Social Worker: Family Connections Reunification and Family Intervention

Family Service Association of Western Nova Scotia - Bridgewater, NS (30+ days ago)

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Social Worker:

Family Connections - A Reunification and Family Intervention Program

1 FT Position at $25.00 - $30.00/hour

Family Service Association of Western Nova Scotia (FSAWNS)

Freeman House and Lunenburg County

Family Connections - A Reunification and Family Intervention Program is funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services (DCS), Prevention and Early Intervention. Intended Family Connections populations are Youth 12 to 24 years old, who are at high-risk of/or have a breakdown in the youth/family relationship inclusive of:

  • Children in Care
  • Youth involved with Child Protection
  • Youth experiencing multiple risk factors
  • Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal youth (living off-reserve)
  • African Nova Scotian youth
  • Newcomer youth

Youth and Families who are from any of the intended populations benefit from timely participation in preventative programming such as those offered by Family Connections. This can help mitigate risks and potentially prevent the need for more intrusive system responses. Critical needs of these intended populations are

  • Basic Needs
  • Employment/Income Stability
  • Education
  • Wellness
  • Safety and Security
  • Life Skills
  • Secure Attachments/Stable Relationships
  • Community and Social Connectedness
  • Cultural Socialization
  • Personal Development
  • Optimal Child and Youth Development


Family Connections helps resolve conflicts between young people and their caregivers and/or Youth & Family by encouraging positive intergenerational relationships and aims to

  • Avoid Youth & Family breakdown; and/or
  • Assist with Youth & Family reunification; and/or
  • Restore and repair Youth & Family relationships (where possible and safe) to:
  • Help address healing around relationship loss due to Youth & Family breakdown;
  • Increase understanding and skills to foster healthy relationships and boundaries;
  • Rebuild relationship to for the purpose of supporting a young person in independent living.

The focus is to help the child or youth and family increase

  • individual and community resources
  • emotional stability
  • conflict resolution skills
  • interpersonal and life skills
  • youth & family coping strategies

Family Connections provides

  • Outreach services to young people and /or their families who might not otherwise have access to services. A key component of outreach is that the service is not stationary, but mobile and meeting those in need of outreach services at the locations where those in need are, for example, community and home visits can be offered
  • A collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation and advocacy for options and services to meet a young person’s and caregiver/family comprehensive needs
  • Intentional space within assessment and care coordination for young people to identify and set their own goals.These goals are then used to lead the supports and services provided
  • Group-based programming and workshops to young people and / or their families to support the improved communication, relationships and a reduced conflict to prevent youth & family breakdown and/or support reunification
  • Information to youth and families about available resources and supports to support their needs. Will facilitate connections between young people to needed supports and services, and provide emergency and basic need supports, where and when available
  • Support to help resolve conflict between young people and their caregivers and/or family by encouraging and supporting positive youth & family relationships
  • Collaboration with other service providers and organizations to ensure collaborative delivery of programming and services. Builds strong working knowledge of and relationships with available community supports and services that benefit youth and families being served.

Service Access

Family Connections serves the intended population (at-risk and high-risk youth aged 12-24 years) in conflict with, and/or not living with their family (in-care, homeless, precariously housed, etc.), and their families or caregivers.

Services may be provided to the youth, parents (caregivers) or both depending on the nature of the risk factors that are impacting the safety of the youth.Participation in the program is voluntary and young people must be involved in one or more of the program components (parents cannot access services without youth involvement or engagement).

Prioritizing Referrals

Referrals from DCS for children-in-care, or youth seeking support from child protection via the youth services policy within DCS are a priority, but can be accepted from youth, families and other community service providers. Referrals to the program will be prioritized through a screening process, which includes a review of the referral information in relation to:

  • the youth’s understanding of, and their willingness to engage in the services
  • the urgency of the referral {perceived risk} and critical needs of the youth (which must be responded to as a priority for service)
  • the presenting issues, strengths, needs, abilities and preferences of the youth
  • the availability of staff caseload capacity to engage with a new referral


Competencies required to fulfill the activities of Family Connections include but are not limited to:

  • S.W., or demonstrated combination of relevant work experience, lived experience and education as decided upon by FSAWNS
  • Experience and knowledge of youth development and youth engagement
  • Experience with individualized assessment, goal setting, and documentation
  • Experience in program and workshop planning and facilitation
  • Experience working with youth experiencing multiple risks and/vulnerabilities, and their families
  • Experience working in community-based programs
  • Evidence of participation in regular professional development opportunities that support best practice in positive youth development and guiding principles
  • Evidence of participation in community of practice development activities
  • Comprehensive knowledge of local and provincial supports and services spanning the Social Determinants of Health
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the Department of Community Services and its programs and policies including the NS Children & Youth & Family Services Act
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication, analytical problem solving, and organizational skills
  • Experience of program reporting and evaluation activities
  • Ability to work alone with minimal supervision, in team collaboration, and in critically reflective supervision
  • IT competence (Apple)
  • Must have a valid NS Driver’s License, regular use of a reliable vehicle, and appropriate insurance. Travel as required. Compensation is paid.

Context of Work

The Family Connections Social Worker will work within a Lunenburg County FSAWNS team, and, South Shore Community Hub and Coordinated Access teams. The Worker will be available on a regular schedule and evening and weekend work will be required based on the needs of those served. Work will be team-shared where possible to enhance regular and after-hours youth and intergenerational support.

Working at FSAWNS is about much more than having a job: It is about working together as a coordinated team and as a community. It is about working together intentionally, with people-centered compassion, and consistent self-reflection on practice. It is about responding together structurally, to the system, community and individual barriers experienced by the youth and families we serve.

Application Requirements

Please note:

  • Applicants are required to submit both (1) a Cover Letter and (2) a CV by November 18, 2019
  • Applicants are required not to email or phone the employer, and,
  • Only those short-listed will be contacted.

Application information submitted for this posting may be viewed by the hiring committee and their chosen delegates in the community. The information submitted may be retained on FSAWNS secure file systems for up to 5 years. The successful applicant is required to provide a Criminal Record check (including Vulnerable Sector Search) to the hiring committee before starting employment and assume any associated costs as a condition of employment. In addition, proof of education is required.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $25.00 to $30.00 /hour