Child protection

We are committed to achieving transformational change for some of Queensland's most vulnerable children and young people.

Our focus is on delivering the right services at the right time to support families and keep children safely at home. This means working in partnership with peak bodies, service providers and communities to deliver the best outcomes for all Queensland children and their families.

The work we do is complex and critical, and we are on the lookout for those who share our drive, passion, and expertise. We are looking for empathetic, responsible, and trustworthy people who take their dedication to the next level and have a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of children and young people.

In our department, employees enjoy an environment where they are listened to and trusted. We encourage our staff to learn and grow and we provide the support they need to achieve their goals. Staff are also able to access salary packing, flexible leave and working options.

Building a career in child protection with our department offers many rewards and challenges through a diverse range of pathways, whether it's dealing directly with children and young people, or helping behind the scenes to ensure we stay on track to support vulnerable families.

We employ across a variety of child protection roles, from Child Safety Support Officers to Senior Practitioners. 

Roles in child protection

Child Safety Support Officer

A Child Safety Support Officer (CSSO) works within a multidisciplinary team and provides individualised, high quality and culturally appropriate support to children and families subject to tertiary child protection intervention.

This may include facilitation of positive family connection, referrals and advocacy for services, parent coaching and support of ‘transition from care’ plans.

They work collaboratively with key stakeholders, children and parents to support the establishment and strengthening of effective safety and support networks, including connection to extended family and community.

CSSOs also provide comprehensive casework support and advice to assist in informing decisions about the safety and protective needs of children where complex child protection concerns are present. This includes preparing and maintaining quality case records in accordance with departmental case management requirements.

Experience in this role provides an excellent grounding for study and career advancement to professional child protection roles. 

Child Safety Officer

A Child Safety Officer (CSO) is responsible for providing statutory child protection services including assessment, intervention, casework and case management in accordance with legislation and practice guidelines.

A CSO works in teams (often multi-disciplinary) based in service centres covering specific geographical areas.

Interpersonal skills are critical for a CSO to build relationships and interact with various professionals to ensure children are protected, and families are provided with the support they need.

They work within a professional team and enjoy the support of experienced team members. Members of a child safety team are mentored and encouraged to pursue continuous learning opportunities throughout their career.

Please see mandatory qualifications information below.

Child Safety Officer - Cairns transcript (DOCX, 103 KB)

Child Safety Officer - Ipswich transcript (DOCX, 76 KB)

Child Safety Officer - Maryborough transcript (DOCX, 90 KB)

Child Safety Officer - Mt Gravatt transcript (DOCX, 69 KB)

Child Safety Officer - Mackay transcript (DOCX, 112 KB)

Senior Child Safety Officer 

A Senior Child Safety Officer (SCSO) is responsible for ensuring the safety, belonging and wellbeing of all children and young people are maximised throughout the child protection process.

The SCSO is responsible for delivering statutory child protection services including assessment, intervention, casework and case management for complex cases, as well as delivering services in accordance with legislation, practice guidelines, and a strength-based framework for practice.

They are required to work with CSOs and CSSOs on complex and sensitive cases.

This role provides mentoring and support to develop the skills and knowledge of newly appointed and less experienced CSOs and CSSOs.

They work in teams (often multi-disciplinary) based in service centres covering specific geographical areas.

Please see mandatory qualifications information below.

Senior Team Leader

A Senior Team Leader manages a team of professional and operational staff to ensure the delivery of high quality child protection services.

This includes assessment, intervention, casework, and case management in accordance with legislation and practice guidelines to children, young people, families and communities serviced by the Child Safety Service Centre.

This is achieved by a collaborative, integrated, multi-disciplinary team that may include representation from other agencies.

Please see mandatory qualifications information below.

Senior Practitioner

A Senior Practitioner is responsible for providing specialist advice, guidance and oversight to ensure quality child protection services are maintained.

They ensure assessment, intervention, casework and case management are delivered by the Child Safety Service Centre to a high standard and in accordance with legislation and practice guidelines.

They provide practice supervision individually and in groups to the CSOs and SCSOs.

Please see mandatory qualifications information.

'To me, child protection is one of the most meaningful jobs I have done in my career as a psychologist for over 30 years. We are able to make fundamental differences in the lives of children and families in a way that is not possible in many other jobs. Working in child protection has given me wonderful professional development opportunities, but it’s the satisfaction of knowing I am making a difference that keeps me coming back every day'.
Chris, Senior Practitioner

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Mandatory qualifications

The department's frontline professional officer roles (Child Safety Officer, Senior Child Safety Officer, Senior Team Leader and Senior Practitioner) have mandatory qualification requirements, determined either via pathway 1 or pathway 2. Both pathways require a minimum of a completed relevant or partly relevant Bachelor degree, and pathway 2 requires an additional component of either 12 months of relevant paid work experience or an additional relevant qualification.

Relevant qualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • Social Work
  • Human Services
  • Social Welfare, Community Welfare
  • Psychology and Counselling
  • Behavioural Science
  • Child and Family Studies
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Teaching, Policing, Nursing (particularly mental health)
  • Arts (majors in one of the above areas);

Note: Previous experience as a Queensland Government professional frontline Child Safety employee automatically meets the current qualification requirements for all Child Safety professional roles.

To find out more about your eligibility to apply see Child Safety Officer Qualification Requirements (PDF, 568 KB) Child Safety Officer Qualification Requirements (DOCX, 1.7 MB) or contact Recruitment on (07) 3097 5363 or

Students studying a relevant degree are encouraged to consider a CSO student placement where they will receive comprehensive training and support.

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What we can offer you

We are an equal employment opportunity employer—people of all ages, abilities, genders and ethnicities have the opportunity to pursue a career in child protection.

As an employer of choice, our staff have access to:

We promote collaborative working environments, encourage work­/life balance, and offer a range of support services.

Find out more about what we can offer you.

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How to apply

Apply for CSO roles via the CSO Recruitment PortalSee additional information on how to apply below.

Apply for all other child safety roles through Smart jobs and careers website.

Note: A Blue Card 'No Card, No Start' policy has been implemented, meaning it is mandatory to have a blue card before you commence employment in a child-related role. It is recommended you lodge an application for a blue card as soon as possible to avoid any delays in commencement should you be offered a position with the department. Please note: if you choose to apply for a blue card prior to being employed with the department, the cost of a blue card will be at your own expense.

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For further information about pursuing a career in child protection, contact our Recruitment team on 1800 089 515 or (07) 3097 5363 or email your enquiry to