A new state policy is offering more than $20K to frontline child protection staff willing to relocate to regional Victoria.
Child protection roles in Sale, Bairnsdale, Bendigo, Shepparton, Ballarat, Swan Hill, Hamilton and Horsham will offer suitable candidates packages of up to $20,500 as part of a state program to attract workers to areas of need.
The state government has set a target to recruit in excess of 280 new child protection workers to service metropolitan and regional Victoria. Since last September, almost 70 new child protection practitioners have joined the frontline services.
In a statement this month, child protection and family services minister Anthony Carbines said the pilot program was designed to help vulnerable children and families in country Victoria.
“This is a great opportunity to make real change – giving some of our most vulnerable kids the best chance at a happy, healthy life,” Carbines said.
“If you’re looking for a change and have a background in social work, psychology or welfare, I encourage you to consider working as a child protection practitioner in regional Victoria.”
The packages on offer by the state government can cover costs for relocation, salary sacrificing and tax benefits.
More services for the state’s vulnerable and at-risk young people have benefited from investment in Victoria with $1.2 billion pledged in the 2021-22 state budget, preceded by another $1 billion in the year before.
Money for hiring more frontline staff from this funding pool has totalled $171 million, which has directly boosted the number of workers from 2014 by an extra 1,180 child protection staff.
“Packages of more than $20,000 are available if you’re willing to move to take up a child protection job – and you’ll be able to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of living in regional Victoria,” the minister said.