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Earn and learn on the job when you Switch to Social Work

Earn and learn on the job when you switch to social work

A new pathway into social work combining study, training and paid work has been launched by the Victorian Government and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, with La Trobe University delivering a Master of Social Work (Child and Family Practice) across all of its campuses in Melbourne (Bundoora) and regional Victoria from next year.

Switch to Social Work is a two-year program for people who already have a bachelor’s degree and would like to change careers.

The program will commence in 2024 and offers an earn and learn model, designed to alleviate financial barriers and address identified workforce areas of need.

The Centre CEO Deb Tsorbaris says the program’s intensive work placements will give graduates practical experience across multiple service delivery roles, access to industry expertise, and wrap around supports through the Centre to help students with their professional development.

“Our partner employers are helping us shape the future of family service delivery in Victoria,” Deb Tsorbaris said.

“Employers receive financial support for their student placements, and work-ready graduating practitioners with real case experience.”

Professor Russell Hoye, Dean of La Trobe’s School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, said the program aims to strengthen support for young people receiving services.

“This new course enables career-changers to get the qualifications they need to move into the child and family services sector,” Professor Hoye said.

“Students will graduate job-ready with placement opportunities across metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria.”

Participants will also graduate debt-free as Switch to Social Work provides:

  • Full tuition fee scholarship.
  • A cost-of-living allowance in the first year.
  • Industry standard wage in the second year.

The program focuses on child and family services and provides tailored training to build participants’ leadership and practice skills sought by employers from industry leaders.

Partnering organisations will help shape the future delivery of child and family services in Victoria and be a crucial part of the education journey for the new generation of social workers.

Applications are now open until 31 October.

More information about the program and the eligibility criteria required for organisations to apply and participate can be found online at


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