A Day in the Life of a Child Protection Worker in BunburyOn November 19, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
I’m Nadine. I’m a Child Protection Worker at the Bunbury office in the South West. My job is to help plan and case manage children in the care of the Department. That involves lots of different aspects of their lives from making sure they’re okay, seeing what’s happening for them, checking on their placement, talking with their carers around what support might they need, how are the kids going. I guess the biggest thing with children in care is that they’re already at such a disadvantage to a lot of other people in the community that we really want to give them all the opportunities we can so that they can have really good long-term outcomes. The biggest challenge is creating that bond and that relationship with not only your kids, but especially your parents. Sometimes the Department does have a bit of a stigma with families and it’s breaking that stigma down and building that relationship with families. I think what we do is really important. The safety of our children, you know, the children in the community, they’re our future, and they’re the most vulnerable people in our community, so it’s our job to help take those children and I guess not just help them survive life, but help them to thrive in life and learn to enjoy life. Sometimes you get a bit teary. It’s hard not to. My job’s really emotional, so being in that moment with someone, although people might say, “it’s just a job,” it’s not just a job. You’re not here for the job. It’s somebody’s life and to think that you can help someone make the steps to improve their life, that is just huge. The best thing is our team. Child protection isn’t just about the Child Protection Worker, it’s about the team that they sit in and we do everything as a team. We have open plan, so we’re constantly, our teammates are around us. We’re constantly discussing things. It helps us to offload. It also helps us to grow and hear other people’s opinions, and how they might tackle things. Bunbury is definitely a great place to work. There’s so many shops, so many restaurants, there’s catching up with friends for a coffee, going out for a few drinks after work on a Friday night. All these different kinds of things that people like out of the city but the benefit of that being so close to the country and far enough away that you’re not surrounded by people and that flat-out busyness all the time. The role can be tough at times but the best thing is seeing some of the most vulnerable people in our community and getting to a stage where they begin to feel empowered.