Welfare Officer

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Job Summary

Welfare Officers assist individuals, families and groups with social, emotional and financial difficulties to improve quality of life by educating and supporting them and working towards change in their social environment. Welfare workers work individually or as part of a team, and may be required to visit clients in their homes and attend evening community meetings. The duties of Welfare Officers may include:

  • Interviewing clients, assessing their needs and providing counselling and support to assist them address issues such as family conflict, unemployment, emotional or substance abuse issues
  • Referring clients to appropriate community organisations or specialist services as appropriate
  • Advocating on behalf of clients in their dealings with government departments or service delivery agencies to ensure access and appropriate levels of service, including assisting them to lodge appeals or complaints
  • Evaluating services, write reports or applications for funding
  • Administering programs including rostering staff, coordinating volunteers, recruitment and training of staff

 

Personal Qualities

Welfare Officers should be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of people with a non-judgmental attitude, have good planning and organisational skills, have a sense of responsibility, be able to deal with conflict in stressful situations and have a commitment to human rights and social justice.

Entrance Requirements

Welfare workers generally require a VET qualification in community services work or a degree specialising in human services, community welfare, community development or social work. The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) provides a list of accredited social work courses. Others will require a social science or community or related qualification. Relevant community/volunteer experience will be a plus.

Specialisations

Some Welfare Officers specialise in assisting particular groups or individuals such as: families; adolescents; people with substance abuse issues; homeless people; people with disabilities; people escaping domestic violence; victims of crime; or criminals.

Education Welfare Officers

Education welfare officers typically work with students, parents, teachers, and schools to deal with attendance or disciplinary issues. They assist with assessing the child and his or her needs, and will also write the reports and prepare any evidence needed for legal proceedings.

 

Principal Employment Sectors and Industry

Welfare Officers work for community service organisations in the public and private sector, both non-profit and for-profit such as state and federal government departments, local councils, hospitals and health centres, unions, industry, non-government organisations and community groups.