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A Passionate Perspective on Child Protection

It’s a pleasure to be asked to speak with Social Work colleagues and peers at the AASW Sunshine Coast Practice Group tonight about working in the space of child protection.

When I started my Social Work career over 20 years ago, I had no intention or desire to work in child protection; I suspect I thought it would be all ‘too hard’. However, after landing my first job in a residential service for teens, I’ve never really left the child protection industry! What has kept me here has been the people – the incredible resiliency and strength of the children, young people, carers and families who despite all the barriers and challenges, keep working towards safeguarding themselves or the children in their homes.

The staff I work with at Social Care Solutions and those I work alongside of in our partner agencies, including governments and non-gov’t organisations across Australia and Aotearoa; their passion, their integrity and their sheer grit to try to help families make healthy, sustainable changes. Some days the challenges of working in this system seem insurmountable; then other days, the rewards are breathtaking – the reward of seeing a young person return home safely to their family of origin. The reward of seeing children in a safe, stable, loving environment with long-term foster carers. The reward of seeing young people thriving, getting jobs, finishing school, making and sustaining friendships and connections. These are rarely tangible, hold-in-your-hand rewards but they are game-changers.

This is why I stay in child protection. And I can’t wait to share my passion and love for this industry with the AASW Sunshine Coast Practice Group tonight!



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