This advice provides an overview of learning and development opportunities for child protection staff and links to detailed information on the Department of Health and Human Services intranet sites.

Document ID number 4501, version 12, 7 July 2021.


Please refer to the Professional Development and Wellbeing SharePoint site to find the most up to date information on what professional development and wellbeing programs are available to the Child Protection workforce.

The Department of Health and Human Services Learning and Organisational Development provides a wide range of learning and development opportunities for departmental staff.

For child protection staff, there are specific courses and workshops to provide the skills required for practitioners to perform their roles effectively and build their career within the department.

Due to the complex and critical nature of child protection work some courses are essential, whilst others provide staff an opportunity to advance and refresh their skills and knowledge. A 12-month induction program for newly recruited child protection practitioners has been developed (Supported Practice) to provide the required support, information and training needed when practitioners commence in child protection.  The program includes a learning pathway for newly recruited practitioners to guide their learning through essential and professional development learning they are required to complete in their first 12 months in the child protection program. The program can be accessed on the department’s eLearn portal: Child Protection Supported Practice

There are a number of learning and development programs available for Child Protection including:

  • Class-room based learning programs
  • On-line eLearning programs
  • On-line resources
  • Workplace learning tasks.

This advice includes courses and programs most relevant to child protection practice. For more detailed information on all departmental learning and development opportunities see the department’s Learning and Development intranet site at

Class-room based learning programs

Essential courses

Beginning practice in Child Protection

This is a 17 day induction course for new child protection practitioners and those new to working in the Victorian child protection program. The course is conducted over four practice clinics providing foundational learning of the child protection program, including:

  • theoretical frameworks that guide child protection work
  • legal frameworks and statutory requirements, including the Children’s Court
  • engaging and working with children and families
  • assessing and responding to risk
  • using CRIS and other technologies.

CRIS for Child Protection

There are currently two 1 day courses offered which focus on the use of CRIS in Child Protection.

  • Case Practice which is a hands-on course where you will practise using the case practice component of CRIS using a case scenario to contextualise the learning. Including creating case plans, phases of intervention and how they relate to case practice, information, analysis and actions. 
  • Court which is a hands-on course where you will practice using the court component of CRIS using a case scenario to contextualise the learning. Including creating; primary and secondary applications, court events and court reports.

Planning for your safety

This is a one day course designed to help staff working with clients and families to prevent and manage occupational violence. 

Key learning areas include:

  • Strategic issues relating to occupational violence in the workplace
  • Important legal considerations and policy guidelines for staff dealing with occupational violence
  • Risk assessment principles and options for dealing with occupational violence
  • Best practice communication (de-escalation) techniques for everyone, including people displaying aggressive behaviour.

Development, attachment and trauma

This course is a two day course which covers how to integrate and apply child development, trauma, and attachment theories to the process of assessment and intervention.

You will gain insights into the importance of knowing the developmental and relational history of your clients to:

  • Inform how you work with clients
  • Make plans that are effective and relevant developmentally.

The course is presented by Berry Street's Take Two Practice Development Training Team.

Working with children and families affected by sexual abuse

This course must be completed before undertaking primary responsibility for a sexual abuse investigation. It provides child protection practitioners a thorough understanding of the dynamics underlying sexual abuse and sexual offending. It also aims to improve practitioner’s skills in effectively investigating and interviewing in such cases.

To undertake this course, practitioners must have more than 18 month’s experience in Child Protection and have attended the following courses:

  • Beginning practice
  • Planning for your safety
  • Development, attachment and trauma

Leadership courses

Transition from practitioner to manager

The transition from practitioner to manager learning program is designed to target practitioners who are transitioning from CPP4 to a CPP5 role. It is a two-day face-to-face program, including practice content that aims to support the practitioner’s shift into a leadership role.

The course is designed for child protection and is delivered to:

  • advanced practitioner who are preparing to progress into a CPP5 role
  • advanced practitioners who are acting in short term (less than six months) CPP5 roles regularly

Leading People, Leading Practice: Supervision and leadership

This course will give new child protection leaders the knowledge and skills needed to meet the demands of these challenging and rewarding roles.

New leaders will have the opportunity to join state-wide peers for an intensive time of reflection and skills development, where they can experiment with new ideas. Practitioners who have moved into a supervisory role need to complete this course within four months of starting these roles:

  • senior practitioners
  • team managers
  • practice leaders
  • deputy area operations managers
  • area operations managers/directors.

Leading People, Leading Practice: Delivering results in Child Protection

This course covers effective management of child protection business, focusing on team management, risk management and business systems and processes. The course is designed for child protection:

  • senior practitioners
  • team managers
  • deputy area operations managers, area operations managers/directors.

Leading Practice, Leading People: Sexual Abuse refresher

This course will teach you how to effectively and astutely interview children and young people where there are sexual abuse allegations. The approach uses a combination of questioning techniques, listening skills and analysis, ensuring that complex situations are well managed to gain a better understanding of the child's needs. The course aims to provide experienced practitioners with an overview of the dynamics underlying sexual abuse and how to work effectively in this area. The training incorporates information about recent changes in practice and looks at how we can incorporate these changes into our work with children, young people and families

The course combines theory and practical learning methods. The course is designed for child protection:

  • senior practitioners
  • team managers
  • deputy area operations managers, area operations managers/directors.

It is expected that those attending this course would have previously attended the Working with Children and Families Affected by Sexual Abuse course or an equivalent program more than 5 years ago.

Other relevant classroom based courses for practitioners

  • Aboriginal cultural awareness and safety
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Introduction to government
  • Mental health first aid
  • Working with CALD clients and communities
  • Alcohol and other drug misuse
  • Recognise and respond to family violence
  • Responding to quality of care concerns in out-of-home care
  • Autism spectrum disorder workshop.
  • Applied suicide intervention skills training (ASIST)
  • Writing for Government (4 courses available)
  • Unconscious bias
  • PDP: Plan and Develop

Other relevant classroom based courses for leaders and managers

  • Home safely every day
  • Aboriginal cultural safety for managers
  • Situational team leadership
  • Strategic foresight
  • Leader as coach 
  • From Manager to Leader
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • PDP: Performance Conversations
  • Leading with Respect modules including:
    • Ethical Leadership
    • Managing for team wellbeing
    • Giving and receiving feedback
    • Saying ‘yes’ to the flexibility conversation
    • Building high performing teams

For detailed information on all available workshops and courses and how to register, visit the department’s intranet site at

eLearning Portal

The eLearning Portal is the on-line learning management system for the department. The portal provides practitioners with learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting in a more flexible and convenient way.

Modules available on the portal include:

Child Protection specific

  • Permanency for Children eLearning Tutorials
  • Focus on Infants
  • Urine Drug Screening and Interpretation
  • Child Protection Privacy eLearning module
  • Rec 29 Family Violence Training (ten modules).
  • My Health Record

Department of Health and Human Services – general

  • Welcome to DHHS - Orientation for new starters
  • Charter of Human Rights in Victoria
  • Information Security Awareness
  • Information for our Managers
  • Introduction to the Victorian Justice System
  • NDIS for Child and Family Services
  • TRIM
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention
  • Your Health, Safety and Wellbeing
  • Child safe standards

Practitioners can access the portal at

For more information on accessing and using the portal visit the department’s intranet page at

Good practice bulletin

This quarterly bulletin, produced by the Office of Professional Practice, has been designed to contribute to the continued development of a learning culture within child protection. Discussion prompts linked to case studies support reflective practice and a deeper examination of the application of the Best interests case practice model.

Practitioners can access the bulletin at

Practice Dictionary Definition