How to Become a Welfare Worker
There are thousands of Australians in need of support to improve their quality of life.
If you are looking for a career where you are directly helping people within your local community, why not consider becoming a Welfare Worker?
This article looks at the Welfare Worker role in detail, including the responsibilities and qualifications needed to help you start your journey.
What does a Welfare Worker do?
Many people in the community struggle to cope with life for various reasons. Some find it difficult to look after themselves due to a permanent physical ailment. Others have been impacted mentally due to a personal loss – a family bereavement, for example. Financial strains can also cause significant problems for people in the community.
There are countless reasons why people struggle with their daily lives. What’s important is having a mechanism to help them cope – and this is where a Welfare Worker steps in.
It might be adults, young people, the elderly, disabled or homeless people you’re helping. Some will need help individually and others as a group. When you become a Welfare Worker, you are relied on by people from all walks of life to help them source physical, mental, social, financial and administrative support to progress through life more positively.
Benefits of becoming a Welfare Worker
Becoming a Welfare Worker can be a challenging role. Yet it is also highly rewarding to see the people you are helping benefit from your support; however insignificant it may seem to you, it means the world to your client!
Welfare Workers benefit from the following:
- An enriching career with options for progression to leadership roles
- Great prospects in an industry projected to grow 25% this year
- A competitive salary – currently around $75-$85,000 per annum*
- The ability to change lives through positive outcomes
Key responsibilities of a Welfare Worker
As a Welfare Worker, you work directly with clients or groups in the community. You are involved in providing practical, physical, emotional and social support to people, and it’s a role that encompasses many helpful tasks.
Your key Welfare Worker responsibilities includes:
– providing counselling to individuals experiencing personal difficulty
– identifying options for financial assistance
– establishing groups to bring people in the community together
– leading community meetings and events
– supporting individuals with administrative tasks, e.g. applications for funding
What skills does a Welfare Worker need?
Being a community Welfare Worker requires a formal qualification, although several soft skills are considered beneficial to the role.
First, you’ll need strong communication skills to deal with people effectively – not only your clients but the organisations you’re speaking with on their behalf.
You’ll also be a confident and social person capable of quickly connecting with different people across the community.
The role includes managing all types of personal issues your clients face, so discretion and honesty are integral to this role.
Some of the issues you encounter will be confronting, which means a Welfare Worker requires lots of resilience.
Finally, showing empathy and compassion towards clients will help you build trust and enable better relationships.
Welfare Worker qualifications
There are several Welfare Worker courses to consider before applying for this role.
-Certificate III in Community Services
As a minimum requirement, most people complete this certificate to become a Welfare Worker.
-Diploma in Community Services
While not mandatory, the course builds on Certificate III in Community Services, and equips you with advanced skills and knowledge to carry out the many responsibilities of a Welfare Worker effectively.
-Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science or Human Welfare
University students who have completed a degree in one of these subjects are also eligible for Welfare Worker roles.
Regardless of tertiary qualifications, anybody working in this industry requires a National Police Certificate.
Diploma in Community Services
This qualification is fundamental to anyone wanting to progress their career as a Welfare Worker.
The course consists of 16 units of competency (eight core and eight electives). Electives are delivered in a classroom, online, blended, RPL or in the workplace.
After completing the course, you will have a formal qualification to help you secure your first Welfare Worker role or continue your current one more efficiently. You will also be equipped for other community-based roles such as a Social Welfare Worker, Community Worker or Family Support Worker.
*It is advised that anyone looking to study for this qualification has achieved a High School Certificate.
Start your career as a Welfare Worker with Insight Training!
It’s time to get job-ready with Insight Training, leaders in formal courses and qualifications for rewarding careers in the community.
If you are considering becoming a Welfare Worker, contact our team and ask about the Diploma in Community Services.
Or, if you’re ready to sign up and study immediately, visit our website and book your course today!
How to Become a Welfare Worker