Position Profile


Job Title:  Case Worker - Foster Care

Work Unit:  Northwest Alberta, Region 8, Peace River

Ministry:   Alberta Children's Services / Community and Social Services

Competition Number:  1042354

Date:  May 2017
 

Purpose

 
  • Foster Care Workers primary purpose is to supervise and support foster parents to maximize their ability to provide care to children.
  • They also assess potential foster and adoptive parents and accept or reject them based on this assessment. Supervisor has delegated authority to formally approve the application based on workers assessment.
  • They are an intermediary between foster families, foster children and department staff.
  • The major client group are the foster families and Child Protection case managers.

Responsibilities and Activities

 
  • Recruitment of foster and/or adoptive homes (i.e. manning booths in community, participating in events of Foster Family Week, intake and screening daily).
  • Screening of foster or adoptive applicants by reviewing application information to determine if they meet standards for foster parenting.
  • Receiving calls from individuals interested in fostering or adopting.
  • Providing Pre-Service and Child, Youth and Family Enhancement training.
  • Completing home assessments following departmental Home Assessment Guide which includes face to face interviews with all family members individually, interviews with couple, physical structure and safety features of the home, contact references, schools, other professionals as necessary and approving or rejecting the home.
  • Placement assessment to provide appropriate placements for children where their needs are matched to the foster home’s skills.
  • Negotiate, plan and coordinate placements for children.
  • Provide skills and knowledge based training which includes research and development of training material.
  • Ongoing assessment and evaluation of foster parents including an annual formal written evaluation.
  • Facilitate conflict resolution between foster parents and department staff e.g. working with biological family and possible resistance, fears of foster family, unclear expectations between each party in terms of service plan, department policies, entitlements of foster parents, etc.
  • Educate foster families re: all systems/programs that impact them and the foster child (Child Protection system, court system, FSCD, Youth Criminal Justice System, Adoptions, Licensing, etc).
  • Monitor Child Protection Service delivery in the context of the foster family to ensure optimal information, resources and direction for the foster families in their delivery of service to foster families. Evaluate foster families ability to meet service plan as established and advocate for additional resources as required and/or changes in plan reflecting foster families situation or input.
  • Collaborate with Child Protection case planning – help foster family understand case plan, help case worker understand dynamics or perspective of foster family and to mediate conflicts that arise as a result.
  • Organize and direct foster families involvement in community resources.
  • Investigates allegations of abuse and/or neglect in foster homes.
  • Provide clinical support relating to the outcome of investigations.
  • Consult and participate in Administrative Reviews and Appeals.
  • Supervision of foster families and children. This is achieved through monitoring the care provided to children and the foster parents work with biological families, selection, orientation and training, determining goals for ongoing professional/skill development, evaluation of performance and dealing with any issues/complaints.
  • Develop, plan and facilitate support groups for foster parents.
  • Coordinate, hire and evaluate specialized support services for foster parents.
  • Assess and evaluate the skills and experience of foster parents transferring to our program from other programs using our program standards.
  • Complete evaluation of children’s needs to determine financial compensation to foster parents (e.g. Special Rates).
  • Assisting foster families with permanency plans for child and dealing with their own separation and loss issues.
  • Assist foster families to work with biological families.
  • Assessment and monitoring of foster homes to ensure and/or determine if children are at risk of abuse. Foster family dynamics are continually changing and the family system is constantly stressed due to the high needs children placed in their home.
  • Gather and assess all licensing requirements as per Child, Youth and Family Assessment Act legislation and Policies annually from foster parents. Submit documents to site manager in a timely fashion for approval.

Scope

 

Working Conditions:

  • May be exposed to communicable diseases, violent or aggressive behaviour.
  • Travel, irregular hours, including weekends.
  • May be called at home for emergencies.
  • May assist with moving the child and/or belongings.
  • Safety/risk, time pressures, no control over pace and volume of work.
  • Emotionally demanding and stress creating pressures.
  • Isolation – could be an issue in rural areas (geographical and peer support).

Overview:

  • The work of this functional area involves supervision and support of foster families in their provision of care for foster children, including: selection acceptance and rejection), monitoring, training, support, interventions, evaluation and complying with legislated licensing requirement.
  • Responsible for coordinating the placement of children in foster homes by matching the needs of the child to the skills and experience of the foster homes.
  • This intermediary position involves orchestrating the diverse needs and interests of children, foster families and the department to maximize the provision of quality care for children.
  • The primary focus is to provide clinical support and interventions for foster homes with the goal of generating planned parenting strategies and behavioural interventions.
  • Ability of child to offset reasons for coming into care and to met their potential is often dependent on the quality of their fostering experience – role of support worker is to facilitate that experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

Knowledge:

  • Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act, and Policies, which governs actions and provides Legal Authorities.
  • Children Involved in Prostitution Act.
  • Child Youth and Family Enhancement protocols and Regional Directives, Foster Care Assessment Manuals.
  • Foster Care policies and procedures and regulations.
  • Domestic Relations Act, FOIP, School Act, Mental Health Act, Indian Act, SFI, criminal code (i.e. sexual assault, pornography), Family Violence Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  • Community/departmental services and resources to facilitate effective referrals.
  • Family dynamics to assess strengths and weaknesses.
  • Child/adolescent development to recognize appropriate/inappropriate behaviour.
  • Adult development and developmental stages of families.
  • Medical, psychological, psychiatric disorders and social problems that impact the child (i.e. FASD) in order to assess the family situation and determine effective intervention.
  • Community services and resources to identify/recommend and assess most suitable resource.
  • Cultural practices, belief systems, including native issues.
  • Cultural awareness of self and others (e.g. ethnic and religion) and impact on fostering.
  • Immigration policies and procedures, i.e. status.
  • CASW – Code of Conduct and Ethics.
  • Indicators of child abuse.
  • Court procedures and protocols to prepare documents and present information in support of petitions.
  • Familiarity with various disorders affecting children, family dynamics, child behaviour management and techniques to provide specific child management strategies around issues of FAS/FAE, sexual abuse, food hoarding, aggression, suicide, effect of trauma on child development, parenting techniques for special needs children.
  • Knowledge of post traumatic stress disorder, drugs and alcohol, separation and loss.

Skills:

  • Interviewing skills – children and adults - for intake of new parents and conducting annual assessments.
  • Assessment skills /analytical- Ongoing assessment skills related to making and supporting placement of foster children in home and potential risk factors in parenting special needs children.
  • Conflict resolution.
  • Communication – oral and written.
  • Intervention/crisis management skills/suicide intervention.
  • Grief counselling.
  • Computer skills.
  • Decision making.
  • Mediation/Problem solving.
  • Computer skills – ability to use current and learn new programs/software.
  • Negotiation/Advocacy.
  • Organizational and time management.
  • Presentation and training skills.

Decisions/Recommendations:

  • Recommend the acceptance or rejection of applications from potential foster parents.
  • Recommend closure of existing homes.
  • Recommend increased financial compensation and/or supports for parents to child’s caseworker.
  • Decisions around placement and removal of children – matching needs of child to skills/expertise of foster home – matching decisions impact the future development of the child and also of the family.

Contacts

 
  • Primarily with the foster families to provide support and conduct home assessment and ongoing evaluation/support/supervision.
  • With community and department resources to make referrals or arrange for support groups.
  • Case workers, supervisors/managers to advocate on behalf of foster families.
  • Professionals involved in specific cases (psychologists, teachers, police, etc).
  • Children’s advocate.
  • Band representatives.
  • Contacts with licensing officers as required.
  • Contacts with community agencies to arrange for/facilitate training.

Supervision Exercised

  None.

 

Back to Top