Position Profile


Job Title:  Disability Services Edmonton Region Caseworker

Work Unit:  Disability Services, Edmonton Region

Ministry:   Alberta Community and Social Services

Competition Number:  1042449

Date:  May 2017
 

Purpose

 

The primary role of the Disability Services Caseworker (Caseworker) is to assist children and adults (individuals) with disabilities and their families and guardians to identify, explore and obtain needed services that will enhance their well-being and assist in their capacity for independence and inclusion in the community.

The regional disability services program funds services based on the child's, family's and individual's assessed support needs. The Caseworker collaborates with the individual and their family/guardian (and child as appropriate) to assess support needs and identify available generic, natural and funded supports to meet these needs. The incumbent builds on strengths, enhances well-being and maximizes potential for independence. The role covers teams providing supports to a broad range of people with disabilities and their natural support systems (e.g. families and guardians). Caseworkers are expected to be mobile across teams as necessary. Teams involved include functions in intake, Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) assessment, enhanced (complex), and 0-13, 14-29 and 30+ age and stage groupings of Caseworkers and their supervisors and managers.

Children, youth and their families will access Family Supports for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) as minors and where meeting eligibility requirements, move to Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) at the age of 18. Where PDD is not an option and/or where cross-ministry programs are required to achieve outcomes, Caseworkers will access the Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) model to obtain resources to support the individual and, where appropriate, his or her family/guardian.

In this function, Caseworkers provide a logical link from desired outcomes and needs to the appropriate and necessary provision of services, resources and funding. Well supported recommendations for these responses to individuals and their families/guardians drive the region in terms of its decisions for procuring agency services and supplying funding. Effective case coordination ensures the success of the region in its primary role as funder.

The Caseworker provides a wide array of information on program intent, purpose, and supports and services to address a broad range of disability related issues. The incumbent must creatively provide unique and unprecedented solutions to achieve outcomes for children, youth and their families/guardians. Where appropriate, the Caseworker must successfully engage the youth and/or family/guardian as equal informed partners in planning, delivery and evaluation processes.

The Caseworker also establishes and maintains effective relationships with community services and ministry resources to facilitate effective supports and often acts as the key contact for the child, youth and family to these resources. To carry out this function, the position may advocate on behalf of clients, coordinate access to programs and services, and assist with issue resolution.

In cooperation with the specific team and reporting to the Casework Supervisor, this position functions within relevant legislation and regulations as well as applicable ministry and government policies, procedures and guidelines.

Responsibilities and Activities

 

Core end results for this position include the following elements within the mandated and legislated disability policies, performance management and social policy frameworks. The key responsibilities align and, where necessary, intersect with ISD processes. Effective performance is essential to the successful operation of the region in its primary role as funder. The role provides the direct link between funded services and the intention that they effectively address the desired outcomes and needs of the child, youth and his or her family/guardian.

     
  1.

Application and Eligibility Determination

Activities:

  • Responds to inquiries from parents, individuals with disabilities, professionals, agency staff and other members of the community or general public providing key information about program intent, purpose, supports and services within response time standards.
  • Provides information about options, including eligibility for various programs, and confirms questions/concerns have been addressed.
  • Provides additional information when applicable within approved time frames to enable informed decision-making.
  • Obtains sufficient accurate and relevant information in order to confirm eligibility for the region's programs.
  • Connects to ISD and other resources where appropriate.
  • Provides information (e.g. registration) to update relevant data systems.
     
  2.

Assessment of Service Needs and Service Planning

Activities:

  • Clarifies the child, youth and family/guardian's needs through active listening, inquiries, and information gathering including face-to-face meetings where necessary.
  • Provides required information, suggests sources of information, or connects the child, youth and family/guardian to other relevant resources.
  • Follows up with child, youth and family/guardian to confirm their concerns and needs have been understood.
  • Completes necessary documentation as per program requirements.
  • Prepares for assessment and planning meetings by reviewing all existing and available file information.
  • May complete risk assessments, Family/Child Assessment of Needs (FCAON) and SIS assessments and participate in planning meetings for the purposes of clarifying support needs as evidenced by these assessments.
  • Advises participants of any required documentation for meetings, confirms best location, discusses the purpose, facilitates meetings and clarifies presence and involvement of child, youth or adult.
  • Utilizes a strengths based perspective including an overview of existing resources and support networks to identify the child, youth and family/guardian's goals and desired outcomes in relation to needs (looks for alignment).
  • Acts as the key point of contact within the system for the child, family/guardian and individual in order to assist in the coordination of support and services to the person with the disability and their family.
  • Establishes rapport and develops a trusting relationship to promote openness and collaboration.
  • Assists the child, youth and family/guardian to make informed choices, be a partner in decision-making and advocate to address their own needs.
  • Promotes a proactive, partnering approach with the child, youth, family/guardian, service providers and other resources and systems.
  • Reviews and analyzes information gathered and considers incongruence or gaps in assessments, matches between needs and supports, and any limitations or additional criteria required for specific services under relevant regulations.
  • Works towards consensus, proactively resolving issues.
  • Develops and reviews any service and transition plans in cooperation with the child, youth and family/guardian to ensure the most appropriate support and services needs are addressed.
  • Determines the need for a transition planning conference and collaborates with the child, youth and family/guardian to coordinate conferences when deemed necessary.
  • Provides information to participants in advance of planning conferences and records/distributes notes from the conference to capture next steps and action items and support the effectiveness of the conference.
  • Coordinates with ISO where necessary to address unmet needs and support connection to other beneficial programs.
  • Describes how and when the services will be monitored for progress to achieve expected outcomes.
     
  3.

Service Delivery

Activities:

  • Determines most appropriate and desired (by the child, youth and family/guardian) route of service delivery - child or family focused agreements, specialized services, out-of-home placements, Family Managed Services, service provider delivered services via regional contracts, natural or other community or government resources, or any appropriate combination.
  • Negotiates services to reflect and align with identified needs.
  • Prepares requests for funding and/or agreements to ensure provision and support for applicable services.
  • Confirms and communicates approvals and arrangements for the provision of services.
  • Assists the child, youth and family/guardian by clarifying information for other service providers and advocating on behalf of the family where necessary.
  • Assists the child, youth and family/guardian to become as self-reliant as possible in managing required supports and services.
  • Clarifies any requests for changes in service including the rationale.
  • Reviews requested adjustments and follows through with the necessary documentation to ensure changing needs are being met.
  • Reviews and updates plans and services in line with policy and procedural expectations and completes any follow-up required (meets Essential Standards and other expectations set by related policy).
  • Maintains ongoing contact with the child, youth and family/guardian for the purpose of identifying and assessing needs, discussing progress, options or applicable supports and services and best methods to respond to those needs.
  • Considers the specific scenario and determines whether or not to involve a supervisor based on identified criteria and situational complexity.
  • Follows standardized procedures in relation to closing files and/or withdrawing funded services including communication of Appeal and re-application processes.
  • Completes required documentation on changes and updates the information as per program requirements.
     
  4.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Activities:

  • Collaborates with the child, youth and family/guardian and relevant service providers to monitor and evaluate the delivery of supports and services and achievement of outcomes.
  • Reports and participates in investigations and/or reporting of abuse and/or fraud allegations as necessary.
  • Provides feedback to the funder in relation to the efficacy of funded services and consults on broader system procurement issues as requested.
     
  5.

Additional Tasks and Responsibilities

Activities:

  • Cultivates, establishes and enhances working relationships with a wide network of professionals, interest groups and service providers to maximize services and supports.
  • Contributes to regional and provincial continuous improvement activities.
  • May assist in the preparation or presentation of materials required for mediation or Appeals.
  • May participate in regional/provincial committees in support of disability services.
  • Acts as a resource to community services with respect to program, service models and approaches and may provide presentations to various groups on programs specific related services and processes.
  • May consult on the rights and responsibilities of the individuals with disabilities, citizenship, and quality of life expectations.
  • Contributes to the well-being and effective functioning of the caseworker teams and the organization as whole.
  • Assumes other related duties as required.

Scope

 

This position focuses on the determination of the child, youth and family/guardian's service needs; the identification, coordination and negotiation of services; and the ongoing monitoring of those services to ensure the achievement of outcomes, including participating in integrated case management when complex service needs are apparent.

  • The Caseworker practices with considerable independence in relation to the responsibilities and activities listed above.
  • Judgement in relation to consulting with supervisors and/or managers in required when regulations and policy/procedures dictate and where there are individual or system complexities outside the norm, high risks of health and safety, situations that exceed the Caseworker's knowledge or expertise, child protection or judicial issues, requests for out of home placements, or when services requested are unavailable or exceptional in cost.
  • Decisions are driven by consideration of the disability and the context within the parameters of the legislation, regulation and policies. Assessment tools such as the FCAON and SIS are available but are not intended to define the solution to issues and considerable creativity to resolve issues is required.
  • Incumbents must creatively address unique and unprecedented situations and problems and generate multiple solutions/approaches to new and recurring concerns.
  • Resources are frequently limited and collaboration with multiple stakeholders in order to obtain required services that meet a wide range of contextual and disability conditions is necessary.
  • Incumbents are relied upon to identify systemic barriers and gaps in service and contribute to means to address these issues.
  • They frequently must assess the need for other professional involvement, services and resources and incorporate other disciplines into the service planning and delivery.
  • In addition, they must review and evaluate the effectiveness of services and coordinate adjustments on a regular basis.
  • Caseworkers represent the "face" of the region in relation to its primary clientele and the region's reputation is dependent on the values expressed in the incumbents' interactions with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • The position impacts:
    • The capacity of families to effectively support their child has a disability.
    • The likelihood of individuals with disabilities to lead safe and inclusive lives as citizens in their communities and the healthy and long term connection of families to their family member with a disability.
    • The awareness of disability rights and effective delivery practices in the community (influence on service providers and broader community).
    • The region's ability to provide rationale for its budgetary decisions in relation to the provision of services and its reputation in terms of financial expenditures and quality services.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

Knowledge - The incumbent requires awareness of a broad range of topics related to the disability field, relevant resources and case management practices including the following:

  • Developmental and life stages theory.
  • Regional and government resources including relevant service providers, programs and health benefits.
  • Disability conditions including: health, mental health, developmental, physical and sensory and the impact on the child, individual and family/guardian/community.
  • History of disability practices including current approaches and philosophy.
  • Systems theory.
  • Familiarity with positive behavioural practices and related risk assessment techniques and practices.
  • Related disciplines and professions in order to assess the need for multi-disciplinary involvement and interpret reports to assist in service planning.
  • Appreciation of and respect for multi-cultural impacts when working with stakeholders and planning services (an appreciation of aboriginal issues in Alberta is an asset).
  • Stages of grief and loss and related supportive practices.
  • Continuous improvement cycles and their application to case management.
  • Current theories and application of empowerment and individual/family centered practices.
  • Familiarity with current relevant legislation and programs including but not limited to the following:
    • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
    • School Act
    • FSCD Act, Regulation, policies, procedures and standards (provincial and regional)
    • Alberta Aids to Daily Living
    • AISH
    • Alberta Supports (particularly employment resources and income supports)
    • Guardianship and Trusteeship Acts
    • PDD Act, Regulation, policies, procedures and standards (provincial and regional)
    • FOIP
    • Dependant Adult Act
    • Protection of Persons in Care Act
    • Mental Health Act
    • Alberta Public Service Code of Conduct

Skills and Abilities - The incumbent requires proficiency in a broad range or primarily people centered practices including the following:

  • Strong communication skills particularly in the areas of effective listening and clear verbal messaging.
  • Good written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to practice from a client centered perspective.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with individuals, youth, families, guardians, other professional disciplines, colleagues and a wide range of community agencies.
  • Judgement in relation to choosing independence or interdependence in relation to solving issues and achieving results.
  • Crisis management and conflict resolution including managing emotionally charged situations.
  • Negotiation and other problem solving techniques demanding creativity, and occasional research.
  • Interviewing/assessment and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills including finesse at demonstrating empathy and diplomacy, providing feedback, building relationships, partnerships and establishing connections and community linkages.
  • Time management including judgement relating to prioritizing.
  • Adequate computer skills (ability to learn and access various data systems, complete documents on-line and use expected communication devices and modes).
  • Acting with integrity and in line with accepted ethical and advocacy standards.
  • Capable of leading program planning and monitoring and evaluating to determine results.
  • Able to work independently with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Strong customer service excellence orientation.
  • Adaptability, flexibility and willingness to adjust to new and changing operational priorities and directions.
  • Capable of contributing to effective teams.
  • Able to build teams to support program planning and delivery when necessary.
  • Fiscal responsibility by maximizing resources including use of informal support systems and natural community supports and resources.
  • Willingness to adjust hours of work to meet the needs of stakeholders.
  • Conduct that represents the organization in a positive manner.

Preferred qualifications include a post-secondary degree in a related field and several years of direct experience with collaborative, client-centered service planning in the disability field. Travel is a requirement for the position and incumbents must have a valid Alberta Driver's License and access to a reliable vehicle.

Contacts

 

The Caseworker must work effectively with the following key contacts to enable the development of a comprehensive service plan and supports that meet the identified needs of the child, youth, family/guardian:

  • The youth and family/guardian (primary contact) including their natural support systems.
  • Colleagues and team members.
  • Professionals from a variety of disciplines and programs (hospitals, schools, judicial programs).
  • Advocacy organizations.
  • Service providers and program representatives both in the community and within government.

Supervision Exercised

  N/A

 

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