World Social Worker Day – 21 March 2023
There is currently a shortage of Child Protection workers across Australia. In some states, up to 25% of Child Protection positions are vacant.
The alarming proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies exists due to staff burnout and high turnover.
The Child Protection workforce has not grown at the pace required to keep up with children requiring assessments, care and support.
Excessive workloads are driving dedicated staff away from Child Protection work, leading to a bigger problem for those remaining and leaving more children at risk. The result is a large volume of cases not being investigated in a timely manner, with many children at risk going without the early intervention they so desperately need and ending up in care.
Nationally, we have more children in care than at any time in the last 15 years and the gap for Aboriginal children in care is widening.
Australia needs a National Child Protection Workforce Plan for the development, recruitment and retention of skilled staff to meet current and future need for the critically important work you do with children and families
CPSU will also continue to advocate with state governments for adequate staffing to ensure every child is supported by our Child Protection system
CPSU will mark this World Social Worker Day by kicking off the campaign for a National Child Protection Workforce Plan with a quick member action highlighting the need to grow, attract and retain Australia’s Child Protection workforce to meet the needs of our most at-risk children and families.