Fields of practice – child protection

The protection of children from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and exploitation is one of the areas in which a large proportion of social workers find employment. The work is highly specialised and, in Australia, conducted by government authorities.

The tasks of social workers are to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect; conduct risk assessments and, in cases of serious protection issues, remove children from families.

Practitioners work in partnership with other professionals, including police and solicitors. Social workers may be required to appear as witnesses in court, secure alternative placements (for example, foster care) and write reports for the consideration of a magistrate.