Youth Worker


Reports to: Case Manager

Location: Safe Places is established across Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Bunbury,
Cairns, Ipswich, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Toowoomba and Townsville).
Staff may request short and long-term transfers to other areas.

Overview

Safe Places for Children is a not for profit organisation that provides individualised residential
therapeutic care to children and young people in the ages of 10 and 17 who are unable to be placed in
foster families or group residential homes. Referrals are received through the Department if Child Safety,
Youth and Women (QLD), Department if Child Protection (WA), Family and Child Services NSW and the
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS VIC)

Position statement

The Youth Worker team is responsible for ensuring the delivery of high-quality care leading to positive
outcomes for the child or young person such as building relationships and life skills, engaging in
education and improved heatlh and hygiene. This is done through working with the young person to
learn life skills in a planned and supported way as part of a team and identifying areas where the young
person’s needs could be better met

Benefits

Full terms of employment are outlined under an enterprise agreement available upon request.

  • Full-time, base annual salary of $60,939 with career pathways to senior youth worker roles at -
$83,023
  • Annual bonus of $1000 after 12 months' continuous service, rising by $1000 each subsequent year,
capped at $5000 for five or more years or service.
  • Six (6) weeks leave per year (plus 17.5% leave loading) accrued on a pro rata basis.
  • Salary packaging to increase your take-home pay
  • Flexible rosters to suit work and life balance
  • Access to in-house accredited training program and support to gain formal qualifications
  • Access to 24 hour on-call support and guidance from senior youth worker professionals
  • Friendly and supportive workplace




Salary and conditions

Salary: • Base package includes standard allowances and penalties

  • Paid weekly, dependent on timely provision of accurate details such as
bank, tax and superannuation information
  • Salary packaging to increase your take-home pay. Refer to Remserv website
for more information - http://www.remserv.com.au/salary-
packaging/what-is-salary-packaging

Holiday leave: • Six (6) weeks leave per year (plus 17.5% leave loading) accrued on a pro
rata basis.

  • Leave approvals may depend on business needs at the time and requests
are not guaranteed to be met.



Sick leave: • Ten (10) days per year for paid personal leave (sick leave), which can also
be used as carer’s leave, accrued on a pro rata basis. A doctor’s certificate
may be required.

Training and • All Safe Places’ staff receive three week’s comprehensive induction training
professional through our training partner Seed Skills, an Australian Accredited Training
support Provider. Compulsory training will be an Induction program where students

will complete training around WHS training; Cultural Awareness training;
Working effectively in Mental Health; shadow shifts and Trauma and
Attachment training and have assessment that once completed will be a
Certificate IV. Students will also complete Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
training (TCI) created by Cornell University.

  • All staff must be committed to completing Seed Skills nationally-accredited
Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention within the first 12
months of their employment. This is paid for by Safe Places and will be
completed in the employee’s time. In Queensland, South Australia and
Victoria, this is a legislative requirement.
  • Ongoing commitment to the training and professional development of
employees, including access to qualifications in Child, Youth and Family
Intervention; and Leadership and Management Courses, offered through
Seed Skills. Entry requirements apply.
  • Safe Places will consider requests to contribute to TAFE or tertiary study
costs
  • Career pathways towards senior management roles
  • Internal monthly reflective supervision and professional development
  • Free external counselling service offered to all employees

Visa sponsorship • Opportunity for visa sponsorship.

Working shifts: Safe Places offers longer, flexible shifts of 24 hours or capped shifts at a
maximum of 10 hours. A 24-hour shift can consist of between 10 to 16 hours
awake working time and an 8-hour sleepover period.

Working hours: Youth Workers work the following hours each week.



2 sleepover shifts Between 10pm to 6am the employee is covered by a sleepover

(4 per fortnight) allowance in the package. There is a nominal “sleep period” of
8 hours on shift. This is not considered an unpaid break. Staff
may be required to attend to the child’s needs during this
period.

28 weekday hours These accrue Mon – Fri, 6am to 10pm.

10 weekend hours These accrue Sat – Sun, 6am to 10pm.Penalty rates are
included in the overall salary package for these additional
hours




On call Senior youth workers are at call for a maximum of 1.75 days a week (one week
from four). At call duties means employees must be fit, sober and ready to do a
shift at short notice, though they are not responsible for answering on call
phone calls or questions.

Hours bank: We believe in a healthy work and life balance for our employees. Any additional
hours worked or hours taken off are noted in an hours bank for staff to track
their hours ahead and behind.

If an employee is behind in their required hours, the shortfall can be made up
by working additional hours. Subject to certain conditions, staff can access any
additional hours in the hours bank as extra leave or have them paid out.

Conditions: • Main workplace is the community-based residence. These are
quality homes with all modern conveniences, including a private
ensuite for the youth worker on shift.

  • Office environment for meetings, training and general supervision.
  • Computer, vehicle and phone available on shift for work purposes.

Our vision and values

Vision
Providing effective, professional care and transition support for children in

care when standard models are unsuitable or unavailable”

Safe Places staff help achieve this vision through their patience, genuine care and commitment. Over
time, the team gains the child’s trust, stabilises the placement, gives the child a sense of hope and
direction and achieves outcomes across key areas of the child’s life.

We are guided by five core values from our frontline staff through to the Board of Directors:

Professional – Supportive – Responsive – Passionate – United


Our approach

Safe Places for Children provides children at risk with intensive support and supervision. Referrals
are received through the government department responsible for the protection of children.

Team members are rostered to provide care from houses located in the community. The team work
to see children transition into suitable longer-term placements which may be delivered by Safe
Places (for example, co-tenanting models, semi-independent models and independent living) or by
others, such as foster care or family reunification.

Key elements of the “Safe Places approach” are as follows.

  • Small and stable teams with a consistently calm and future-focussed outlook
  • Celebrating small steps, including seeing the child engage in the placement, build rapport with
their team and contribute to daily plans
  • Over time, encouraging the child to become more independent, to explore their behaviours in
difficult times and to be willing to try some more positive coping strategies



  • Support the child to take steps that prepare them for transition into family-based placement,
family reunification, a group setting or independent living arrangements
  • Understanding that the children’s behaviours are coping skills and our focus is on what’s lying
beneath the behaviour.
  • Responding to behaviours in a way that models an ability to remain calm, hopeful, caring,
consistent, respectful and understanding of others (as opposed to reacting emotionally)
  • Collaboration with other support agencies, such protective services, health services,
counselling services and educational facilities.


Young people in our care

The young people in our care generally range from 10 to 17 years of age. Initially, they may require one-
on-one support due to their anti-social behaviours, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • verbal aggression and high-level defiance
  • physical behaviours including hitting, spitting, kicking, threatening children and workers
  • destroying property and fire fascination
  • sexually acting out towards other children or workers
  • cruelty to animals
  • poor hygiene and self-harming
  • absconding

Placement models range from one on one support to group residential placements with up to four
young people placed.


Duties and standards

In caring for the young person, our youth workers daily duties involve:

  • maintaining a high standard of cleanliness, tidiness and comfort in the home environment
  • observing safety standards and protocols for that particular home and young person
  • creating a dinner routine with nutritious meals
  • providing transportation
  • assisting with homework and engaging in suitable activities
  • working with the child to learn life skills in a planned and supported way
  • monitor the child’s supply of clothing, footwear, school materials and other belongings
  • as part of a team, identify areas where the child’s needs could be better met.

Our youth workers are expected to establish a therapeutic care environment and positively manage the
young person’s behaviours by:
  • building rapport with the child and providing emotional support
  • providing the child with consistent messages in relation to the desired behaviours
  • focussing on the child’s positive behaviours through praise and encouragement



  • working together with the Case Manager to develop therapeutic interventions that will assist the
child with complex issues such as grief and loss, making friends, managing their feelings and
keeping safe
  • encourage child in identifying tools that help them label and manage their emotions, such as art,
recreation, journaling and music
  • monitoring their own emotional state during the child’s escalations and remaining calm.
  • ensure delivery of high-quality care leading to positive outcomes for the child, such as building
relationship and life skills, engaging in education and improved health and hygiene
  • work within organisational policies, procedures and values and contribute to continual
improvement of Safe Places service
  • other tasks as delegated by the Area Manager.

Role requirements, skills and attributes

Essential requirements

  • A minimum six (6) months experience working with children with challenging behaviours,
such as verbal and physical aggression, in a residential setting or in care or similar
experience in a residential care or youth work setting
  • Ability to do shift work and in-home sleepovers
  • Ability to accommodate roster changes and on call requirements at short notice. We
endeavour to complete rosters up to two weeks in advance, though changes may occur
due to the nature of the work.
  • Ability to participate in team meetings, staff meetings, training and supervision, as required
  • Successful completion of relevant history checks and screening processes
  • A full Australian Drivers Licence or ability to obtain one

Essential skills and attributes

  • Knowledge of issues facing children in the out-of-home care sector, the impact of
childhood abuse and trauma, and crisis management techniques
  • Understanding of case management model in the residential care setting
  • An understanding of the intensive nature of working with young people and the possible
impacts on the employee’s family and personal responsibilities
  • Ability to work autonomously in an isolated environment, supported by established
procedures
  • Ability to supervise team members and establish effective team processes and systems
  • Computer-literate, including demonstrated ability to independently use key programs such as
Microsoft Word and Excel, internet browsers and ability to support youth workers in using
these tools
  • Ability to complete reports and other business processes via the Safe Places web-based
systems
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills including negotiation, networking, and ability
to draft shift reports



  • Strong organisational and time management skills


Occupational Health & Safety

Safe Places is committed to the safety and well-being of its staff and ensuring a healthy working
environment.

We have comprehensive safety policies and procedures and are committed to complying with
occupational health and safety legislation. We support incident prevention and early intervention and
firmly believe that accidents can be prevented.

Safe Places is committed to a health and safety program focused on consultation and continuous
improvement.

We believe in shared responsibility in safety matters with all staff playing their role in maintaining a
safe working environment.

Our employees actively promote a health and safety culture through use of appropriate systems,
identification and control of risks and reporting all incidents within 24 hours. Staff actively participate
in consultation forums to ensure a shared responsibility for workplace health and safety matters.


How to apply

  • Review the position description on the employment tab of the Safe Places website at
http://www.safeplaces.com.au/employment/.
  • Prepare your current resume and a one-page application outlining your experience and
qualifications in relation to the duties and requirements above.
  • Submit your resume and application through the Apply Now link on the Employment page
at http://www.safeplaces.com.au/employment/.