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Meet Georgie Sloan: Child Protection Delegate
WE CAUGHT up with CPSU Delegate Georgie Sloan after she did an ACTU training course focused on helping fulfil her role as a workplace union representative. Georgie is a Child Protection Worker in one of the two Intake teams in the South, and she talked to us about her job and her CPSU Delegate role.
Intake is basically the frontend of the child protection system, so anyone who has any worries, risks or care concerns about a child, intake is the first point of call. “Concerns about abuse, physical, sexual or emotional, and neglect come through to us. We take referrals on the phone, fax and email. It could be anyone from a neighbour or parent making a report or wanting advice. We’re also the first point of call for any services seeking support. We get referrals from services like the police, schools, hospital. So our work is very varied and interesting.”
“In our team we’re pretty much office bound, which has both good and bad points. We feed into the response team, so we take the information and follow up, and if we work out a child is at risk, the case then goes to response staff, who then go out and see them.”
Working from an office is different to her previous roles in the Child Protection system.
“I started in Case Management in 2005 where I worked for about 14 months. Then I got a position as a Senior Worker in Out of Home Care. Back then it was under the rostered care system, so we used to help manage group homes for kids. So back then I was out and about on the road and working with kids on orders in foster care and foster carers.
“After that I went on Maternity Leave in 2008 before I was moved to Intake, which I’d never done before. I love it now.
“The job is really hard work but it’s a great team here and all of my colleagues are really supportive. Even though you’re in the office you still really feel like you’re making a difference. You talk to the children on the phone and give them help and support. Most parents we deal with aren’t horrible abusers, they’re just people who are in bad circumstances, struggling and don’t know what to do. I really enjoy helping people to change their lives and make a difference.
“Another aspect of the job I really like is the problem solving side of it. You often have to fact find, gather information and work out what’s going on, which I really enjoy.”
Georgie has a background in Education and Psychology, and has degrees in both.
Joining the CPSU wasn’t a huge decision for Georgie when she started work in Child Protection back in 2005. “When I started everyone used to automatically join the CPSU.
“I became a Delegate a few years ago. I was interested in the union and I got to know Emma, my Organiser at the time. I was asked to go on a Child Protection conference interstate, so I was nominated and became a Delegate. Back then in my role, I did a whole lot of work on a caseload management tool, which was fantastic.”
Mostly, people come and have a chat to me if they need support on issues like leave and things like that.”
Georgie recently took part in a two day Delegate training course.
“The training was great, and the trainer Jayne was fantastic. It made me realise that I am doing as much as I can in this role, so it was great to get that reassurance. It was also a reminder that I can’t fight everyone’s battles for them, but sometimes just helping Members by pointing them in the right direction. It was also good to have the time to connect with other Delegates and hear what’s happening elsewhere.”
Outside work Georgie spends most of her time with her young children and husband.
“I have a little boy Caleb, who’s six and in prep and Harrison, who’s just turned one. We spend a lot of time together, going to the park and trips to footy and gymnastics.
“I love books. I really love Cathy Glass books. She’s a great writer and a foster carer I don’t know why I want to read about child protection and foster carers doing what I do. She writes really powerful books and I can sit down and finish one of her novels in a day or two. Other than that, any romantic comedy I’m usually up for!”