Social workers help people to deal with personal and social problems, either directly or by planning or carrying out programmes that benefit groups or communities. They are interested in challenging the structural barriers that contribute to inequality, discrimination, exploitation and oppression within communities.
To become a social worker you usually have to complete a degree in social work at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education with English. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in social work. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Social workers may perform the following tasks:
Social workers are employed in a variety of community and social welfare fields and may work in state, territory and federal government departments; hospitals; community health centres; local government authorities; or non-government organisations. Some social workers are self-employed, working as counsellors, therapists and consultants. With their broad academic and practical training, qualified social workers may also work in non-social work areas as project officers, policy makers, managers or administrators. Employment prospects are affected by the level of funding from federal, state and territory governments. Applicants can expect competition for available positions in metropolitan cities, while opportunities in rural areas will continue to grow.