Social worker sector highlights

Download this snapshot to view the results of 190 respondents who selected ‘social worker’ as their profession from 1,518 health, social and community services workers who took the 2020-21 National Workforce Survey.


  • Social workers reported higher capability in all subscales when compared to the total survey population. Highest scores were reported for understanding childhood trauma and adversity, and for good knowledge, confidence and skills in child mental health capability and practice. Social workers also reported higher facilitating and workplace support than the total population.
  • Survey results indicate social workers could strengthen their support for children by improving regularity of child-focused practices and increasing capabilities in infant mental health.
  • Variation was observed for mental health capability by the top four social work sectors by response (adult mental health, child mental health, child safety, and parenting and family support), where child mental health tended to present highest scores and adult mental health presented the lowest.
  • Social workers who had used Emerging Minds resources demonstrated the material is well suited to this workforce.

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