POSITION DESCRIPTION

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1 POSITION DESCRIPTION Position Reports to Direct reports Status Location Terms of employment Senior Caseworker, Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Program Team Leader, Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder Nil Full time, 38 hours per week - ongoing, subject to successful completion of six (6) month probationary period East Brunswick To be negotiated with the successful applicant. Attractive Salary Packaging arrangements offered. The scheme is managed by Advantage Salary Packaging - refer to their web site for further information. Position Information General Enquiries Narelle Slater - P: (03) or E: Human Resources P: (03) or E: Applications close 23 February 2014 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply 1. Background The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) operates within the context that Aboriginal children continue to be significantly over-represented in the protection and care system within Victoria. VACCA considers that it has the responsibility and the opportunity to promote, advocate for and achieve positive changes in the lives of Aboriginal children, their families and the broader Aboriginal community. VACCA's objectives include the preservation, strengthening and protection of the cultural and spiritual identity of Aboriginal children and to provide culturally appropriate and quality services, which are responsive to the needs of the Aboriginal community. As a state wide community based Aboriginal organisation VACCA has extensive experience in the management and delivery of a range of community services programs to the Aboriginal community with a particular focus on services to vulnerable children families and community members. VACCA programs include: Family Services which includes Integrated Family Services, Playgroup, Aboriginal Family Decision Making, Aboriginal Family Preservation and Restoration, Child FIRST, Family Violence and Playgroup, Out of Home Care which includes Foster Care, Kinship Care, Residential Care, Permanent Care, Adolescent Community Placement, Leaving Care, Cradle to Kinder and Koori Cultural Support Programs as well as Youth Homelessness services. VACCA provides community cultural strengthening programs as well as Koorie Connect, a case referral service, services to Stolen Generation members through Link Up. VACCA also has the Aboriginal Child and Specialist Advice and Support Service (ACSASS) which provides cultural advice to child protection staff and Aboriginal children and families involved in child protection matters. As the lead state-wide child and family agency, VACCA provides services in all regions and is the key point of policy advice for the Department of Human Services (DHS) on Aboriginal community wellbeing especially in child and family welfare matters. Edited: February 2014 To be reviewed: February 2015 Page 1 of 5

2 2. Program overview The Early Intervention and Family Services team works with families to promote family wellbeing, participation in the broader community and access to relevant services. The team provides families with a range of options for culturally responsive support in times of need, with a focus on positive parenting and family interaction to promote children s development. We provide a positive, culturally safe workplace environment supported by family friendly and culturally sensitive workforce policies, including professional development, continuing education and staff wellbeing. The Cradle to Kinder and Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program, funded by DHS, has been operating in a number of locations across Victoria since mid These programs provide intensive pre-birth, early parenting and family support for vulnerable young mothers and their children, commencing in pregnancy and continuing until the child reaches four years of age. The Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program is aimed at expectant mothers, aged under 25 years, who are Aboriginal or pregnant with an Aboriginal child, where a report has been made to Child Protection regarding significant concerns about the wellbeing of their unborn child, or in other cases where strong indicators of vulnerability for the unborn child are identified. Priority access is given to adolescent women, young women who are, or have been, in out-of-home care and young women with a learning difficulty. The objectives of the program are to: improve child health and optimise child development and wellbeing promote child safety, stability and cultural identity address underlying areas of concern relating to the family s vulnerability strengthen parenting capacity promote positive parent-child relationships and attachment increase the family s connection with culture and Community build the family s financial and social self-sufficiency. The Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program is currently being introduced in the north metropolitan Melbourne area, covering the local government areas of Banyule, Darebin, Nillumbik, Whittlesea, Yarra, Hume and Moreland. This program will be led by VACCA, in partnership with Melbourne Citymission and the Queen Elizabeth Centre. 3. Position summary The Senior Caseworker forms part of a multidisciplinary team of highly qualified and experienced staff from a range of professional backgrounds. The Senior Caseworker will act as the key point of contact for the family, care team and related service network for each allocated case. In addition, the Senior Caseworker will play a lead role in the initial engagement, assessment and planning processes for each family. The Senior Caseworker will be required to provide holistic, culturally safe, trauma-informed and strengthsbased casework support for Aboriginal families with complex needs who are referred to the program, including case planning, service coordination and direct services. This position will work jointly with the therapeutic specialist in delivering therapeutic service responses. 4. Key responsibilities a. Casework Convene and lead a care team for each family, including planning and leading family and care team meetings. Undertake assertive outreach and employ active engagement strategies to support young parents to sustain their participation with the program over the four year service period. Undertake comprehensive risk and needs assessments of all family members, including infants, children and young parents, using the Best Interests Case Practice framework and other relevant assessment tools, as prescribed by the program. Conduct ongoing risk assessments, identifying potential for harm and protective factors, and where appropriate, implement risk management strategies. Edited: February 2014 To be reviewed: February 2015 Page 2 of 5

3 Lead the development of flexible, individually tailored child and family action plans, in partnership with the family and care team, and involve young parents in goal setting and decision making processes. Coordinate the implementation of agreed actions and monitor progress against the plan. Actively support young parents to connect (or reconnect) with family, Community, land and culture. Provide intensive support to families at important developmental milestones and life transitions and during periods of crisis. Actively implement strategies to prevent premature closure. Make appropriate referrals and facilitate the family s access to, and engagement with, relevant universal, targeted and specialist services. Plan and directly deliver services to all family members (including fathers), as identified in the child and family action plan, including in-home and community based activities, individual and group activities as well as social and cultural activities. Teach and guide young parents to build skills and confidence in antenatal care, child development, parenting, routines, boundary setting, attachment, relationships, home safety, financial literacy, household management, problem solving and independent living. Use a range of methods such as coaching, role modelling, mentoring, observation, feedback and self-reflection techniques. Provide information, advice, advocacy and support to empower young parents to independently access and use community services. Participate in the duty intake system. Where required, consult with child protection and report any concerns that may place the young parent or (unborn) child at unacceptable risk. b. Partnerships and collaboration Work as part of a multidisciplinary team, sharing individual skills and knowledge. Establish and maintain positive and effective working relationships with infants, children, parents (including fathers), extended family and the Community. Build strong relationships with universal, secondary and tertiary child and family services, including local, state and federal government departments, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, community health services and community service organisations. Work in close collaboration with child protection, placement services, Child FIRST and program partners, Melbourne Citymission and Queen Elizabeth Centre. Support Cradle to Kinder programs in other locations in their capacity to deliver culturally competent services to Aboriginal families. c. Professional development Participate in orientation and induction, formal supervision, reflective practice, annual performance appraisals and professional development activities, in accordance with VACCA s supervision framework and related policies. Participate in external clinical supervision, as required. Maintain a good working knowledge of resources and services available to vulnerable children and their families. d. Quality assurance Provide services in accordance with the departmental standards, program requirements for family and early parenting services in Victoria, Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder practice guide and program framework. Actively encourage feedback from children and their families. Participate in model development, review and service improvement activities for the Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program. Edited: February 2014 To be reviewed: February 2015 Page 3 of 5

4 Manage client information, data, expenditure, incident reports, client records and files, in accordance with legislation and VACCA policies. e. General Participate in organisational and team meetings. Adhere to VACCA s Code of Conduct, Occupational Health and Safety and all relevant policies. Fulfil other duties, as required, commensurate with the capacity, qualifications and experience associated with the position and classification level. 5. Key Selection Criteria a. Skills, knowledge and attributes The successful applicant will possess: a sound understanding of Aboriginal culture, values, protocols, inter-generational factors and complex kinship systems, as well as the issues facing vulnerable Aboriginal families that may impact on their capacity to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their children, and a demonstrated capacity to work in a culturally competent, sensitive and respectful manner a clear understanding of child and adolescent development, trauma, attachment, child abuse and neglect, with good knowledge of the services and interventions that: o promote child health, safety and wellbeing o strengthen parenting capacity o improve family functioning o address underlying risk factors for vulnerable families a proven ability to work successfully with Aboriginal children, young people and their families with a range of complex and diverse needs. An excellent understanding of the principles of casework practice, with a demonstrated capacity to: o actively engage with families that may be unwilling to receive services o build confidence, motivate and sustain change and influence positive outcomes o undertake quality assessments and coordinate planning processes o work effectively and flexibly as a member of a team o proactively set priorities and manage timelines o undertake quality case recording, data reporting and file management high level interpersonal and communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to: o provide information and feedback to Aboriginal children and families in ways that are constructive, respectful of Aboriginal styles of learning and sensitive to the needs of individuals with learning difficulties o effectively advocate on behalf of families a demonstrated commitment to establishing and maintaining collaborative relationships with families, colleagues, government departments, sector partners and the Aboriginal Community. b. Qualifications and experience The successful applicant will be required to hold a tertiary qualification in early childhood education, early childhood development; youth work; nursing; maternal and child health; community health; social work; psychology or a related discipline and have at least three years experience in the child and family services system. c. Highly desirable Experience in working with adolescent parents (including fathers), young people in out-of-home care and/or young people with a learning difficulty or disability will be highly regarded. Experience in using the Family Outcomes Star and/or NCAST Parent-Child Interaction Teaching Scale will be equally well regarded. Edited: February 2014 To be reviewed: February 2015 Page 4 of 5

5 6. Conditions of employment a. This is an ongoing, full time position comprising 38 hours per week. In order to perform the duties of this position effectively you may be required to work additional hours or vary your working times, on any day of the week, as appropriate and necessary from time to time. There is no paid over time, however, time in lieu arrangements will be negotiated as required. b. The position is currently based at East Brunswick, subject to change, based on strategic and operational needs of the organisation and program. c. Terms and conditions of employment will be included in an Employment Contract. d. The successful applicant will be required to undergo satisfactory pre-employment checks, including providing at least three (3) professional referees, completion of a medical declaration, Police Records Check, Working With Children Check, Victorian Driver s Licence, and proof of identify and qualifications. e. The successful applicant must have and continue to hold a full Victorian Driver s Licence. f. The successful applicant will be required to disclosure any pre-existing injury/injuries and/or medical condition/s, which could be aggravated by the type of employment they are applying for. The existence of an injury/injuries and/or medical condition/s will not preclude the applicant from employment, unless they are unable to perform the inherent requirements of the position. However, failure to disclose any relevant information may affect a claim for Worker s Compensation. g. VACCA has a smoke-free workplace policy. How to Apply Send: - Cover Letter - Response to Key Selection Criteria - CV/Resume (including details of at least three (3) referees) Post Human Resources Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency PO Box 494 Northcote Plaza Northcote VIC 3070 Edited: February 2014 To be reviewed: February 2015 Page 5 of 5

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