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Ever wondered what the role of a social worker looks like in Australia? Well, social workers in Australia wear many hats, each contributing to the well-being and support of individuals, families, and groups facing challenges. Let's dive into what this rewarding career involves and how you can get started with your social worker career with an online course.

What Does a Social Worker Do?

Social workers are the unsung heroes in our communities, working tirelessly to support those in need. Their roles can vary widely but generally include:

  • Providing Support and Counselling: Offering a shoulder and professional advice to those going through tough times, be it due to family issues, mental health struggles, or social injustices.
  • Advocacy and Social Justice: Standing up for the rights of individuals and
    communities, advocating for access to services, and pushing for social change.
  • Connecting with Community Services: Helping people navigate the maze of available services, from healthcare to housing and beyond, ensuring they get the support they need.
  • Crisis Intervention: Stepping in during crises to offer immediate support and solutions, be it in situations of abuse, homelessness, or disaster response.
  • Policy and Program Development: Working behind the scenes to develop policies and programs that improve social welfare systems and services.

Read more: Skills Needed to be an Effective Social Worker

Day in the Life of a Social Worker

A typical day in the life of a social worker can vary widely depending on their specific role and the setting in which they work. However, here's a general outline of what a day might look like:


  • Review emails and messages for any urgent client needs or updates.
  • Plan the day’s schedule, including client visits, meetings, and paperwork.
  • Travel to clients' homes or schools to conduct assessments, provide counselling, or deliver support services.
  • Engage in direct practice with clients, offering guidance, resources, and emotional support.
  • Update client records with notes from visits and any new action plans.
  • Coordinate with other professionals (doctors, teachers, therapists) to provide comprehensive support to clients.

Midday Administrative Tasks

  • Respond to emails and phone calls from clients, colleagues, and service providers.
  • Complete and file paperwork, such as reports, assessments, and treatment plans.


  • Attend team meetings to discuss cases, share insights, and strategize on complex situations.
  • Participate in training sessions or professional development workshops.
  • Work on behalf of clients to access services, including making calls to service providers, completing applications for assistance, and following up on referrals.


  • Reflect on the day’s work, evaluating the progress of clients and identifying any follow-up actions needed.
  • Prepare for the next day, organising files and setting priorities.
  • Engage in personal self-care practices to manage the emotional and physical demands of the job.

Why Become a Social Worker in Australia?

Choosing a career in social work means committing to making a difference. It's about more than just a paycheck; it's a vocation driven by compassion and the desire to see positive change in society. Social workers in Australia are in high demand, reflecting the crucial role they play in fostering a fairer, more inclusive society.

Social Worker Roles

  • Clinical Social Worker: Provides therapy and counselling services to individuals, families, and groups to address mental health issues.
  • School Social Worker: Works within educational settings to support students' emotional, social, and academic needs.
  • Child and Family Social Worker: Focuses on protecting vulnerable children and supporting families through services like adoption or foster care.
  • Medical Social Worker: Operates in hospitals and healthcare settings, helping patients navigate the healthcare system and cope with diagnoses.
  • Mental Health Social Worker: Specialises in supporting individuals with mental illnesses or substance abuse issues, often providing therapy and connecting them with resources.
  • Community Social Worker: Works on community development, policy advocacy, and program implementation to improve social conditions.
  • Geriatric Social Worker: Assists elderly individuals and their families in dealing with the challenges of ageing, including healthcare, housing, and legal issues.
  • Substance Abuse Social Worker: Helps individuals struggling with addiction through counselling, treatment programs, and support groups.
  • Military and Veterans Social Worker: Supports military personnel, veterans, and their families with adjustment, mental health, and reintegration challenges.
  • Criminal Justice Social Worker: Works within the criminal justice system to support rehabilitation, advocate for fair treatment, and assist with reentry into society.

Take Your First Steps Towards a Meaningful Career with OCA

Social work is a profession that offers both challenges and immense rewards. If you're passionate about supporting others and advocating for social justice, starting your education with an online course could be the perfect first step. 

Visit Online Courses Australia or explore our social work courses and kickstart your journey towards a fulfilling career. Let's make a difference, together.

Read more: How to Become a Social Worker with Online Study

Social Work Course FAQs

Do I need a specific background to start studying social work?

Absolutely not! Anyone keen on making a difference and ready to learn is welcome in the world of social work. It's a field that values diversity, empathy, and a genuine desire to support others above all else. So, if you're passionate about helping people and committed to learning, you're already on the right path.

How long will it take me to start working as a social worker?

Well, that's the beauty of online courses – they're as quick or as comprehensive as you need them to be! Opting for online learning means you can tailor your education journey to fit your lifestyle. Whether you're fitting lessons around a busy schedule or diving in full-time, you get to set the pace. From bite-sized courses that cover the basics to more in-depth programs, how deep and fast you go into your social work education is totally up to you.

Can online courses really help me become a social worker?

Definitely! Starting your social work education online is a fantastic way to lay the groundwork for a rewarding career. Online courses are designed to provide you with the essential knowledge and skills you need, opening up new job possibilities and setting the stage for further education if you wish. What's great about online learning is its flexibility – allowing you to begin your journey from anywhere, anytime. It's a practical step towards a career dedicated to positive change and support for those in need.

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