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Students and Employment Programs

Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP)

Applications for the 2025 Child Protection Employment Program are opening soon.

The Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP) is a paid employment program where you experience what it is like to work in child protection.

Program participants work in a structured and supportive learning environment alongside experienced practitioners to experience the child protection role.

The work in child protection is varied. A typical day may involve:

  • supervising access visits between children and their families
  • transporting children to services and visits
  • supporting the provision of in-home support to families
  • documenting case notes under the direction of an experienced practitioner.

Upon successful completion of the program and obtaining qualifications, participants are eligible to progress into an entry level qualified Child Protection Practitioner role.

Eligibility

CPEP will be open to recent graduates (2024) or future graduates (due to complete studies by January 2026) who have completed, or working towards completing: 

  • a recognised Social Work degree or a similar welfare or behavioural related degree or  
  • a recognised Diploma of Community Services, or similar qualification which is studied over a minimum of two academic years of full-time study (or part time equivalent)

And hold:

  • a valid driver’s licence
  • a current employee Working with Children Check (WWCC).

Full time and part time hours will be available to successful applicants. 

Testimonials

The VAC program was an incredibly valuable experience in understanding social work within a statutory framework. The opportunity to experience, learn and work in each phase helped me emerge as a new practitioner.

Christine - Advanced Child Protection Practitioner - West Division

The VAC program gives graduates a complete and realistic understanding of the child protection practitioner role. I got to experience different roles and responsibilities and gained the skillset to successfully start my career as a Child Protection Practitioner.

Maanya - Child Protection Practitioner – East Division 

The VAC program gave me a ringside seat to the stressful, emotional and sometimes difficult work that the amazing practitioners do. I consider the VAC to be the ideal start to this career.

Peter - Child Protection Practitioner – West Division 

Student Placements in Child Protection

A student placement in Child Protection provides the opportunity to experience how our dedicated practitioners work with children and young people at risk of harm or neglect to ensure their safety. You will observe how practitioners assess risk of vulnerable children and make decisions based on information gathered. Most students will have the opportunity to attend court and observe the role of a practitioner in this setting.

To complete a student placement in Child Protection you must be completing your second last or final year of a recognised social work degree (or similar welfare or behavioural-related degree) or your final year of a recognised Diploma of Community Services, which as at a minimum, a 2-year full-time course or part-time equivalent).

How to apply

Students seeking a placement in Child Protection can read more about how to apply on the DFFH Employment Programs and pathways webpage.

Students must complete an online application form.  Students must also attach a current resume and a covering letter and complete certain safety screening and document requirements.

For any queries about the student placement program, please email studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au