To be employed as a social worker you need to be able to be registered with the Australian Association of Social Workers, to do that you need either a Bachelor Degree in Social Work or a qualifying Master of Social Work (which you can do if you already have an eligible Bachelor Degree in another area). Part of that is you have to complete 2x 500 hour pracs, that's is the toughest part of the degree, it's a lot of hours to work for free. This is Australia wide requirements.
I went rural for my first job so was employed the week after uni finished. Generally people will do contract work for a while before securing permanent work.
Supervision is basically where you meet with someone senior to you and discuss your practice, organisational issues etc.
Social Work is extremely diverse, there's work in lots of different organisations.
Thanks everyone. All your info has helped me get a bit of a clearer picture of what I need to do / what the job entails. I have a lot to think about before I commit to studying. I have given myself another 6 months to decide.
My bestie is in social work, yes she finds the genuine cases rewarding to work with, but she gets very worn down from all the clients who are just taking advantage, which she states there are *many*. She has said before that she wishes when she was studying that someone would have warned her of that. It's not all heartwarming helping needy people/turning their lives around type stuff.
A diploma of community services gets you a year of a social work degree. So that might be an option if you don't want to commit to a degree. At least if you change your mind you end up with a diploma and it's cheaper hecs wise. You can also do other degrees like community development, social science, social welfare etc. but you can not register as a social worker. It depends on what you want to end up doing. Many industries rate experience with families highly you can work for child protection, government, immigration, council, community organisations etc with degrees other than social work.
Ideally I would want to work in a school setting or in community health I think. Working with families and children is my thing.
Not yet a social worker, I'm still studying. But yes, to be a social worker I needed to do a Bachelor of Social work, which at UTAS is a 2 year end on degree, so I'm currently in my 2nd year of a Bachelor of Social Science, then next year I will apply for the BSW.
I'm aiming to work as a child protection case worker with DHHS, in my area these jobs are readily available, and they don't require the a Social Work qualification, you can do that job with the Diploma of Community Welfare Work and they will consider other qualifications if there have been case management or psychology or teaching elements.
So, if you're interested in any particular fields, find out what their specific educational requirements are and go from there. I'd probably opt for a BSW/MSW because ultimately it opens more options than the Diploma. But yeah, doing the 2 x 500 hours of prac placement is a big task. My DH and I are already starting to make arrangements for the care of our 4 children during those times, and I'm still about a year off doing my first round of placement.
I've attached this from the Australian Association of Social workers which lists the accredited courses.
If you can't commit to going back to uni I think the Diploma may give you employment opportunities in non govt agencies or charities etc, perhaps in family support work which might interest you. However in Govt departments you absolutely need the Uni quals to be employed as a Swker.
Like someone else said clinical supervision provides a space to debrief and reflect about difficult cases , management issues etc as burnout and vicarious trauma is a risk in this line of work.
I also provide supervision to a couple of less experienced swkers in my district.
I didn't find it too difficult to find employment - I started my career as a disability officer at Centrelink then moved across into the social work dept.
One of the benefits of field placement requirement is that many students end up being employed in the same workplace they did their placement.
Is the prac placement done in blocks or is it spread out throughout the degree??
Not sure if it depends on the uni but usually there are 2 sessions of placement. From memory one is 400 hours and the other 600 hours but might vary. They have to be done in one block so you work 4 months straight fulltime as an example. Some places might allow students to do placements part time however from what I have seen they don't like to do that because it drags on.
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