Welfare workers work with individuals, families, groups and communities to improve quality of life by empowering, educating and supporting people and by helping them to change their social environment.
To become a welfare worker you usually have to complete a VET qualification in community services. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you complete a degree specialising in human services, community welfare, community development or a related discipline. 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 these areas. 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.
Welfare workers may perform the following tasks:
Welfare workers deal with situations which may involve emotional, social and financial difficulties. Welfare workers can work individually or as part of a team. They may work in an office, visit clients in their homes and attend evening community meetings.
Welfare workers are employed by state, territory and federal government departments; local councils; hospitals and health centres; unions; industry; non-government organisations; and community groups. Increasing numbers are self-employed in private practice or as consultants. Welfare workers may be employed as fieldworkers, project officers, program coordinators, community health workers, student or staff counsellors, or human services workers. Some welfare workers are employed in supervisory, administrative or policy-making roles. Demand for this occupation is largely influenced by government funding in the social welfare field.