Special Care Workers provide care and supervision for children and young people in residential and institutional facilities, and provide care and support to people in refuges.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • planning and implementing programs of supervision and care for children in residential care
  • supervising and arranging activities to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children in residential care
  • waking children and ensuring they are washed, dressed, fed and ready for educational and recreational activities
  • supervising children during domestic activities such as eating meals and showering
  • maintaining discipline, enforcing regulations and behaviour standards, compiling disciplinary reports and assisting in implementing remedial measures
  • organising refuge accommodation
  • providing emotional support to residents of refuges
  • referring residents of refuges for health and welfare assistance
  • ensuring security of refuge

Job Titles

  • Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant
  • Hostel or House Parent
  • Refuge Worker
  • Child or Youth Residential Care Assistant

    Provides care and supervision for children and young people living in residential or institutional facilities such as group homes and correctional institutions. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Hostel or House Parent

    Provides care and supervision for children and young people living in residential facilities such as boarding school residential colleges and hostels. Registration or licensing may be required.

  • Refuge Worker

    Provides services and support to people seeking assistance in a refuge.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    very strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    2,400
  • Unemployment

    average
  • Male Share

    20.1%
  • Female Share

    79.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    38.1%

Find Vacancies

This is a very small occupation employing 2400 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
Very strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, Queensland has a large share of Special Care Workers.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Health Care and Social Assistance; Education and Training; and Public Administration and Safety.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 40.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The workforce is fairly young. The average age is 32 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Around 4 in 10 workers are young (aged 15 to 25 years).
  • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20051800
20062300
20072500
20084700
20093000
20102600
20111800
20121900
20134200
20142800
20152400
20202800

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
Full-time38.168.4
Part-time61.931.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)40.840.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance64.1
Education and Training31.3
Public Administration and Safety3.8
Accommodation and Food Services0.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs Average
NSW12.131.8
VIC24.525.5
QLD32.419.8
SA5.66.8
WA11.411.2
TAS2.92.0
NT5.61.1
ACT5.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSpecial Care WorkersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-194.9-5.45.4
20-2436.3-9.99.9
25-3410.7-23.423.4
35-4428.2-21.721.7
45-5411.8-21.121.1
55-590.7-8.78.7
60-643.7-5.95.9
65 and Over3.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySpecial Care WorkersCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males20.1Males53.6
Females79.9Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed to work in this job. Sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed in addition to a qualification. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Special Care Workers who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and communicate clearly, with strong people skills.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Therapy and Counseling

    91% Important

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  2. Psychology

    90% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  3. English Language

    81% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Sociology and Anthropology

    75% Important

    Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

  5. Customer and Personal Service

    73% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Getting Information

    95% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    93% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  3. Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others

    92% Important

    Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving conflicts, and negotiating with people.

  4. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work

    89% Important

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  5. Building Good Relationships

    88% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

Occupational Information Network Child, Family, and School Social Workers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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