Passionate about advocating for the rights of young people and their families? Our Certificate of Youth and Family Interventionwill prepare you for a career or promotion in the area of child protection and family intervention. This includes working as a Child Youth and Family Support Worker or a Case Manager in the area of Youth Early Intervention.
Our child protection course will give insights into working effectively with clients at risk to provide emotional support and improve their living circumstances. You will study how to undertake child risk assessments and implement multi-agency investigations, and learn how to effectively support and assist families to ensure that children and young people remain safe. You will also be able to identify when clients’ language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) are impeding their access to services, and how to adjust service delivery or refer to alternative services.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a child protection course include:
- Learning how to work with those at risk of homelessness
- Examining low income, safe housing and rental subsidies
- Learning about low income
- Exploring domestic violence, neglect, drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness
- Understanding refugees and asylum seekers
- Learning about employment services and case management
- Understanding early intervention and mandatory reporting
- Exploring confidentiality and advocacy
- Studying how to develop and facilitate case management
- Understanding how to plan and record case management meetings
- Learning about client rights and individual and family needs
- Exploring disability legislation
- Studying rights of appeal and complex and high-risk situations
- Gaining insights into case review and the elements of negotiation
- Understanding how to undertake case management in child protection
- Learning how to assess client needs and risks and develop an assessment plan
- Exploring the intervention process and support and prevention strategies
- Studying a client’s rights to appeal
- Gaining insights into the nature of advocacy and support
- Examining how to represent the client and negotiate client agreement
- Understanding confidentiality and how to evaluate and achieve case plan goals
- Learning how to work effectively in child protection
- Exploring roles and responsibilities and quality of care
- Studying investigations and substantiation
- Gaining insights into jurisdiction and care and protection orders
- Examining risk management
- Understanding the indicators of child abuse and neglect
- Learning about emergency situations
- Exploring how to facilitate family intervention strategies
- Studying community family needs and social and cultural perspectives
- Gaining insights into family law framework
- Understanding court and restraining orders
- Learning about parental alcoholism and post-natal depression
- Exploring urgent responses and crisis support and policies
- Studying family support services and community service programs
- Gaining insights into working with clients in social housing
- Understanding community, public, social and transitional housing and Independent Living Units (ILUs)
- Learning about housing for people with disabilities
- Exploring the NFP affordable housing program and the Supported Housing Assistance Program (SHAP)
A Day in the Life of a Youth Support Worker
From career choices and family conflict to alcohol, drugs and relationships, youth support workers deal with a range of issues on a daily basis — including those you’ll learn about in our child protection course. They offer support and guidance to parents, families and carers, and may also facilitate programs that support the wider community.
An average day can be diverse, fast-paced and challenging, but it will also allow you to make a real difference in young people’s lives. Some of the day-to-day tasks a child and family support worker may undertake are:
Sessions with clients
One-on-one counselling sessions are an important way of understanding issues so an assessment can be made about a client’s safety, health and wellbeing. They may also involve working together to plan a strategy to overcome these. During these sessions, it’s important to offer empathy, minimise judgement, and keep anything discussed confidential so a client’s trust can be earned.
Community youth programs
Child and family support workers may be responsible for organising and facilitating community projects and programs that aim to build confidence and self-esteem. They can also help young people connect with their peers and other community groups. These programs may include things like outdoor camps, social outings, arts-based activities and sporting projects, and some may be held outside normal working hours.
Networking with others
Support workers may also work alongside other professionals like social workers, teachers and local authorities in order to advocate on a client’s behalf. Collaboration can help both young people and their families reach their full potential. You may also find yourself accompanying a client to appointments — including with medical professionals — or helping them to find a safe housing arrangement.
Just like in most other jobs, admin is an important part of a support worker’s role. This includes compiling reports, planning projects and events, sending emails, scheduling appointments, and sourcing funding for community programs.
What is Child Abuse and Neglect?
When you study a child protection course, you will learn how to recognise child abuse and neglect. It’s also vital that if you suspect or believe it is taking place, you report it to Child Protection Services or the police.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child abuse and neglect as “All forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.
According to the Australian Government’s Australian Institute of Family Studies, the subtypes of child abuse and neglect are:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- exposure to family violence
Definitions of neglect and child abuse can also be both legal and medical/psychological. Legal definitions tend to be broad, while medical definitions usually provide a more detailed explanation.
However, the way legislation defines both of these matters, because laws have a direct influence on the outcomes of cases that are brought before a court, and can affect the decisions of judges and lawyers. They can also affect the attitudes and training of practitioners, the practices and policies of child protection agencies, and the acceptable standards of behaviour for the community.
Currently, the two legal systems set up to respond to and prevent child abuse and neglect in Australia are the civil legal system and the criminal legal system.
The Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Most children and young people in Australia grow up in healthy, safe and positive environments. However, some vulnerable groups continue to lack the adequate human rights protections and need to be advocated for. Just like adults, children have rights across the full spectrum of cultural, civil, political, economic and social rights — something you will clearly understand after undertaking a child protection course.
Some of the groups of children and young people particularly at risk include indigenous children, those in immigration detention, and children who have disabilities or are experiencing homelessness or mental health issues. Children and young people also have special rights because of their vulnerability — including the right to have a home, be cared for, be protected from exploitation, and the right to have a say in decisions that will affect them.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in November 1989, and it came into force in September 1990. The four Guiding Principles of the CRC are:
- Respect for the best interests of the child as a primary consideration.
- The right to survival and development.
- The right of all children to express their views freely on all matters affecting them.
- The right of all children to enjoy all the rights of the CRC without discrimination of any kind.
The Australian Government reports to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child every five years in terms of how children are faring in Australia and what it is doing to protect their rights. The UN Committee also consistently monitors how countries are meeting their obligations under the CRC and its Optional Protocols.
Ready to launch your new career or learn vital skills in the area of child protection and family support work? Make a difference in people’s lives with courses like our Certificate of Youth and Family Intervention.