The Department for Child Protection (DCP) today, on World Social Work Day, thanks social workers throughout South Australia for their tireless commitment to protecting and supporting children and young people.

World Social Work Day is held on the third Tuesday of March each year to highlight and celebrate the significant contributions of the social work profession. This year’s theme is ‘Co-building a new eco/social world: Leaving no-one behind’.

DCP Executive Director, Service Delivery and Practice, Sue Macdonald, on behalf of the Senior Executive Group, thanked the more than 700 social workers the department employs for their ability to go above and beyond, each and every day.

“Our social workers commitment to achieving good outcomes for children, young people, families and carers is to be admired” Ms Macdonald said.

“They consistently go above and beyond in this pursuit and today we really want to thank them and pay tribute to the vital role they play in areas such as prevention, early intervention, case management and promotion.”

This includes DCP Senior Social Worker Richard Coldwell, who started working with DCP 18 years ago and is now a part of one of the department’s Assessment and Support teams.

While the demands of the job can be challenging, it is the positive and long-term outcomes that are achieved for families and children that all social workers strive for, Mr Coldwell said.

“Seeing a child have a friend for the first time, play sport, have their own bedroom, go to dental appointments, access healthy food, attend school regularly or live with a safe and consistent carer is incredibly rewarding,’’ he said.

“We also remember the success stories of children being reunified with their biological parents and even years down the track, parents provide us with positive updates about how the children are going and their individual achievements.’’

Mr Coldwell, who holds a Bachelor of Social Work from UniSA, says he has also been fortunate to work with a number of Aboriginal families – and lists this as a highlight of the role.

“It is very rewarding to learn about different child rearing practices and I am passionate about enhancing younger social workers knowledge and understanding around Aboriginal people and different approaches to raising strong, happy and healthy kids.’’

DCP has created a series of videos to celebrate World Social Work Day. They can be viewed here:

If you are interested in a career in social work with the Department for Child Protection, visit the Work with us section of the website to find out more.

Social Worker Richard Coldwell chats to a colleague.