Life as a Child Protection Worker in Metropolitan PerthOn November 9, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
My name is Adrian. I’m a Senior Child Protection Worker and I work at the Cannington District. Cannington is one of the biggest districts in the metro area. We have upwards of a hundred staff. Being one of the busiest districts means that we have lots of clients and lots of children and that can mean that we are quite busy with working with lots of different families at the same time. I think it’s important for anyone who is looking to undertake this type of work that they would need to be highly organised and very resilient as well. Often a lot of the conversations and outcomes for the children aren’t necessarily positive and it’s looking at how we can achieve positive outcomes for children and how we measure success for children in care. What makes me keep coming back is having a great group of people to work with. I think Cannington is really special in that regard. We have excellent Team Leaders, excellent Senior Child Protection Workers, specialists. It makes the job a lot easier when you’ve got a really supportive environment and great colleagues to work with. Hi i’m Colleen, I work at Mirrabooka District and I’m a Senior Child Protection Worker. At Mirrabooka District we have lots of different types of cases, lots of different families that we work with. From the front end we’re working with families who haven’t had any contact with the Department before. It can be quite difficult to work with those families and help them understand that we’re there to help them to start with. Mirrabooka, I believe it’s multicultural centre of WA. We have so many diverse cultures that we work with here in our area and we need to liaise with the Migrant Resource Centre and a lot of other agencies so we can do the best cultural work with these families. The opportunities of progression here at Mirrabooka are quite expansive. Over the 14 years I’ve been here, I’ve managed to start at the bottom, now I’ve moved into the leaving care side of things, where that’s what i manage. So there’s huge progression within the district and the Department itself. There’s no normal days in the Department. Every day is different; You don’t know who you’re going to see, you don’t know what you need to do. When you’re working with the families or a child things change and everything’s different, every day. My name is Ronaua, I’m a Child Protection Worker at Armadale District. I think it’s really good in Armadale because you are quite in touch with what’s going on in the community. It’s really important for everyone to know because that’s how you build strong relationships. It is quite a challenging and tough job. You are dealing with people’s lives and making decisions that does impact on not just the child but also their extended family and their support networks, and also just trying to make sure that they’re all right in the process. I feel that if you do have a solid support network around you, you’re able to deal with a lot of the challenges that we do have as workers and dealing with the sorts of situations that we do face. When you’re putting faces to situations and actually seeing the support networks and the work that’s undertaken at the District here, you will understand that there’s a lot of good people out there and it kind of gives you a good faith in, I guess, humanity. I actually think that if I’m helping at least one person in the community that’s a really big difference to make because something that you can do which is such a small act will have lifelong implications on a person. You don’t have to be outgoing but you just have to be able to accept that people have different stories and a different approach. Also a willingness to help people because a lot of the hard work that we do do is from compassion and from trying to make sure that someone’s life Is a little bit better.