Child protection officer apprenticeships - where to start
You can get into this job through
working towards this roleapplying directly
You could do professional development training with your employer then go into child protection work. For example, you may be a police officer and complete relevant courses before moving to a child protection unit within your force.
Experience of working with vulnerable children is essential.
You can get experience by volunteering in the community, with a charity or through paid work.
You can apply directly for jobs if you're a qualified professional. Employers often look for social workers but other relevant roles include:
family support worker
probation officer. You'll need several years' experience of working with children, young people, their parents and carers. Management experience will also be helpful.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the Association of Child Protection Professionals for career development opportunities and to meet others doing this job.
Child protection officer apprenticeships - what it takes
Skills and knowledge
- counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
- sensitivity and understanding
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be flexible and open to change
- the ability to work well with others
- knowledge of psychology
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- active listening skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults. You'll usually need a driving licence.
Child protection officer apprenticeships - what you'll do
In your day-to-day duties you may:
- work with other professionals to identify children at risk
- speak with children, families and carers to assess their needs
- investigate reported concerns and allegations
- advise on child protection issues
- promote children's rights, safety and wellbeing
- write care plans and arrange support
- make referrals to partner agencies
- record case details and write reports
- give evidence in court
attend training courses
You could work in an office or visit sites.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression - Child protection officer apprenticeships
You could become a lead officer, co-ordinating the work of your organisation's child protection team.
You could also work for safeguarding partnerships between local authorities, schools, health bodies, charities and social services.
With further training and experience, you could become a children's services inspector or a self-employed consultant, delivering training and advising organisations on child protection policies and regulations.