Practitioner Department of Human Services SA


Role Details

The SA Government has committed to reforming the child protection system in South Australia. The Department of Human Services (DHS) has lead responsibility for implementing the Child and Family Support System (CFSS) reform, in which Safer Family Services (SFS) plays a key part.

Safer Family Services (SFS) provide help and support to children and their families at risk of harm, neglect and family violence, by deliberately and strongly intervening to disrupt the patterns of intergenerational trauma, and increase the number of children able to be cared for safely in their homes, connected to culture and community.

This is particularly relevant for children and families with multiple and complex needs.

The DHS Safe Start Teams in Salisbury are looking for enthusiastic team members to support vulnerable children and families to make changes to improve the wellbeing and safety of children in their care and prevent further Child Protection responses.

Positions are available in the Safe Start Playford (based at Salisbury) working with referrals for families with unborn and children up to two years of age; as well as the Safe Start Salisbury Team (based at Salisbury) working with families with children from unborn to 18 years.

To be most effective in this work, you will need to be a confident, resilient and flexible worker with case management experience and the ability to persist with clients who are occasionally unwilling to accept the support.

Your work will be directly with parents, children, wider families, agencies and stakeholders and the community.

You will need the skills to assess child protection risk, provide strong written work in assessments and case planning, and be willing to receive feedback to reflect and grow in the fast paced work.

Applicants with social work degrees (with eligibility for membership in the AASW), and applicants with an appropriate tertiary qualification in community services, sociology, criminology, social sciences, human services, health or a related field are encouraged to apply as these vacancies can be filled with suitable candidates who are either AHP2 or PO2 eligible.

Persons of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who have the appropriate background and skills but do not hold the essential qualification, may apply for and be engaged/assigned to the role of Social Worker and will be entitled to apply for any Allied Health Professional roles requiring a qualification in Social Work within the Department of Human Services.

Shortlisted applicants will have articulated in their cover letter their skills in relation to the Role Specific Capabilities below

  1. Proven knowledge and understanding of the complexities and effects of child abuse, neglect and developmental trauma upon the health and wellbeing of infants, children and young people, and demonstrated ability to assess and work with families experiencing vulnerability and low levels of safety using a case management approach to assess, plan, refer and enable sustained intervention.
  2. High level problem solving, conflict resolution and negotiation to build effective rapport with children, their families, and local agencies by working in a flexible, resourceful and responsible manner, working both independently and collaboratively to achieve improved outcomes for families from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  3. Proven ability to demonstrate high level interpersonal skills that create and foster networking, consultation, and interaction with families across a broad cultural and socio-economic spectrum and professionals in a range of complex and sensitive situations.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge of the impact of intergenerational trauma, the effects of colonisation policies and forced removal upon the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, their families and communities, whilst recognising the protective strengths of culture.
  5. Demonstrated understanding of child protection legislation, policies, procedures, the impact of trauma and the service opportunities available to children and families in crisis or at risk of entering the child protections system.
  6. Proven ability to critically reflect on individual practice, participate in case conference, case reviews, peer reviews, supervision and professional development activities, to support practice quality.
  7. Highly developed written and interpersonal communication skills that build effective collaborative relationships with multi-disciplinary teams, peers and contribute to a positive team culture.

Special Conditions

  • National Police Check required.
  • Employment-related Screening Check required.
  • Some out of hours work may be required.
  • Some interstate and intrastate travel may be required.
  • Must hold a current Australian issued driver’s licence (equivalent to minimum class C).
  • Covid -19 – will be required to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination status prior to engagement with DHS, unless it would be medically unsafe for the employee to do so.
  • Role Status: Term up to 27/09/2023.

The South Australian public sector promotes diversity and flexible ways of working, including part-time. Applicants are encouraged to discuss the flexible working arrangements for this role.

About the Business

Community and Family Services supports vulnerable people and families to participate in social and economic life and build stronger communities. This division comprises three key areas:

Safer Family Services (SFS) provides a wide range of intensive family support services to children, young people and families experiencing a high risk of statutory intervention from the child protection or youth justice systems. Services also include family support, community development and parenting and youth programs.

The Office for Women works across government and the community towards achieving gender equity and positive change for women in South Australia by developing policy and advising on issues affecting women to improve their safety, wellbeing and economic security. The office also oversees the Women’s Information Service to support women over the phone, online and in person, as well as regional safety hubs across the state.

Communities and Justice works towards building community safety and wellbeing by providing support and services to children, young people and families in the youth justice system, building the capacity of communities through community development projects and working in partnership with the community services sector to respond to people with complex and exceptional needs.

Contact Us

Enquiries to Rebecca Coe, 0429154235 Email: [email protected]

Application Instructions

Resume and Cover Letter

You are required to submit a cover letter, up to a maximum of two pages, addressing how your skills and experience align with the role specific capabilities and attach your current resume via the online application form. For more information about applying, refer to our Job Application Guide

Screening Checks

If you are new to the department and are invited to an interview, you will be required to produce a National Police Check, which has been issued within six months of your application for the role. National Police Checks can be applied for via the South Australia Police or through an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission accredited body.

If the role you are applying for also requires an Employment-related Screening Check, you will be required to undergo such assessment as is advised by DHS, including periodic assessment during your employment.

DHS is committed to creating an inclusive workplace and providing equitable services to all South Australians. This ensures that all people feel welcome to work with us and access our services, including people identifying as Aboriginal, living with disability, LGBTIQA+, youth, mature age, and from different ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural backgrounds.



Department of Human Services SA

Job Salary

Full time