Employment Programs and pathways

We recruit a diverse workforce that reflects our changing community.

What we offer

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing is proud to offer a number of employment pathways for those seeking employment in the public service.

Read more about our employment pathways below;

Graduate recruitment

The Victorian Government Graduate Program is a 12-month Victorian Public Service (VPS) wide program managed by the Victorian Public Sector Commission (VPSC).

The aim of the program is to attract, recruit, develop and retain graduates within the VPS. The program looks for graduates who are creative, curious, have a drive to learn and live the shared values of the VPS of integrity, respect and human rights.


To be eligible for selection into the program, graduates need to:

  • have completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or the same as level 7 and above of the Australian Qualifications Framework
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, an Australian permanent resident or have unrestricted working rights for ongoing work
  • not have taken a voluntary redundancy from the Victorian public sector in the 3 years before the program start date.

How the program works

Graduates will work in 3 roles across different departments over 12 months in a stream that is tailored to what they studied at university. Graduates select their top 2 department preferences in their application.

Pathways are available for applicants who are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person or a person with disability.

Being involved in the program means graduates receive;

  • A starting salary of $62,604 plus super, with promotion and pay rise to more than $74,500 plus super at the programs end securing an ongoing job
  • Personal and professional training, with mentoring from executives
  • Flexible working conditions, such as hybrid working. All roles are based in Victoria.
  • Access to future career opportunities that are only available to people who work in the Victorian Public Service
  • A chance to build networks with like-minded graduates across government.

How to apply

For further information please consult the Victorian Government graduate program webpage.

Student placements

The Department offers students the opportunity to apply the theory and skills they have gained while studying in a professional workplace. This opportunity enriches the student learning experience and increases the number of work ready graduates.

If you have any queries about the student placement program, please email studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Tertiary student placements

We offer tertiary student placements in the following areas;  

Child Protection

A student placement in Child Protection provides the opportunity to experience how our dedicated practitioners work with children and young people at risk of harm or neglect to ensure their safety. You will observe how practitioners assess risk of vulnerable children and make decisions based on information gathered. Most students will have the opportunity to attend court and observe the role of a practitioner in this setting. To complete a student placement in our Child Protection branch you must be completing your second last or final year of a recognised social work degree (or similar welfare or behavioural-related degree) or your final year of a recognised Diploma of Community Services, which as at a minimum, a 2-year full-time course or part-time equivalent).

Forensic Disability Services (FDS)

Forensic Disability Services provide a range of services to people with a cognitive disability and history of offending. The aim of the department’s forensic disability service program area is to reduce clients’ risk of reoffending, promote community safety, and increase clients’ adaptive functioning skills to promote independent living and achievement of personal goals. Students seeking to complete a placement in FDS may have the option of various teams including Forensic residential services (secure accommodation to people with an intellectual disability and history of offending behaviour), Forensic Disability Clinical Services (behaviour assessment, treatment and consultation services), Disability Justice Coordination (arranging access to forensic disability related services for individuals to meet their bail conditions) or Forensic Disability Statewide Access Services (entry point for intake and referrals for people seeking access to Forensic Disability Services).

Housing Services

Student placements are available in the Housing Advice and Assistance team or the Tenancy and Property team. Placements in these teams may involve providing information, advice and referrals to clients seeking housing assistance, conducting interview and assessments of clients to assess and access housing needs, receiving and processing new housing applications and transfers and engaging in initiatives aimed at sustaining tenancies including providing support to at risk tenants.

Corporate Services, Statutory Bodies and Administration Agencies

Within the department, we have eight additional divisions outside of Community Operations and Practice Leadership that can support student placements and requests. We also have statutory bodies and administration agencies that could be suitable for a student placement.

You can review our divisions via the Our structure webpage.  

How to apply

Students seeking a placement with DFFH must complete an online application form.

Note: Students must also attach a current resume and a covering letter, which specifies why you are interested in the area/s you have nominated and what you know about the areas you have chosen.

Safety screening requirements

As part of the application process, the student must provide some or all of the following documents:

  • A valid police check certificate: All student placements require a National Police check. National Police checks remain valid for 6 months from the date of issue for student placements. Students must start their placement within 6 months of the police check being issued, otherwise a new check will need to be completed.  
  • Driver’s license (P-plate minimum): Depending on the area of placement, a driver’s license may be required.  
  • Working with Children Check (WWCC): A valid Working with Children Check is required for student placements in Child Protection and Forensic Disability Services. This can be either a volunteer WWCC or an employee WWCC. 
  • Photo ID: Further photo ID may be required to be provided, such as a learner’s permit, or tertiary ID card.   
  • Statutory Declaration: Students who have lived overseas for 12 months or longer during the past ten years must complete the Statutory declaration for an international police check – Students only (Word).

All documents provided to the department must be:   

  • Colour   
  • Scanned into a pdf file (do not take a photo of the document)   
  • Clear and legible.

Please note that students who are offered a placement must sign and complete the following forms prior to starting your placement:

Please complete these forms and email to studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Information for Education Providers

Education providers wanting to place students must download the Bulk student placement application spread sheet (xlxs) and email the completed document, along with your student resume and covering letter to studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au.
Note:  When submitting the documents listed above to studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au, you are confirming on behalf of your institution that you:   

  • Authorise the practice and suitability of the student for the placement they have requested   
  • Will notify the department immediately if the student withdraws from your course or unit, or of any changes in their circumstances or suitability for placement.   

If you require further information about placement details, please email studentplacements@dffh.vic.gov.au.

  • Where students apply directly through the student portal and nominate you as the tertiary provider contact, you will receive a system generated email requesting that you are confirming the points above. Please email Student Placements within 2 working days of receiving the email. Applications will not be progressed without this authorisation.    
Child Protection Employment Program (CPEP)

Applications are now open for the Child Protection Employment Program 

To apply complete the Child Protection Employment Program application form.

Applications will close on Sunday, 4th of August 2024.

An information session is being held on Tuesday, 9th of July 2024, 12.30pm to 1.30pm

Session agenda: 

  • Overview of the Child Protection Employment Program
  • Role of Child Protection
  • Application Process
  • Hear from a current Child Protection Employment Program employee on their experience.

Register to attend

The information session will be recorded and posted on this website.

A follow up live Facebook Chat session is being held on Thursday 25 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm

In this live session the team will be available to answer your questions using the Messenger chat function. Log into the DFFH Child Protection Recruitment Facebook page at 2pm on Thursday 25 July 2024 to take part.

The Child Protection Employment Program is a paid, fixed term rotation-based employment program. It is designed to equip Victorian-based students studying a social work, psychology or welfare qualification with the experience and skills for entry-level Child Protection Practitioner roles.

This is a 12-week full-time or 16-week part-time program.
There are two commencement dates for the 2025 program: the week commencing 20 January 2025, and the week commencing 3 March 2025.

To apply for the program, you will need:

  • to be currently studying  (or completed) a qualifiation in a social work, welfare, community, or behaviour (or similar),
  • to have graduated in 2024 or be graduating by January 2026,
  • to be available to work 3 to 5 days per week (7.36 hours per day) for the duration of the program,
  • a valid, current Australian driver's licence, and
  • to have (or willing to get) an employee Working with Children Check.

There are roles across Victoria, in both metropolitan and regional department offices

For more information about the Child Protection Employment Program, including intake dates and career pathways, visit the Child Protection Jobs website.

Employment Programs, Internships, Mentorships and Scholarships

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has a number of employment programs, internships and mentorships to attract talent and support alternative pathways into employment within the Victorian Public Service.

As part of the application process, employment programs require pre-employment screening. For more information, contact employmentprograms@dffh.vic.gov.au.

Youth Employment Scheme (YES)

The Youth Employment Scheme (YES) provides young people aged 15 to 29 with a 12-month, entry-level opportunity to work in the Victorian Public Service while completing accredited training.

Additionally, there is a YES Disability Stream which helps provide sustainable employment for young people with a disability.

Learn more about the Youth Employment Scheme on the Traineeships for young people webpage.

Career Seekers – Mid-Career and University Pathway

A CareerSeekers internship enables participants to either restart their career and re-establish their professional networks in Australia through the Mid-career pathway or provide work experience to participants undergoing studies in Australia through the University pathway.

The Mid-Career and University pathway are both 12-week paid internships/employment contracts within the VPS2 (or equivalent) salary banding.

For more information, visit the CareerSeekers website.

Digital Jobs

In recognition that the demand for digital skills is growing, the Digital Jobs Program is a large initiative of the Victorian Government, training 5,000 mid-career people in up-to-date digital skills; and then deploying them to business, industry and government via paid work placements that are routinely extended into ongoing roles.

The program attracts people aged 30 years old and above or people with typically at least 10 years’ professional experience in all manner of previous disciplines (e.g. engineers, teachers, accountants, consultants, nurses, retail workers, marketers, customer engagement people, small business owners, IT professionals from other disciplines, and more).

The placement will be 12 weeks paid fixed term contract.

Learn more about the Digital Jobs program on the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions webpage.

PACE Mentorship

Positive Action towards Career Engagement (PACE) is a career coaching program for people with disability to support their confidence in searching and obtaining employment opportunities. DFFH provide mentors through the program to support registered mentees with the Australian Network on Disability (AND).

Learn more about the PACE mentoring program on the Australian Network on Disability website.

Stepping Into Internship (Summer/Winter)

The Stepping Into Internships program connects students and recent graduates with a disability with paid internships across a variety of organisations. DFFH works in partnership with the program owner, the Australian Network on Disability (AND), who has been connecting employers and university students and recent graduates with a disability since 2005.

This mutually beneficial work experience program supports student with paid work experience during their summer or winter semester break. The employer gets practical experience and support of working with a person with disability, helping build disability confidence, while the student gets practical experience and confidence in the workplace.

Learn more about the Stepping Into Internship program on the Australian Network on Disability website.

Work experience placements

The Department offers work experience placements for Year 9 and Year 10 high school students. Work experience provides high school students with an opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in the public sector and explore career options at the same time.     
In a work experience placement, you'll get insights into how the Victorian Government works, as well as learning about the day-to-day operations of a particular business area.

For more information, contact employmentprograms@dffh.vic.gov.au

Inclusion Scholarships for Social Work Placements 

The department is offering Inclusion Scholarships for Social Work Placements in 2024 and 2025. These scholarships will support more Bachelor and Master of Social Work students to finish their degrees and start their careers, by helping reduce the financial burden of placements. Eligible students can apply for $7,500 to help them complete their placement. More information is available on the Inclusion Scholarships website.