Social workers are the largest allied health workforce in public mental health, employed in a range of roles at all levels of the organisation.

Members of our team talk about working as a social worker for mental health services at the RMH

What our social workers do

Social workers are employed in all program areas, including our:

  • Inpatient units, residential settings and community teams
  • Clinical education and training roles
  • Casual Bank

Social work invests in undergraduate teaching by providing professional education and clinical placements to student social workers interested in mental health social work. Social work has developed partnerships with key universities to further research and aid student placements in both clinical and research roles to provide pathways for the workforce of the future.

Areas of expertise

Social workers bring expertise in the following areas:

  • Psychosocial functioning of clients and their families
  • Holistic assessment and development of recovery-oriented plans with clients and their family or carers
  • Assessment of multiple and complex challenges for families, including the assessment of vulnerable and at-risk children
  • Specialist family work and family therapy interventions (including Single Session Family Consultations)
  • Identification of psychosocial risk factors and obstacles for discharge
  • Task-focused case work ensuring clients have access to eligible supports and services such as housing and finances
  • Advocacy in legal areas such as Guardianship and Administration Applications, Family and Children’s Court and Criminal Court
  • Group programs and individual work with consumers
  • Community development and engaging partnerships with community agencies

Professional practice guidelines for social workers

Social workers follow the professional practice guidelines of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), the AASW Code of Ethics and the AASW Practice Standards for Mental Health.

Social workers contribute to the development of procedures and practice guidelines in the areas of:

  • Vulnerable and at-risk children
  • Work with others to ensure that the RMH's Mental Health Services complies with legislation arising from Governments such as Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, Royal Commission into Family Violence and their associated recommendations
  • Child Safe Guidelines for where children of our clients come into contact with the organisation, including visiting inpatient settings
  • Support for our vulnerable older clients through Elder Abuse procedures
  • Accommodation and housing issues
  • Carer workforce to support evidence-based family work at all levels of the organisation
Mental Health occupational therapist, Caitlin at CCU

Looking for a career with us?

Find out more about current vacancies in our mental health services on the Royal Melbourne Hospital online recruitment system.


Australian Association of Social Workers
The AASW is the professional body for social workers
Last updated 05 September 2023