Position Profile


Job Title:  Child Support Worker

Work Unit:  Delivery Services / Child Support Services

Ministry:   Alberta Human Services

Competition Number:  1038542

Date:  October 2016
 

Purpose

 
  • To assist applicants with dependent children achieve and /or maintain independence by obtaining child/adult support, or to maximize support payments on existing court orders or agreements.
  • To identify the circumstances and legal rights of applicants using a needs determination assessment process that supports the legislative framework of the Family Law Act.
  • To identify client needs for services and if required refer clients to other resources or services, as may be appropriate.

Responsibilities and Activities

  1.

Needs Determination/Assessment

The CSW conducts the applicant interviews to collect information/evidence required to secure support agreements/orders. The majority of applicants are not required to attend court, child support may be granted solely on sworn evidence filed by the CSW with the Court unless the court determines otherwise. The CSW will engage both voluntary and non-voluntary applicants to:

Activities:

  • Review referral information provided by Income Support.
  • Assess social impacts and risk to the applicants and dependent children in commencing action to pursue child support.
  • Determine the needs and legal rights of the applicant and dependents.
  • Determine the possible options and confirm the course of action to pursue support agreements/orders.
  • Obtain the evidence required by legislation to pursue the course of action.
  • Prepare the evidence to support the court action by completing affidavits and other documents required by the Court.
  • Determine if negotiating to obtain child support by an agreement can be achieved rather than taking court action.
     
  2.

Investigating/Respondent Assessment

Locate and interview respondents to corroborate information and determine what intervention is required to resolve child support matters. The CSW will engage the respondents to meet legislated disclosure requirements regarding parentage and financial circumstances and confirms the course of action to be taken by:

Activities:

  • Investigating and taking action to locate and engage unwilling respondents.
  • Obtaining financial disclosures, according to Child Support Guidelines, to determine child support.
  • Completing assessments to determine respondent employment and financial status.
  • Determining in the best interest of the child the least intrusive approach to pursue child support.
  • Taking actions required to obtain evidence to pursue court action and determine appropriate terms of an order if the matter is to proceed to court.
     
  3.

Negotiating

CSW intervenes with voluntary and non-voluntary applicants, respondents and their lawyers about child support matters to determine process and follow through with the appropriate course of action to secure support agreements/court orders that meet the legislated guidelines and will withstand court scrutiny or appeal.

Activities:

  • Independently negotiates and gathers evidence to enter into support agreements and/or initiate orders on behalf of the Crown, applicants and other low income Albertans.
     
  4.

Court Action

CSW prepares all applicant documentation for filing and presents the evidence to the Court to secure child support for applicants including:

Activities:

  • Preparation for orders including all court documents and presentation of evidence to Court of Queens Bench.
  • Mediates and negotiates with respondents or respondents’ legal counsel and if required prepare applicants to testify in Court.
  • Prepares legal documents, i.e. Affidavits/Consent Orders, swears Affidavits, gathers evidence and determines strategy.
  • Ensures any legal documents, court orders or other required actions from the court hearing are completed including administrative processing/liaison with Maintenance Enforcement Program staff in Justice for registering of orders/agreements.
  • Provides disbursements instructions to Maintenance Enforcement Program staff.
     
  5.

Community Liaison – establishes and maintains working relationships with partners and agencies including liaison with lawyers, judges, court staff, family law staff and women’s shelters.

     
  6.

Referral – makes referrals on related issues of care and control, parenting time, or debt counselling, general counselling, legal aid, career and employment services or other appropriate community services.

Scope

 
  • The CSW has the legal authority to intervene with voluntary applicants, respondents and their lawyers about child support matters to determine process and follow through with the appropriate course of action to secure support agreements/court orders that meet the legislated guidelines and will withstand court scrutiny or appeal.
  • The CSW independently negotiates agreements and obtains evidence for court applications without involvement of legal support except in exceptional situations. This position has delegated authority of the Director to initiate applications and to enter into support agreements and apply for orders on behalf of the crown and applications for Albertans who have lower incomes. The affidavit evidence is the legal basis for support determination.
  • Work is reviewed by the supervisor for adherence to Family Law Act, policy, procedures, precedents and implications of decisions and successful completion of Support Agreement and Orders. Workers and Supervisors consult to review statistical trends, significant court decisions and discuss policy changes.
  • The position requires a strong foundation in legal protocols and legislative knowledge combined with interviewing, assessment, negotiations and decision-making skills to achieve appropriate outcomes.
  • Assessment and negotiation required are complex and require gathering information of a personal and sensitive nature, often in emotionally charged interview settings. Interviews may involve interaction with parties with opposing or conflicting needs. The goals of the CSW intervention are to resolve conflict, provide an objective assessment and negotiate support agreements/orders based on Child Support Guidelines.
  • Delegated authority for case management decisions regarding orders and agreements rests with this position.
  • Building effective relationships with collateral contacts including the Courts, Alberta Works and AISH (Seniors) staff, educational institutions, Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), Children and Youth Services, Alberta Justice – Social Enhancement Legal Team and Family Mediation, Legal Aid and out of province contacts are an essential elements of the job.
  • Achieving legally binding orders/agreements is the intended end result of maintenance action.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of all related Acts and Regulations governing child support/parentage/director’s rights, court procedures/legal precedents and documents:
    • Family Law Act, Personal Information and Privacy Act, Income and Employment Supports Act and Regulations, Legitimacy Act, Provincial Court Act, Maintenance Enforcement Act, Government Organizational Act, Inter-jurisdictional Support Order Act and the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act, FOIP, Divorce Act.
  • Knowledge of related departmental policies and procedures, Child Support Services Manual, TOMIS, LRT, CAIS, LISA, CCD systems and MOBIUS.
  • Knowledge of Federal and Alberta Child Support Guidelines and Childview.
  • Knowledge of court procedures, rules of court, protocols and court etiquette.
  • Knowledge of case laws (related to child support decisions) that improve the ability to obtain support.
  • Knowledge of Parenting and contact issues, family dynamics, family violence, addictions and cultural diversity.
  • Knowledge of protocols and processes with MEP, MIMS.
  • Knowledge of financial statements, personal and business and income tax assessment or TI General Forms to analyze information.
  • Commissioner For Oaths.

Skills:

  • Strong Communication – oral and written: Ability to prepare clear concise documentation and make effective oral presentations in a court setting.
  • Negotiations: Ability to negotiate complex agreements, engage cooperative and non-cooperative individuals in a problem solving process resulting in case management decisions.
  • Computer skills to enter and retrieve data from current programs and the ability to learn and use new programs/software.
  • Assessment/Interviewing Skills: Ability to gather information on complex family situations to assess each situation to determine appropriate action and potential referrals to other programs and services. Assessment of risk to families to support case management decisions.
  • Organization/time management and attention to detail ensuring accuracy to meet court requirements.
  • Problem solving and decision-making and ability to work independently.
  • Conflict Resolution: Ability to deal with sensitive issues of a confidential nature in working towards a maintenance solution.
  • Work collaboratively with staff and external departments/agencies.
  • Investigative Skills: Gather and verify information and to know the resources to search for the respondent’s whereabouts.
  • Ability to apply knowledge in a variety of family and individual circumstances.

Contacts

 
  • Clients are applicants in receipt of Alberta Works IS/AAHB/Learner Benefits, AISH or Other Albertans who have lower incomes.
  • Alberta Works, AISH and Child and Youth Services, Learning Institution staff for case consultation.
  • Respondents to gather information, confirm parentage, negotiate support agreements or seek orders.
  • Departmental Solicitors in difficult cases, to brief, discuss strategy and request legal opinions.
  • Respondent’s solicitors - to exchange financial information and to discuss/negotiate consent settlements or court matters.
  • Document Server to arrange for service of claims package, Court Orders and other court documents.
  • DNA labs to refer clients and obtain results.
  • Maintenance Enforcement Program to seek/disburse information and register orders/agreements.
  • Court of Queen’s Bench officials to file and obtain court documents.
  • Regular consultation meetings with Supervisor to review work, statistical trends, discuss policy changes.

Supervision Exercised

  N/A

 

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