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

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • 3,300 workers Employment Size
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower skill Skill level rating
  • Higher unemployment Unemployment
  • 51.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • Unavailable Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 74.9% female Gender Share

The number of Special Care Workers grew moderately the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 3,300 in 2018 to 3,500 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 400 a year).

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was above average in 2017.
  • Location: Special Care Workers work in many regions of Australia. Many work in New South Wales or South Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Education and Training; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Administrative and Support Services.
  • Full-time: More than half work full-time (51.1%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%), but there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are under 25 years of age (25.2%).
  • Gender: 74.9% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20083100
20094100
20103600
20111600
20122100
20133200
20143200
20151500
20164200
20172000
20183300
20233500

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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)
Education and Training51.9
Health Care and Social Assistance36.2
Administrative and Support Services6.0
Arts and Recreation Services4.1
Other Industries1.8

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 2017, 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
NSW47.031.6
VIC14.226.2
QLD6.619.7
SA13.96.7
WA9.010.8
TAS1.52.0
NT5.41.1
ACT2.51.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-1911.1-5.25.2
20-2414.1-9.99.9
25-3425.2-23.623.6
35-4413.8-21.721.7
45-548.2-20.820.8
55-5920.7-8.88.8
60-640.9-6.06.0
65 and Over6.0-4.04.0

Education Level

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 21-1021.00 - Child, Family, and School Social Workers.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 21-1021.00 - Child, Family, and School Social Workers.

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