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Child protection officer

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

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm; on a rota

Future employment

There will be 4% more Child protection officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office or visit sites.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job by working towards this role or 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.

Volunteering and work experience

Experience of working with vulnerable children is essential.

You can get experience by volunteering. You can get information on volunteering opportunities from:

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:

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

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Association of Child Protection Professionals for career development opportunities and to meet others doing this job.

Further information

You can find out more about working in child protection from NSPCC Learning.

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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

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of psychology
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • active listening skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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