Student Placements

Learn With Us

Thanks for having a look at our student placements page. We love to support students to complete their placement and see what life as an ACSO employee looks like!

ACSO have provided student placements since 2019 for students who have a placement requirement as part of their tertiary studies. We do not offer high school work experience.

What does Student Placement Look Like at ACSO?

Every student placement is different, depending on what you’re studying, the requirements of your placement and the ACSO program you complete the placement in. You will be able to set goals for what you want to achieve during your placement, and we will work with you to achieve those.

All students will be allocated a Team Leader and a Buddy to provide support and guidance during the placement. The Team Leader will work with your institution to sign off on any placement requirements.

We provide students with all the equipment and training you need to set you up for success. Students complete all the ACSO onboarding activities and learning that our employees do!

"Through my placement at ACSO, I got the chance to thoroughly practice the skills I had learned from my degree … improve my skills and find a lot more confidence in myself when it came to working within the sector."

Taylor, COATS Program

Types of Placement Activities

We work with your institution to understand the requirements of your specific placement. Some key activities our students have completed in the past while being supervised are:

  • Drafting case and treatment plans

  • ​Writing casework notes in our client management system

  • Conducting client screening using psychological tools and frameworks

  • Creating and delivering cooking programs for our residents

  • Shadowing ACSO Case Workers during their meetings with clients in prison

  • Developing and delivering training to ACSO employees and clients

  • Drafting funding applications​

  • Interviewing employees and conducting a gap-analysis.​

ACSO Programs Offering Student Placements

We have a number of programs at ACSO that support student placements. Below are the programs we most commonly host students in, but we have also had students in our Forensic Case Work, People and Culture and Strategy teams!

Forensic Residential Services

Forensic Residential Services

This program works with adults who have a disability and an offending history. Students will work with our Forensic Residential Support Workers with intake and client assessments, care plan meetings, individual support and treatment planning, independent living skills, and preparation for client transitions. Students will also attend weekly resident’s meetings and recreational outings.

For this program we are looking for students studying disability, social work/community services, occupational therapy, or criminology.

Community Offenders Advice and Treatment Service (COATS)

Community Offenders Advice and Treatment Service (COATS)

COATS works with individuals who have an alcohol and other drug (AOD) concern, or a court-ordered mandate for AOD assessment and treatment, to divert them away from further contact with the criminal justice system, and support safety and wellbeing for that individual and the wider community. Students will work with our Forensic AOD Assessors to facilitate referrals with holistic assessment, case formulation and treatment planning advice to specialist AOD treatment services across Victoria.

Typically, we are looking for students studying AOD, social work, or criminology for this program.

Forensic Assessment and Counselling Team (FACT)

Forensic Assessment and Counselling Team (FACT)

FACT provides alcohol and other drug (AOD) assessments and to clients on bail, with the service being delivered in person and via telehealth. Students will initially observe Forensic AOD Clinicians prior to developing their own client caseload with the support of their supervisor. Students will have an opportunity to gather information through assessment, formulate findings and recommendations utilising strong report writing skills, develop realistic treatment plans, facilitate referrals, and deliver treatment interventions and therapeutic approaches. 

For this program we look for students studying AOD or counselling. A knowledge of AOD and understanding of substance abuse is highly desirable.

Clinical Services

Clinical Services

Clinical Services provides a range of therapeutic services to support individuals impacted by the justice system. They specialise in assessing and treating individuals with a range of complex needs, including those who have a cognitive impairment and are at risk of sexual or violent offending. Students work with Behaviour Support Practitioners, Occupational Therapists and Psychologists to perform a range of assessments, develop behaviour support and treatment plans, provide support and intervention to NDIS participants, and support other ACSO programs with consultation and training.

Typically, we are looking for students studying Occupational Therapy, Psychology, or Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Applying for a Student Placement with ACSO

We have limited places available for students and typically engage students directly through their tertiary institution via our tertiary institution partnerships.

Alternatively, we may advertise for student placements once or twice a year via our ACSO Recruitment portal accessible via our Current Career Opportunities page.

Student Testimonials

Here is what two of our recent students had to say about their student placement experience with ACSO.

“Through my placement at ACSO, I got the chance to thoroughly practice the skills I had learned from my degree, while also gaining so much more knowledge about Counselling, Case Noting, and the AOD sector from the lovely staff who I worked with. Everyone I met at ACSO was incredibly welcoming and happy to help me learn from them in whatever way I could, and due to their care and consideration, I was able to improve my skills and find a lot more confidence in myself when it came to working within the sector. I was sad that my placement was only a couple of months, because I absolutely enjoyed every minute of my time at ACSO!”

Taylor, COATS Program

“I am sad to leave [ACSO] as I have had such an amazing experience. I want to give a massive shout out to the FACT Team Leader and the FACT team who made me feel so welcome and supported and provided me with heaps of knowledge and expertise. I also want to acknowledge the staff at the courts who allowed me the opportunity to work with their clients. I am very grateful to all the clients who supported me whilst I tested out my counselling skills! I learnt the most from them and cannot believe how open and engaged they were (and how patient they were with me). I attended so much great training here at ACSO which helped prepare me for client contact, so thank you as well to those trainers. Hopefully, I will be back at ACSO at some time in the future!”

Kristy, FACT Program