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Social work placements for students

The Department for Child Protection is committed to becoming a preferred placement choice for students, where the focus is on learning.

While we can’t guarantee employment with us at the end of a student placement, we invite anyone interested to apply for positions through the merit-based selection process.

Organising a student placement

The number of students seeking a placement with the department is usually higher than the number of placements we are able to offer.

To ensure a fair and equitable process, the department leaves the matching of students to DCP placements to university staff.

If you are interested in doing a placement with us, contact the Field Education Team at your university.

Being matched to a placement

Once you have been matched with the department for a placement, the DCP Social Work Field Education Coordinator will contact you. They will ask you to provide some additional information and will set up a pre-placement interview time with you.

This interview allows our staff to ask you some questions about what you want to achieve during your placement and to find out what you already know about us.

It’s also a chance for you to find out about the learning opportunities you will be given and expectations during placement.

A pre-placement interview does not guarantee a placement with us. 

Screening and child safe environments requirements

While on placement, students need to observe the Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector and departmental policies about your behaviour and coduct in the workplace.

You will also need to undergo a screening assessment by the DCSI Screening Unit before starting your placement.

You will also need to present a copy of your current Child-Safe Environments (CSE) training certificate. 

What to expect on a student placement

Students are on placement to learn and grow as future social workers – not to be used as an ‘extra pair of hands’.

Given that we are a statutory child protection agency, there are some areas of work students are not able to be directly involved in.

Each worksite is aware of what students are able to participate in, and students are given a list at the start of their placement.

Training

Students are provided with comprehensive training to ensure they can maximise their learning opportunities during placement.

All students undertake:

  • 2 days of orientation training
  • 3 days of C3MS training (the department’s case management system)
  • 2.5 days of Solution Based Casework training
  • A half day writing for purpose workshop.

Learning circle and reflective practice sessions

Reflection and self-evaluation are a compulsory part of your placement. These sessions provide the opportunity for you to reflect on what you are learning as well as meet and hear from a broad range of staff.

Information for universities

University field education teams with questions about the process can contact the department’s jessica.pellegrino [at] sa.gov.au (Social Work Field Education Coordinator).