16 May 2024

“I highly recommend working a Life Without Barriers.”

Image: Paul stands in front of a wall covered in plants, smiling at the camera.

Paul Cairns, Director for Child, Youth, and Family, Tasmania, sat down with us to answer questions about his career at Life Without Barriers. The following is in his own words.

Could you share the story behind the start of your career at Life Without Barriers?

“I started as a student. I finished my social work degree and was placed in Life Without Barriers for my fourth and final placement,” said Paul.

“We were a very small organisation at that point in Tasmania. We had a small footprint, we had a small disability service centre, and about five foster care placements spread across the state.”

“After completing my placement, I got to stick around as a case manager, and since then I have had the privilege and opportunity to work in a lot of different service types that we offer over the course of about 14 years. Now I’m grateful to be in the director role.”

What does an average day in your role look like?

“The day-to-day in the life of the Director for Child, Youth, and Families is usually meeting with the team and working out what our priorities are in terms of support and recruitment of carers and also the priorities for supporting the young people in our care,” Paul explained.

“So, we plan that out and then I support the team to be able to go off and do put the supports in place for that day and the rest of the week.”

What is a memorable moment from your time working at Life Without Barriers?

“I've got a lot, but I think one of the reoccurring stories that play out to me, that I think is always a standout that energises your commitment to what we do each day is what's known as the Friday afternoon call,” said Paul.

“So, this is when a crisis has hit one of the families that we work with. Within a child safety context, this can happen at all times during the week and year. But often the Friday calls are the ones that are usually most crisis-driven.”

“I think one of the things that we've done really well, in line with our value of being responsive as an organisation, is being able to step in and offer solutions to really complex situations.”

“Particularly when we have those Friday afternoon calls from Child Safety to say, ‘Hey, we've got a kid, we haven't got a placement option, what can you guys do?’ and watching the team really respond and work together and provide solutions.”

“I think that is probably one of my standout things I've been a part of.”

What excites you the most about working at Life Without Barriers?

“I highly recommend working a Life Without Barriers.”

“One of the things I've enjoyed most, especially through our recruitment process, is attracting and finding the right people for our organisation.”

“For me, the right people are those people who demonstrate the values and are committed to the values in the way they do their work.”

If you’re interested in joining our team, sign up here to receive our job alerts.

Careers at Life Without Barriers

Looking for a career where you can make a difference?

Related Stories