Child Protection Officer

Job Description:

Child protection officers promote children's wellbeing and protect them from harm or abuse.

Job Category:
Government & Public Services

What you will do:

In your daily tasks you may:

  • speak with children, families and carers to assess their needs
  • investigate concerns and allegations
  • promote children’s rights, safety and wellbeing
  • write report, care plans and arrange support
  • make referrals to partner agencies
  • give evidence in court


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (leadership skills)
  • active listening skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a Child Protection Officer typically involves pursuing a career in social work or a related field. While there are no specific qualifications required to become a Child Protection Officer, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial in preparing for this career. Child Protection Officers work to safeguard the welfare and well-being of children who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. Here are relevant subjects to consider:

  1. English Language: Strong communication skills, including written and verbal communication, are crucial for social work professionals who need to document cases, write reports, and communicate with children and families.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills are helpful for tasks such as budgeting, financial assessments, and statistical analysis that may be part of social work roles.
  3. Psychology (Optional): While not typically available at the level, a basic understanding of psychology can be beneficial in understanding child development, behaviour, and mental health issues.
  4. Biology (Optional): Knowledge of basic biological concepts can be useful when dealing with child health and medical issues.
  5. Sociology (Optional): If available, sociology courses can provide insights into the study of society, which is relevant to understanding the social context of child protection.

Post School

You can get into this job by working towards this role, volunteering or by applying directly.


You could do professional development training with your employer to move into child protection work.

For example, you may be a police officer and complete a course before moving to a child protection unit in your area.


Experience of working with vulnerable children is essential. You can get experience by volunteering.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you’re a qualified professional.

Employers often look for social workers but other roles that involve child protection include:

  • youth worker
  • teacher
  • police officer
  • family support worker
  • probation officer

You’ll need several years of experience working with children, young people, their parents and carers. Management experience will also be helpful.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37-40 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm on a rota.

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 & Progression:

With further training and experience, you could:

  • become a lead officer of your organisation’s child protection team
  • work for a safeguarding partnership
  • become a children’s services inspector
  • become a self-employed consultant who gives child protection advice and delivers training