26 September 2023

Child protection workers coming of age

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The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) is hoping to attract child protection workers to regional Victoria, with the launch of an incentives program.

Announcing the new Regional Incentives Program, Minister for Child Protection and Family Services, Anthony Carbines said packages of up to $20,500 would be available to practitioners who accepted child protection roles in regional and rural areas.

“The incentives have been created to encourage Victorians with social work, psychology, or welfare-related experience to take up child protection practitioner jobs in the country and help children and families in need,” Mr Carbines said.

“If eligible, an incentive package may include relocation costs, salary sacrificing and tax benefits,” he said.

“This is on top of existing financial incentives for child protection practitioners working in rural areas, including five days’ professional development leave per year and an extra five days’ annual leave and flexible work arrangements.”

Mr Carbines said the pilot Program supported the State’s goal to recruit more than 280 new child protection practitioners across metropolitan and regional Victoria.

In a statement, DFFH said Program participants would also gain exposure to contemporary practice, innovative professional development and supervision by leaders in the field.

It said the incentives Program was available to new Child Protection Practitioners relocating to Sale and Bairnsdale; Mildura and Swan Hill; Bendigo; Shepparton; Ballarat; and Hamilton and Horsham.

The Department said the package included a new starter incentive of up to $5,000; location incentive of up to $11,000; relocation supplement of up to $2,500; and a bonus incentive of up to $2,500.

Further information on the DFFH Program can be accessed at this PS News link.

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