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Early Career Social Work Mentoring Program

2019 Early Career Social Work Mentoring Program

Details to be announced soon. To be added to a waiting list to be notified when applications open email

2018 Early Career Social Work Mentoring Program


“It is so rewarding and enjoyable, you will learn about yourself and your own practice while giving back to the profession.”
(Past Mentor, 2017 Program)

“I would highly recommend participating in the program. It has provided me with the confidence needed to perform my role and improved my identification and connection with the social work profession after completing my studies.”
(Past Mentee, 2017 Program)

The Victorian Branch is delighted to announce that it will be running an Early Career Social Worker Mentoring Program commencing in early 2018.

Mentoring is a tool that fits well with the social work professions commitment to lifelong learning, the importance of professional identity, its emphasis on psychosocial wellbeing, and the continual pursuits of high standards of competence. The purpose of the program is not to provide supervision or job seeking support but rather to engage early career social workers on broader career reflection.

Mentoring is recognised by the AASW as a form of Continuing Professional Development for both mentors and mentees.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the program are: -

  • To offer early career social workers an opportunity for personal and career development;
  • To provide an opportunity for experienced social work practitioners to contribute back to the profession;
  • To facilitate an opportunity for mentor and mentee identity development and strengthening in the context of the social work profession;
  • To encourage the transfer of tacit knowledge and practice wisdom to enhance the continuity of the social work profession; and
  • To empower early career social workers to effectively deal with workplace challenges and promote self-care strategies.

Program Duration

The Early Career Social Worker Mentoring Program is a nine-month program.



  • Mentors will be AASW Accredited Social Workers with 7+ years experience in social work practice.
  • There is no limit to how many times a mentor can participate in the program.
  • Mentors will be required to provide two professional referees to support their application to participate in the program.


  • Mentees will be AASW members who are currently employed in a social work role and have been working as a social worker for between six months and five years.
  • Mentees may also be internationally qualified social workers who are employed in a social work role and who are new to the Australian context.
  • Mentees are limited to participating in the program for one intake only, with the exception to this being if the matching process does not eventuate or the pairing is discontinued for reasons of irreconcilable differences. In this instance, the mentee will be encouraged to continue in the program and the AASW will endeavor to re-assign a new mentor. If this is not possible, the mentee will be offered a position in the program for the following year.
  • Mentees will not be paired with mentors from the same workplace. If circumstances change during the course of the program and the pair find themselves in the same workplace, efforts will be made to seek a suitable alternative arrangement.

Program Structure

The Mentoring Program comprises three key elements outlined below. It is expected that the selected participants engage in all three aspects.

Orientation to Mentoring Workshop

The official commencement of the program will be the Orientation to Mentoring Workshop that will be held on Tuesday 17 April 2018 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the AASW Melbourne Office and hosted by the AASW Victorian Branch. Anne Brooking, an experienced trainer with a background in both social work and mentoring, will facilitate the workshop. This event will provide mentors and mentees with: -

  • An opportunity to meet and network with other program participants;
  • A general introduction to the program;
  • An introduction to mentoring in the social work context and capacity building for mentors and mentees in order to make the most of the mentoring relationship; and
  • A guided activity which will facilitate the matching process.
  • Participants will be advised of the details of their paired mentor/mentee shortly after this workshop.

Independently Arranged Mentoring Sessions

Following the orientation event, mentors and mentees will be responsible for making their own arrangements with regard to their mentoring sessions. Participants will be expected to sign a Mentoring Partnership Agreement during their first meeting following the workshop which will outline the expectations of both parties. There is an expectation that mentors and mentees meet at least once per month for at least one hour for the first six months, with a final one hour session to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time close to the end of the nine-month program.

Reflection and Networking Event

At the conclusion of the program, the Victorian Branch will host the Reflection and Networking Event in February 2019 as an important means to: -

  • Share important learnings with colleagues;
  • Offer valuable insights into the mentoring experience;
  • Provide feedback and critique to inform future programs;
  • Allow mentors and mentees to network amongst other program participants and invited guests; and
  • Allow the mentors and mentees to formally end their relationship with each other, though this ending work may also have occurred in the final mentoring session.


Mentees will be required to contribute $70 to assist in covering program costs. This fee will be payable once a place has been officially offered on the program.

How to Apply

Application Deadline for Mentors closed Wednesday 21 March 2018.

The AASW Victorian Branch is now seeking applications from eligible members to be considered for inclusion in the program.

Please download the relevant form below, complete and return via email to by Friday 9 March 2018 at 5pm.

Applications will be reviewed in order of receipt and against the eligibility criteria.

Numbers are limited so we encourage you to submit your completed Application Form as soon as possible.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Thursday 29 March 2018.

View or download our Mentoring Program Flyer here

Application Forms



Please feel free to make contact with Anneka Farrington at the Victorian Branch on (03) 9320 1088 or via email if you have any questions or concerns.

For those members who are interested in mentoring but who are not Early Career Social Workers, please note that the Victorian Branch is considering mentoring programs for different groups in the future. If you would like to be kept informed of developments or if you have any feedback or ideas, do make contact with the Branch.

What Past Mentoring Program Participants Say

“It is enjoyable and fun as a mentor (it helped me to remember the value of the social work profession and what differentiates us from other professions). For mentees, this program is supportive and growthful and offers something broader than their workplace supervision can.”
(Past Mentor, 2017 Program)

“It’s a fantastic program which I believe every new grad should be a part of! Having a mentor provides a great opportunity to further understand your social work identity and an opportunity to gain some guidance from a social worker with years of experience behind them.”
(Past Mentee, 2017 Program)

“I would encourage people to become an AASW member just so they could participate in this.”
(Past Mentee, 2017 Program)

Contact the Victorian Branch

Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood Street
North Melbourne

PO Box 2008
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Parkville Vic 3050

P: 03 9320 1000 or 1800 630 124 (toll free alternative)

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers