Child and youth support workers provide specialised accommodation and care to vulnerable at-risk children and young people, whose homes can’t always provide a safe, nurturing environment.

We’re looking for people with experience or training in areas like:

  • child care
  • early childhood development
  • child and youth work
  • education
  • health and social work.

We regularly advertise for Child and Youth Worker (OPS3) roles via the I work for SA website or on our Careers JobBoard and follow the prompts to set up a job alert. You will then be notified by email if any vacancies become available.

The Department for Child Protection operates pool vacancies for the position of OPS3 Child and Youth Workers. Please see the recruitment pool FAQs (PDF, 284.2 KB) for more information.

The child and youth support worker (OPS2) is responsible for:

  • contributing to programs and services that facilitate the caring and development of children and young people
  • contributing to the rehabilitation of young people and their re-integration into the community and helping to provide effective assessment and liaison services
  • maintaining an appropriate level of safety and supervision in residential care facilities
  • assessing the individual needs of children and young people on admission to residential care.

The child and youth worker (OPS3) is responsible for:

  • enhancing the social and living skills of children and young people in care to help their re-integration into the community and reconciliation with their families
  • assessing the individual needs of children and young people in care so that interventions can be successful
  • supporting child and youth support workers working in residential care
  • providing primary care for residential care residents including behavioural control, household duties, and transportation to school, activities and appointments
  • working with children and young people and external professionals to deliver programs and services
  • maintaining an appropriate level of safety and supervision in residential care facilities.

All applicants must:

  • hold a current class C driver's licence and be willing to drive in the course of their duties
  • hold a 'provide first aid’ certificate
  • be available to attend the 6-week full time paid training at the start of employment
  • complete the Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention within 12 months of starting.

All costs associated with the Certificate IV are paid for by the department. If you have completed, or are completing a similar qualification already this will be recognised by the department.

You will need to apply for recognition of prior learning or credit transfer.

  • OPS2 Child and youth support worker: $25.34 - $27.43 plus 25% loading.
  • OPS3 Child and youth worker: $29.51 - $31.60 plus 25% loading.

The positions are casual and you can work up to 76 hours per fortnight. Penalty rates apply to public holidays, weekday afternoons, weekday nights, and weekend shifts.

Positions will be available in various locations across metropolitan Adelaide.

The selection process will include:

  • a written application to be submitted by the closing date (including responses to behavioural questions)
  • an initial shortlisting process
  • medical assessment
  • suitability screening (including psychometric assessment and a clinical/forensic interview)
  • a second shortlisting process
  • a panel interview
  • referee checks
  • DHS working with children check.


You must nominate 3 referees who are able to comment on your skills, knowledge and experience. Ideally, 1 referee will be your current line manager.

The selection panel

The selection panel will consist of:

  • a residential care representative
  • a HR practitioner
  • an independent person nominated by the executive director, human resources and workforce development.

As someone who will be working with young people and their families it's important that the department employs individuals who can ensure the safety and high quality of interactions with young people and staff.

It is a requirement under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 that any person employed in Residential Care undergoes a psychological assessment. If you progress through the selection process you will be invited to attend a psychological assessment.

Psychological assessments are made up to two parts - a psychometric assessment followed by a one-to-one interview with a psychologist.

If you are assessed as unsuitable to be employed in a children's residential facility, you may not be able to undergo a further psychological assessment for employment in a children's residential facility for at least 12 months.

This will impact on your ability to work with children in DCP and other residential care facilities (paid or unpaid).

See the Chief Executive's determination for more details.

Information sharing

The legislation specifies that no person can work within Residential Care if they have been deemed psychologically unsuitable. This includes volunteers or individuals who are employed via another organisation and are contracted to work in Residential Care.

Your basic personal information, including assessment results may be shared internally within DCP, or with organisations across the sector where it is legislatively required.

This information will only be shared for the purposes of employment within Residential Care (including volunteer positions).

As part of the assessment you will be required to acknowledge and sign a consent form, authorising the sharing of this information. If you choose not to sign the consent form, you will not be able to progress in the recruitment process.


Department for Child Protection Recruitment

Phone: (08) 8204 2496 or (08) 8204 2485

Related links

Careers in child protection

Vacancies in the Department for Child Protection