Maintaining the mental health of child protection practitioners

Expected to be tabled in May 2018

Overview

Objective To determine whether child protection workers maintain good mental health and wellbeing.

Issues As part of their daily work, child protection workers often need to respond to dangerous situations or deal with traumatic incidents.

In 2013 and 2014, WorkSafe Victoria reviewed the workloads and stress levels of child protection workers. WorkSafe Victoria found that staff may be reluctant to seek help because of the stigma associated with ‘not coping’ and that reporting mental health issues is perceived to have an impact on career prospects.

Agencies must be aware of their staff’s mental health and suicide risk profile and have strategies in place to manage these risks. Evidence has found that workplaces which promote an integrated approach to mental health and safety provide the greatest benefits for both the agency and its practitioners.

This audit will determine whether workplace strategies are adequately supporting child protection practitioners.

Proposed agencies The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and WorkSafe Victoria.

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