respond as soon as possible.