Organisation: NSW Health South Western Sydney Local Health District
Job Title: Youth Health Counsellor (Social Worker or Psychologist) – F/T
Word Limit: Maximum 3000 characters per criteria
1. Degree in Social Work or Psychology. Eligibility for the AASW, provisional or full
registration with AHPRA
Being completed by client
2. Demonstrated ability and experience in the provision of intake, assessment and
counselling with young people
Through my placements for my Bachelor of Social Work, I have had multiple opportunities
to undertake comprehensive assessments and prove my intake, assessment and counselling
Specifically this was demonstrated during my placement at The Green Valley Liverpool
Domestic Violence Service as a social worker. Once a week my responsibilities were with the
allocation team, consisting of speaking to clients and assessing whether they were suitable
for the services provided by Green Valley Liverpool Domestic Violence Service, or referral to
a different service was required.
Through a psychosocial assessment, I was able to evaluate the patient's mental, physical,
and emotional health. In addition to health questions, I asked them a series of questions
around the client’s personal information, the situations they had been exposed to in the
past, and the current situation they are in.
If the client has children, this assessment will also include a child protection assessment,
asking questions relating to any orders that may be in place, for example a child protection
order or a domestic violence order. This was followed by a risk assessment of the client’s
situation. At the conclusion of the comprehensive assessment, the client was rated as
either, low, medium, or high risk and documented a list of goals for the client.
Once all necessary information has been received and documented and the assessment has
been completed, the allocation team meets (of which I was a member of), discusses all of
the cases, and if required we assign the case to a Domestic Violence Counsellor.
An example of my demonstrated counseling skills occurred at The Green Valley Liverpool
Domestic Violence Service when I conducted telephone counselling with a young person
using the crisis intervention approach.
The client was distressed due to her ex-partner recently having sent men to stalk her and he
had also threatened her that they would harm her. Due to the nature of the case it was
imperative that I gain the client’s trust through showing empathy and understanding.
Throughout the telephone counselling session I provided emotional and practical support to
the client by ensuring I listened and gave advice on how to ensure the client’s safety. I was
able to do this through conducting safety planning, and working through a range of options
available to her including accommodation and services available to help empower her in this
At the end of the conversation I informed the client I would be referring her to the Staying
Home Leaving Violence Service and the client appeared more at ease and thanked me for
listening to her and being of assistance. Finally I informed the client that a counsellor would
contact her directly.
As a result of this and many other situations I received positive feedback from my supervisor
on my intake, assessment and telephone counselling skills.
3. Demonstrated ability in the design, implementation and evaluation of therapeutic,
social and/or education groups as well as health promotion /education programs
In my role at The Liverpool Hospital in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatients Unit I executed
many activities and one in particular involved the facilitation of group counseling sessions.
These sessions were designed to help the patients establish what their wants, needs, and
desired outcomes were from rehabilitation.
Part of my responsibility was to design the sessions each week, making them relevant to the
patients in order for them to be therapeutic and educational at the same time. To do this it
was important that I understood what issues were relevant, why they were issues in the first
place and the best way to approach these issues during the group sessions.
As I performed a psychosocial assessment on each patient I was given most of the
information regarding issues during these assessments. Starting with the issue that was
raised the most by the patients, I then worked my way down the list, designing the sessions
each week around these topics.
To ensure the Unit is providing a quality service and the group sessions I was facilitating
continued to be effective I conducted evaluations each week, through verbally asking each
person to give feedback as well as through a feedback form that had been produced. These
evaluations provided two areas of interest, including gaining insight into any issues that
might have risen since I had conducted the assessments of the patients and also to gain
feedback on the way the sessions were run.
As a result I was given feedback on a weekly basis that the sessions were relevant, that
people felt comfortable sharing and they would continue to attend each week, making them
a big success.
Finally, my responsibilities also included the organisation of an “education day” for the unit.
For the “education day” to be successful, it was important to secure a representative from
all allied health services. The representatives would visit the patients and advise them on
the help provided by the health services and how they could be of assistance to the patient
and their carers.
4. Demonstrated understanding of issues affecting the health and well being of at risk
young people and the ability to advocate for young people
As part of my first year units at University of Western Sydney I developed a strong
understanding of the issues affecting the health and well-being of at risk young people. I
was required to show an understanding of the issues young people are faced with, the
impact if has on their health and wellbeing and ways to best work with the young.
Alternatively through my experience working at The Green Valley Liverpool Domestic
Violence Service as a social worker I have been involved with issues affecting the health and
well-being of young people on many occasions. These issues include, drugs and alcohol,
mental health, suicide, domestic violence, child protection and sexually transmitted
A direct example of this was a telephone counselling session that I undertook with a mother
who had called about her concern for her son who was abusing drugs and alcohol. Due to
this issue he was consistently missing work and it was affecting his relationships with others.
My role in this case was to provide counselling for the mother, relating to young people and
issues with drugs and alcohol. As she was distressed at the start of the call I endeavored to
listen and then explore her feelings on the issues with her son. During the course of the
telephone conversation we conducted a risk assessment on her son’s situation.
As a result of my counselling the mother was able to calm down and felt a sense of relief
that I understood and could provide her some advice on how to deal with her son and also
provide referrals if required to services that would be able to help.
In addition to the above I currently co-facilitate activities for the “Strengthening Contact”
group at the Child Protection Counselling Service, put in place to for parents who do not
have full custody of their children and are held to give assistance and advice to those
parents, on the appropriate behaviours during contact visits with their children.
The reason for the group is primarily for the children, so the contact they do have with their
parents is appropriate and continues to improve. As a result of this group we have received
positive weekly feedback from the parents and in particular we have one parent who had
previously disliked any counselling he was required to attend, but has given us very positive
feedback about the sessions.
I have also attended workshops during my placements on the following topics:
Still Raging Waters: An Exploration of the damaging effects of trauma on the brain and
body of a child (2013)
Completed the assessment- Identify and respond to children and young people at Risk
Addressing Smoking in Mental Health Workshop (2012)
Identify and Respond to Children and Young People at Risk (2012)
Hearts Inside: supporting children with parents in prison (2013)
This voluntary workshop training outlines my commitment to the area of young people as a
personal interest and gives evidence of my updated knowledge within this ﬁeld.
5. Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to relate well to
Throughout my placements and other activities in my working life, I have developed a high
quality of verbal and written communication skills. These skills have been demonstrated
effectively during my placement at the Green Valley Liverpool Domestic Violence Service.
During this role, I was responsibilities for facilitating counseling sessions for patients who
had suffered domestic violence. In order to provide a high quality of service to clients, it was
a priority to have excellent verbal communication skills along with expert listening skills.
Both these skills were utilised to a high standard whilst working in the hospital’s domestic
At the conclusion of the counseling session, it was my responsibility to update the client’s
files with all information received, including the clinical and progress notes. This required
the individual undertaking this activity to have a focus on attention to detail. Further, there
was a need to possess strong written communication skills, as there would be multiple
people reading the files and ultimately understanding the notes made.
In addition to my work at The Green Valley Liverpool Domestic Violence Service, I am
currently working at Child Protection Counselling Service where I have worked with a
number of young people of differing ages. I have conducted counselling with children and
young people and find that I am able to build strong trust relationships with them. I have
done this through the following methods:
Being able to relate to their age group and their circumstance
Building a rapport with them
Discovering their world – are they in school, working, what are their interests
Communicate on their level by using their language and seeing the world from their
An example of this was recently I worked with a young person and through asking questions
I found he enjoyed listening to music. As a result, in some of the counselling sessions I would
play the music he enjoyed. This built rapport with him along with being therapeutic to him.
This resulted in him opening up to me about his emotions.
6. Ability to work independently and autonomously, as well as a part of a
multidisciplinary team, and also in partnership with local relevant services
Throughout my university studies and work placements, I have consistently demonstrated
my ability to work autonomously, as well as being a valuable member of a high functioning
team. These abilities were displayed, and proven to be high quality, during my placement at
The Liverpool Hospital in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatients Unit. In this role, as social
worker, I was a functioning member of a team which consisted of a number of
representatives from various disciplines. In addition to myself it included a dietician, nurse,
Working collaboratively with other members of this team we were able to assess patients,
set goals, achieve goals, and undertake successful release of the patient. The role I played in
this team was to assist the nurse assess the patient, in conjunction with undertaking a
psychosocial assessment of the patient in parallel. At the completion of the assessments,
the team would meet to review the outcome of the assessment and construct a program
that would provide the emotional and physical support the patient required. Further, the
team would meet on a monthly basis to discuss the progress and improvement of all
7. Commitment and understanding of harm minimisation principles and social justice
Through my study and placements I have gained a high understanding of harm minimisation
principles along with social justice. This is demonstrated in my work at the Child Protection
Counselling Service where we had an example of a domestic violence case that had been
reported to the Family and Community Services however it had not been seen to at the time
of me speaking with the child.
In this situation it was important for me to give the child some tools and advice around how
to best deal with the situation if it happened again. Upon speaking with the child I asked
questions relating to the issues and the past situations she had been put in.
By putting myself on her level and gaining her trust she was able to give me some examples
which I then used to conduct safety planning and give tools and advice to the child if the
situation happened again. Some of the things I was able to tell her were:
If in a situation of domestic violence, leave the house and go and get help
Phone the police if the violence was escalating
If she found herself in harm’s way to report it to someone she trusts such as a
My work with this case was rewarded by positive feedback from my supervisor regarding
this situation, along with continued support and positive feedback in the cases I come into
It was because of my belief in social justice and through experience gained, my belief in
minimise harm principles that led me to a career in social work. I am dedicated to helping
others and have the ability to reserve judgement and come up with a ‘best possible’
solution for a variety of situations.
8. Unrestricted NSW drivers licence (P2 licence acceptable)
Being completed by client