Roles in child and family services

Child and family services work with children, young people and families experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage

A wide range of community-based organisations deliver child and family services.  

A role in child and family services focuses on: 

  • Promoting and protecting children’s rights 
  • Improving children’s safety, wellbeing and development 
  • Empowering children, young people, parents, carers and families to develop their knowledge, skills and resilience 
  • Building the community’s capacity so children and young people can thrive. 

Family services

In this area, social workers provide essential support and intervention to families and parents to build family capacity to keep children safe and thriving, as well as strengthening family resilience to deal with difficulties and hardship.​ This includes offering counselling, early intervention services, and assistance with refugee settlement. 

Roles in this category work in these areas: 

  • Family and parenting support 
  • Early intervention  
  • Refugee settlement  
  • Counselling and trauma treatment  
  • Individual youth support 
  • Family violence and sexual assault services. 

Care services

This area involves work directly with children and young people, who cannot live safely at home, and are residing in a home-based or residential care setting. As part of this work, social workers may also work directly with carers and families. This area is also responsible for delivering services to young people transitioning from care to independent living. 

Roles in this category work in these areas:  

  • Foster care 
  • Residential care 
  • Therapeutic residential care 
  • Secure welfare 
  • Kinship care 
  • Permanent care 
  • Placement prevention and reunification services 
  • leaving care services

Child protection services

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing delivers child protection. In these roles, social workers will be responsible for assessing and investigating reports of harm, making applications to the Children’s Court, managing case planning for children, and referring children and families to services that assist in providing the ongoing safety and wellbeing of children.  

Roles in this area include:  

  • Advanced child protection practitioners 
  • Leading or expert practitioners. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) deliver tailored services for Aboriginal children and families. This includes children and young people in Aboriginal Care. Aboriginal Care is a program for those subject to Children’s Court protection orders.

Services delivered by ACCOs advance self-determination and self-management.