Graduates and students

Graduates and students

As a Child Protection Practitioner, you’ll be committing to a future where you can make meaningful change to the lives of children at risk of abuse or neglect. In this statutory role, your social work or welfare qualifications will be welcomed into a supportive and hard-working team who share a common goal.

You’ll manage cases and work with other professionals in the community to assess reports of child abuse and neglect, and at times present matters to the Children's Court of Victoria. You’ll acquire an excellent grounding across the child and family services system, while managing a variety of complex matters. The work is diverse and ever-changing.

DHHS is committed to developing your professional career through training, achievement planning and review processes. You’ll also get access through DHHS to job opportunities across the public sector.

Child Protection Student Placement program

Each year, the Department of Health & Human Services runs a student placement program in child protection. All of the department's offices throughout Victoria participate in this program, providing placements for students from a large number of education institutions within Australia.

 The Child Protection Student Placement program offers students the opportunity to gain broad knowledge of the child protection industry while applying theory to practice. Placements are high quality, supervised and professionally challenging.

Students engage in meaningful work including meeting with families, hearing and documenting their stories and liaising with other government departments and community services professionals.

Entry into the child protection student placement is competitive. To apply for a placement, read the fact sheet for details.

2019 Child Protection Vacation Employment Program (VAC)


Applications are now closed for the 2019 intake.

Are you a social work, psychology or welfare student interested in paid vacation work?

The VAC program is a structured 12-week full time (or part time equivalent) paid employment program providing you with quality learning experiences relevant to the Victorian Child Protection program. You will gain meaningful experience where you can apply theory into practice. This may provide you with a pathway to a career in Child Protection with Department of Health and Human Services.

As a Case Practice Support Worker, you will be welcomed into a supportive team in one of our metropolitan or regional offices. You will rotate across three areas of the Child Protection branch to gain a holistic understanding of how to protect Victoria’s children.

Start date

The VAC program is expected to commence in early January and conclude in early April each year, or later for those who wish to complete the last rotation of the program on a part time basis.

What we’re looking for

We are looking for social work, psychology or welfare-related degree students who are expected to graduate in 2019 and who demonstrate the following skills and attributes:

  • verbal and written communication
  • resilience
  • empathy
  • culture awareness
  • relationship-building
  • flexibility
  • self-management
  • self-awareness.

Please note, to be considered for this opportunity you must have:

  • a current and valid driver's licence (learner permits are not accepted)
  • full working rights, must be either an Australian citizens, permanent resident or New Zealand citizens with a valid passport
  • Police Checks and Working with Children Checks (WWCC) form part of the Department of Health and Human Services recruitment process.

For education institutions

The Department of Health & Human Services is committed to building collegial relationships with education institutes. We provide the following services:

  • consultancy, advice and support on child protection initiatives in your curriculum
  • DHHS guest presenters can deliver child protection curriculum into the student learning experience
  • provision of specialist child protection learning materials

For further information, email us at