A Marshall Liberal Government will reform recruitment practices for child protection workers to ensure we can attract and retain the right people to be on the front line supporting vulnerable children.
Specifically, we will not restrict the child protection workforce to those holding an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in social work. This can be done without compromising the welfare or safety of children who need protection.
Like all other Australian jurisdictions, we will recognise a broader range of qualifications in the human services field.
As the Nyland Royal Commission recommended, social work will continue to be regarded as the preferred qualification but other relevant qualifications will also be recognised and can be augmented by further in-house training.
The way the South Australian government has managed our child protection workforce was found by the Nyland Royal Commission to lack robust attraction and retention strategies, leading to high vacancy levels, stressed staff, and compromised service delivery.
The government’s recruitment of child protection workers was found to be out of step with recruitment practices in all other Australian jurisdictions which have targeted workforce planning strategies.
This risks the safety of vulnerable children – children who deserve our protection.
That’s why we will invest in our frontline workforce to ensure we can protect those who need it the most.