University students

Working as a Child Safety Officer is perhaps the most rewarding career choice you can make if you've studied social work, human services or psychology.

Why? Because it's a career that will give you a true sense of purpose, test your skills in solving complex family issues, and you'll be part of the journey in helping children live fulfilling lives.

We're committed to developing your professional career through continuous training, achievement planning and review processes.

As a Child Safety Officer, you’ll work with a close-knit and supportive team who’ll help you develop your skills and knowledge, and gain experience in areas such as case planning and complex case management, risk and safety assessment, investigation and assessment, and court work.

There are many opportunities within our department to progress your career. You can start as a Child Safety Officer and progress to Senior Practitioner, Child Safety Service Centre Manager and up to Child and Family Regional Director. From here, you can advance to more senior executive positions across our department to the highest level as Director-General.

If you're interested in policy and practice work, training colleagues or supervising teams, there's always new roles to transition to where you can utilise the skills and abilities you've gained as a Child Safety Officer to achieve your personal goals.

Student Placement Program

Each year, we offer university students the opportunity to gain valuable experience working in one of our child safety service centres as part of our Student Placement Program.

You'll meet our people, learn firsthand what it takes to be a Child Safety Officer and get the chance to put all you've studied over the past few years into practice.

It's a great way to see what life's like on the frontline and how we work with children, families and professionals from other sectors in the community, such as education, health and mental health, domestic and family violence, police, youth and criminal justice.

If you like the idea of learning from our experienced Child Safety Officers, talk to your university field education coordinator and send us an email at to register your interest.

Cadetships for First Nations university students

Our cadetship program is an opportunity for eligible First Nations university students to gain entry-level employment with our department. You'll receive:

  • financial support, including paid university fees and textbook allowances
  • academic support and pastoral care
  • coordinated field placements
  • assistance with applying for employment with our department following graduation.

You can apply for a cadetship if you're in the final year of study for:

  • Bachelor or Master of Social work
  • Bachelor of Human Services and Social Welfare
  • Bachelor of Psychology or Behavioural Science
  • Other similar courses depending on subjects studied

This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable knowledge and experience for a rewarding career as a Child Safety Officer.

Applying for a cadetship

Before you apply for a cadetship, contact our Cadetship team to talk about your application.

Prepare your application

Before you submit your application, make sure you have a current resume and all the documents (listed below) ready to upload.

You'll need to provide written responses to 3 questions (listed below) as part of your application. It’s a good idea to prepare your responses to these questions and have them ready to add when you lodge your application.

Our department website provides a lot of information about working in child protection and you should use this when writing your responses to these questions.


As part of your application, you'll need to provide some documents, including:

  • Unoffical academic transcript
  • Resume and 1 referee. Your referee should be a person familiar with your university studies
  • Copy of your Australian driver licence
  • Confirmation of your Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage or a statutory declaration stating you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.

Written responses

  • Question 1: What is your understanding of the role of a Child Safety Officer and the responsibility for delivering statutory child protection services?
  • Question 2: What are your motivations for wanting to be a Child Safety Officer?
  • Question 3: Considering the responsibilities of a Child Safety Officer, what relevant strengths and skills could you bring to the role?

Submit your application

When you've included your written responses to the 3 questions and uploaded the documents, you're ready to submit your application.

Our child safety service centres are located across Queensland in metropolitan, regional and remote locations. We'll ask you to select the locations you’re most interested in to do your cadetship.


Our Cadetship team will contact you to talk about the cadetship program and answer any questions you might have.

We'll ask your consent to contact your referee so we can verify your skills and capabilities. If any adverse comments are made by your referee, you'll be given the opportunity to respond.

We'll review your application and contact you by phone and in writing if your application is successful.