Australian Institute of Welfare and Community Workers (AIWCW)

If you intend to apply for migration to Australia under one of the General Skilled Migration categories, you must have a nominated occupation which is on the Skilled Occupations List at the time you apply. In order to make a valid application, you must have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

AIWCW is the assessing authority for the following occupation:

  • Welfare Work

Before applying for skills assessment as a welfare worker you are urged to thoroughly consult the Skilled Occupation List. Your concept of 'welfare work' might not correspond to what this means in Australia, and another occupation might better suit your qualifications and experience.

In Australia, generic welfare work is similar to social work as practised in Australia and in some overseas countries, in that it includes experience, ability, and/or qualifications in working with different numbers of people, using several different methods. These methods include working with individuals in personal counselling (sometimes known as 'casework'); with groups; with communities; and to a lesser extent, involving agency administration, management, policy and research. Welfare work emphasises the values of the self-determination and dignity of those people who seek or require help, and it generally avoids the giving of advice and the use of direct authority in telling people what to do.

Generic welfare work can be applied to a variety of specialised categories of people, such as the aged, disabled, youth, addicts, homeless, and those in poverty or other form of disadvantage. But generic welfare work is not concentrated upon only one of these methods or specialised categories. This means that welfare workers in Australia must have the ability to work with a variety of methods and categories of persons, and this generally implies a greater amount of skill and knowledge than those specialising in only one method or category, such as working exclusively with communities or only with the intellectually disabled.

Two Pathways To Welfare Work Suitability

Pathway A

Graduates of a course which is equivalent to one with AIWCW Basic Approval are assessed as suitable as a welfare worker in Australia.

Such a course will generally:

  1. Be at least equivalent to an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Diploma; and
  2. Have a curriculum which includes study of:

    Generic welfare work or social work, including work with individuals (casework and counselling), and with groups and communities;

    Society and sociology, including community, and social and political structure and function;

    Individual human structure and function, including introductory psychology;

    General and specialised welfare services and welfare systems, and including welfare agency management and policy; and

    Research and evaluation.
  3. Include at least 400 hours of professionally supervised fieldwork, in 2 separate placements; and
  4. Either:

    At least 52 weeks of full-time study over 2 calendar years; or

    At least 1000 hours of class contact.

Pathway B

Graduates with an Other Relevant Qualification (ORQ), and who have at least 3 years of relevant professional experience and averaging at least 30 hours per week, during the 10 years prior to the application, and who have satisfied the AIWCW Core Competencies Requirements.

These requirements involve an extensive application process and evidence guide, the details of which are outlined in the separate document AIWCW Core Competencies Requirements for Overseas Qualified Applicants.

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