Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders today praised the region’s child safety officers and urged local people to consider joining their ranks.
“Child safety officers make such a valuable contribution to improving the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families who need it most,” Mr Saunders said.
“They are among the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make a real difference to the lives of others in our community and I can think of no more valuable contribution that anyone can make.”
Mr Saunders said a series of videos in which Queensland Child Safety staff shared their personal stories was truly inspirational and showed what a great community Maryborough was to work in.
In the videos calling for more Queenslanders to consider becoming child safety officers, staff including CQ manager James from Maryborough, tell why they are so committed to the cause.
James says every day is different and every day has its challenges.
“Having worked in the office for so long I have seen a lot of kids grow up,” James said.
“One girl I have known since she was eight is now a mum.
“It’s been really rewarding to see where she is now.”
Mr Saunders said the dedication, passion and hard work of Maryborough’s child safety officers was outstanding, but more were needed to further strengthen the child protection system.
“I would encourage anyone who has ever considered working in child safety to come on board and make a world of difference to children and families in need of support.
“Have a look at the videos on line and see what you can do to improve the lives of local children and families.
“All of our child safety staff – from child safety officers, child safety support officers and convenors – play a vital role in keeping Queensland children safe.
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming more child safety staff to our region,” he said.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the videos featured real people speaking honestly about what it is like to be a child safety officer in this state.
“It shows in all of these videos that the roles of child safety officers are challenging, but these jobs come with moments that make this a highly rewarding career with great opportunities,” the Minister said.
“We know Queenslanders have big hearts, and these Child Safety staff have opened theirs to show just how big a difference can be made.
“Every family struggles. Some families struggle more than most,” Ms Farmer said.
“For those families we need to change their story, and it is everyday Queenslanders who can help us to create that change.
“We are working hard here in Queensland to meet the needs of children, young people and families – now and into the future.”
Ms Farmer said working with vulnerable families and children could be confronting, but Child Safety staff often went above and beyond to change lives.
“Our staff face some of the most difficult conditions you could imagine, but they front up day after day knowing that their work could make all the difference to a family,” Ms Farmer said.
“In Child Safety we have a lower absenteeism rate than the Public Service average, and that tells you just how committed our staff are.”
Ms Farmer said child safety officers were working with families who are grappling with complex issues such as methamphetamine use and domestic and family violence.
“We need more child safety officers in regional parts of Queensland – particularly in Central and Northern Queensland,” she said.
“These are beautiful parts of the state that have so much to offer in terms of lifestyle,” she said.
“The department can help with relocation costs and offers additional incentives for people who choose to work in remote areas.”
The Queensland Government has funded an additional 421 child safety positions since March 2015.
To see the videos or find out more about working as a child safety officer in regional Queensland visit https://www.csyw.qld.gov.au/about-us/careers/career-opportunities/child-protection-careers