Position profile: Assessor

Learn more about the position in the job posting.

  • Job Title: Assessor
  • Work Unit: Children and Youth Services
  • Ministry: Alberta Children's Services
  • Competition Number: 1053430

Purpose

Alberta Children and Youth Services is committed to ongoing improvement and pursuit of excellence in services to children, youth and families. The Casework Practice Model builds on the evolution to-date and the ongoing evolution of casework practice and directions provided by the Child Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFE Act). The CYFE Act places a great emphasis on assessment of children and families in determining the safety of the child, the need for intervention and the type of intervention required. The Casework Practice Model is based on the philosophy that children, youth and families should have input into the decisions that affect their lives. Assessment, engagement and collaboration are cornerstones of the Model.

The Assessor works within the Casework Practice Model and is required to perform Intake and Assessment duties including the duties associated with the Safety and Detailed Phases. Assessment duties involve doing investigations, determining urgency of response, gathering assessment information, preparing an analysis of the assessment information, determining the implications for the case planning, making a determination of the intervention as defined in the CYFE Act, establishing the type of service required to meet the needs and urgency of the needs of the child, youth and family and developing the case plan collaboratively with the family, Caseworker and the service team. The position has delegated authority to perform the duties outlined in the CYFE Act.

Responsibilities and Activities

Need for Intervention is Assessed

  • Assessment of children/youth to determine need for intervention and type of intervention as per the Casework Practice Model
  • Receives all reports of alleged child abuse. Examines information and determines whether there is a need for further assessment or to provide information on community resources and child related situations that do not constitute a Report
  • Performs the Safety Phase and Detailed Phase to determine child’s need for intervention and to address safety concerns for the child
  • Gathers information through face to face interviews with the child and family, contacts with collaterals, review of file records, review of previous records, CYIM and ISIS
  • Formulates and documents an analysis of assessment information and recommendations for case planning
  • Provides immediate response interventions; utilizes conflict resolution skills and arranges and conducts case conferences
  • Provides brief services at the Intake Phase
  • Provides Interim Services at the Safety and Detailed Phase

Responsibilities also include:

  • Ensures the inclusion of a safety plan and ensures that interim supports are in place where indicated during the Safety Phase
  • Ensures services are matched to strengths and needs of children and families
  • Builds a professional helping relationship with families engages them to ensure more successful and lasting intervention and the engagement of the community to support the child/youth at risk and their family as required
  • Determines, in consultation with the supervisor, whether a child is at risk as defined in the Act

Information Gathering at Intake Phase is Reviewed

  • Determines level of risk to child/youth from information collected at the Intake Phase within the allotted time, taking into consideration urgent needs. Identifies high risk youth, Aboriginal families, family violence, drug endangerment, etc.
  • Conducts interviews with child/youth and family in accordance with policy. Interviews extended family members as required
  • Gathers and documents information from community members and service teams
  • Collects information through collateral sources (CYIM and ISIS, historical files, school, workers related to past involvement, as well as the caller)
  • Ensures that information on high-risk indicators such as repeated intervention involvements, domestic violence, and recurring referrals for a similar type of concern are identified and given an appropriate response
  • Determines whether the referral information constitutes a report under the CYFE Act
  • Determines if the Report should be closed; closed with a referral; or referred to Safety Phase
  • Consults with supervisor
  • Informs referral source of outcome or action in relation to a Report

Assessment and Analysis is Completed

  • Determines if the child/youth’s safety can be maintained under the Safety or Detailed Phase or if there is a child/youth in need of intervention
  • Informs family and child/youth at risk about purpose and process of assessment (Safety Phase/Ongoing Assessment)
  • Gathers information through face-to-face interviews with child/youth at risk and family members and collaterals as required and in accordance with Intervention Policies and Standards to ensure adequate information is being collected to determine if it is a Report
  • Assesses strengths and needs of the child/youth at risk and family (subject of the Report) using a strengths-based approach incorporating the domains of Parental Capacity, Child Development, Environmental Factors and completes the Safety Assessment Record, Detailed Assessment Record, or Ongoing Case Assessment Review to a satisfactory level of detail
  • Considers strengths, needs and existing resources, child risk, family engagement/relationship building
  • Shares information with families during assessment
  • Completes appropriate documentation
  • Organizes/provides transportation of child/youth at risk for purpose of interview, for removal from home or urgent apprehension of child/youth

Case Plan is Developed

  • Develops case plan collaboratively with the Caseworker and family, resources and supports considering: strengths; permanency; needs and existing resources; level of child risk; family engagement/relationship building opportunities; and interventions that will best support the child/youth at risk
  • Analyzes and records conclusions around contributing factors to risk of child/youth, and makes recommendations around appropriate interventions
  • Accesses and coordinates community services (brief services, interim services)
  • Advocates for child/youth/family in community and links to family services
  • Consults with First Nations Band Designate/Métis Resource Person
  • Arranges and chairs case conference with Caseworker and family

Progress is Evaluated/Monitored

  • Measures and records progress towards goals and outcomes to support families in identifying the achievement of case plan objectives

Interventions are Provided

  • Provides brief or interim services to meet the needs of child/youth and family
  • Undertakes immediate response and safety planning
  • Organizes services to stabilize family functioning and to mitigate risk to child/youth
  • Uses the assessment process as a form of intervention with the family

Families and Community are Engaged

  • Creatively engages and works with the family members and community
  • Uses the assessment process to assist the family in understanding the factors that contribute to the referral issues identified, and to help families understand the areas of strength and challenges that they face
  • Shares information in an open and transparent way with the family
  • Develops a professional helping relationship with the child/youth or family
  • Enables or supports conflict resolution between family members and families and service teams where appropriate, makes referrals to formal or informal alternative dispute resolution supports and/or facilitates family group conferencing for resolution of issues in support of the child/youth at risk
  • Works collaboratively and cooperatively with local police enforcement agencies in investigations
  • Consults with First Nations Band Designate/Métis Resource Person where child/youth is of First Nations or Métis descent
  • Incorporates knowledge of diverse values, community standards, norms, lifestyles, cultures, ethnicities and spirituality of children and families in assessments, case planning and placement
  • Participates in:
    • Networking
    • Community partnerships
    • Building relationships within the community
    • Public education
    • Communities of practice
  • Provides education to community around services and Duty to Report in response to requests to present or general enquiries
  • Engages the community regarding child or youth at risk and possible or existing supports within the community
  • Collaborates with community members and organizations to support community engagement, improve access, and to provide services

Documentation is Administered as per Casework Practise Model

  • Creates a formal record of all processes involved in decision making for each file
  • Keeps Information Services records up to date
  • Completes all required documentation (forms, records and file requirements according to file standards)
  • Utilizes current technology for documentation (including CYIM and ISIS)
  • Organizes meetings such as supervisor consultations and case conferences
  • Documents discussion and outcomes of supervisory review at the identified decision points

Supervisor is Consulted

  • Consults with supervisor and provides the rationale for recommendations and actions to be taken at each identified decision point
  • Discusses with the supervisor the approach taken and activities relating to:
    • Assessing strengths and needs of family and level of risk of child/youth (subject of a report) to determine an appropriate case analysis
    • Engagement of the child/youth and family
    • Engaging the community
    • Information collected through collaterals, CYIM, ISIS and files as well as caller
    • Case planning and approach to be taken to case conference
  • Advises the supervisor of sensitive matters, service gaps, and/or emerging trends developing for further consideration

Legal Aspect is Managed

  • Risk and safety issues alleviated for the child by utilizing court processes
  • Undertakes court work including:
    • Documentation/legal documents
    • Presenting evidence
    • Preparing/serving documents
    • Preparing parents and child for court
    • Following rules of evidence
    • Interfacing with police enforcement agencies
    • Collaborating with the lawyer, seeking legal advice and providing direction to the lawyer on Ministry’s position on how to proceed with the case
  • Liaises with the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate

Scope

The Assessor practices with considerable independence and is expected to consult with the supervisor at identified decision points of the Casework Practice Model providing rationale for their recommendations.

  • Decisions are driven by consideration for the child/youth and their family and the Assessor’s professional judgement within the parameters of the CYFE Act, Regulation, Policies and Standards and philosophy of the Casework Practice Model. The position must also be familiar with several other pieces of legislation.
  • The duties involve determining urgency of response, gathering assessment information, preparing an analysis of the assessment information, determining the implications for the case planning, making a determination of whether an intervention is required as defined in the CYFE Act, establishing the type of service required to meet the needs and urgency of the needs of the child and family and developing the case plan.
  • This position impacts children/youth safety and the family’s capacity to provide a safe and stable environment. The position also impacts the community’s knowledge about children in need and the community’s capacity to be a support to the child/youth and family
  • Works with clients and collaterals with cross cultural diversity
  • Meets unique needs of each child and their families
  • Utilizes creative ways to engage others to be part of the team (family, service teams)
  • Engages the community to support permanency and case planning goals
  • Leads case conferences with multiple disciplines, professionals, family and other service teams
  • Assesses and analyzes the situation and identifies the correct intervention and supports to meet the needs of each child/youth and their family
  • Continually monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of services and supports for the individual child/youth and their family on a regular basis
  • Provides information and strong rationale to the supervisor at identified decision points of the Casework Practice Model
  • Deals with vulnerable clients, children at risk and safety issues, volatile clients, drugs and alcohol and family violence issues
  • Collaborates with community members and organizations to support community capacity to provide services (improve access)
  • Builds and maintains relationships and networks with collaterals in order for information gathering and sharing and to provide appropriate timely services
  • Provides brief services, arranges for interim services and may provide direct service delivery including family support, child management strategies, advocacy, and conflict resolution, and/or family preservation
  • Jointly develops a case plan with the family and Caseworker
  • Evaluates provision of service(s) to ensure quality and that services are meeting needs of child, youth and family
  • Utilizes a broad base knowledge to address questions and refer appropriately

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:

  • Bachelor of Social Work and 1 year related experience or equivalency

LEGISLATION, REGULATION, STANDARDS, POLICY AND SYSTEMS

Working knowledge of the following legislation and associated regulations, standards, policy and protocols as they relate to and impact assessment and casework practice and service delivery:

  • Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and Regulations
  • Family Law Act
  • Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act
  • Freedom of Information and Privacy Act
  • Family Supports for Children with Disabilities Act
  • Drug Endangered Children Act
  • Protection Against Family Violence Act
  • Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act
  • Other new Acts as implemented that directly relate to assessment and casework practice

General knowledge of:

  • Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • Criminal Code
  • Mental Health Act
  • School Act
  • Indian Act
  • Charter of Rights and Freedom
  • Dependent Adult Act
  • Alberta Health Act

Court Work

Working knowledge of court system related to role and responsibility of child/youth, family and the Assessor:

  • Procedures for initiating, obtaining, and maintain legal authorities under the Act
  • Court procedures
  • Unique local judicial court procedures and processes
  • Ability to present evidence in court
  • Ability to meet evidentiary and court documentation requirements
  • Know the mandates of and work collaboratively with other government departments and community agencies
  • Know the legislation and policy regarding the various legal statuses and recognize the implications for practice

The following common Human Service Worker competencies are required at a level consistent with the purpose, responsibilities and activities, and scope of the position:

PRACTICE

CORE Competency: Theory and Practice

Human Service Workers will:

  • Identify, articulate, and demonstrate application of one’s own personal practice approach
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and assessment skills in the planning and decision-making processes
  • Demonstrate knowledge of factors and conditions that impact family functioning and will apply that knowledge to one’s own role
  • Demonstrate knowledge of child development and how it may be impacted by environmental and organic factors or conditions and apply that knowledge in one’s role
  • Identify, articulate, and demonstrate a range of child management strategies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of indicators of child abuse and neglect and can apply procedures and protocols appropriately to one’s role
  • Have a working knowledge of and exercise safety strategies for self and others

Assessor Competency: Practice Skills and Knowledge

Assessors will:

  • Use a multi-disciplinary approach in the assessment and case planning processes
  • On an on-going basis, using a strength-based approach, gather, analyze and interpret child and family information to formulate a case analysis and make decision for case planning
  • Accurately identify, document and respond to physical, emotional and behavioural indicators of abuse, neglect and emotional injury
  • Identify and apply strategies to engage and involve children, youth and families in the on-going assessment and case planning processes
  • Ensure goals and tasks are realistic, measurable, time-limited and understandable to all parties in case planning
  • Be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in permanency/concurrent planning from the first point of contact
  • Assess client’s motivation, capacity and opportunity to make changes to resolve the intervention concern(s)
  • Continually assess the immediacy of risk, make key decisions and respond in a timely manner
  • Coordinate and/or provide direct service to resolve the intervention concern(s)
  • Be able to identify criteria and implement procedures for effectively terminating service once the family’s needs are met
  • Have the knowledge and skills to document for court and present evidence in court
  • Maintain the balance between protecting children and supporting and strengthening children and families

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

The Assessor uses effective listening and non-verbal communication skills.

CORE Competency: Communication

Human Services Workers will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct planned and purposeful interview or communication exchanges
  • Demonstrate the ability to ask for, receive and give feedback
  • Present written and verbal information clearly
  • Educate and provide needed information to others
  • Demonstrate the ability to respond appropriately to anger and hostility
  • Describe and demonstrate a range of accepted conflict resolution, negotiation and problem-solving techniques

Assessor Competency: Communication

Assessors will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to interview children, youth and adults
  • Engage in dialogue with individuals and families to ensure a shared understanding of the assessment, case analysis and case planning

VALUES

The Assessor’s values are consistent with the Government of Alberta’s values of: respect, integrity, accountability and excellence.

CORE Competency: Value

Human Service Workers will:

  • Demonstrate respect towards clients, colleagues and community members
  • Demonstrate genuine interest and caring about individuals and their journeys
  • Incorporate belief in family strengths into own practice
  • Practice in a manner that reflects the uniqueness of each child

Assessor Competency: Value

Assessors will:

  • Have values and beliefs that support the preservation of families and the protection of children and youth
  • Have a belief that all children and families have unique strengths and have a right to self-determination
  • Have a belief in alternate dispute resolution
  • Have a commitment to continuously enhance quality of case practice
  • Demonstrate respect, empathy, sensitivity and behave ethically towards clients, colleagues and community members
  • Have a belief that the family is the expert in their circumstance and have the ability to realize their own potential
  • Have a belief that one’s work with families is transparent
  • Believe one’s work with families and colleagues is a collaborative effort

PROFESSIONALISM

The Assessor demonstrates respect, empathy, support, sensitivity and behaves ethically and professionally towards clients, colleagues and community members

CORE Competency: Professionalism

Human Service Workers will:

  • Know and adhere to the code of conduct and ethics of the organization
  • Understand and adhere to the principles of: respecting dignity; individuality; right to self-determination; building on strengths
  • Understand one’s role and perform within the scope of one’s responsibilities
  • Have awareness of own professional authority and influence, its impact on others and will use that authority and influence appropriately
  • Be aware of how one’s own personal experience and values impact professional behavior and judgment
  • Develop and maintain professional relationships with others
  • Demonstrate adaptability, flexibility and creativity in responding to opportunities, challenges and change
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility and accountability for decisions made and actions taken within one’s role
  • Evaluate and take initiative in enhancing professional effectiveness within one’s role
  • Demonstrate the ability to act as an advocate
  • Plan, organize, and manage work, set priorities and perform activities in a manner that best uses existing resources and time
  • Understand the origins and consequences of work-related stress and use coping and management skills to promote wellness

Assessor Competency: Professionalism

Assessors will:

  • Present self in a supportive, concerned and respectful manner
  • Demonstrate the ability to respond to varying levels of crisis and complexity and work within an environment that can present unknown and unpredictable elements
  • Acknowledge the intrusive nature of one’s role and practice in a manner that respects the rights of the child, youth and family
  • Recognize trauma inherent in this work and take action to manage the impact on one’s self
  • Have a working knowledge of applicable policies and standards related to Intake Worker safety

DIVERSITY

CORE Competency: Diversity

Human Service Workers will:

  • Practice in a manner that reflects understanding of and respect for cultural, ethnic, spirituality and lifestyle diversity

Assessor Competency: Diversity

Assessors will:

  • Demonstrate the ability to incorporate knowledge of diverse values, community standards, norms, lifestyles, cultures ethnicities and spirituality of children and families in assessments, case planning and placement
  • Practice in a manner that respects the unique history, traditions and experience of Aboriginal people
  • Practice in a meaner that respects the unique history, traditions and experiences of immigrant children and families

PARTNERSHIP AND TEAMWORK

CORE Competency: Partnership and Teamwork

Human Service Workers will:

  • Cultivate, establish and enhance working relationships with a wide network of individuals, interest groups, and service providers
  • Work collaboratively and productively with others to achieve results
  • Actively participate as a team member

Assessor Competency: Partnerships, Collaboration and Teamwork

Assessors will:

  • Have working knowledge of community resources and demonstrate the ability to facilitate linkages
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues and community for the best interests of the child and family
  • Identify gaps and advocate for solutions
  • Build collaborative relationships with all stakeholders
  • Have a working knowledge of how to develop partnerships and collaborate with Aboriginal communities
  • Contribute to a collaborative partnership with one’s supervisor

CORE Competency: Legislation, Organization and Systems

Human Services Workers will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the organizational structure of the Ministry, the various delegated agencies, Authorities and own worksite, and the relationships under which they operate.
  • Understand and describe the mission, goals and program of the Ministry, the Authority or delegated agency and the worksite
  • Know, interpret and apply relevant legislation, regulations and policy
  • Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of jurisdictional protocols as they relate to one’s role
  • Identify systemic issues and advocate for improvements within the organizational structure
  • Have an awareness of risk management and liability as it relates to one’s role and can respond to sensitive issues according to organizational protocols
  • Understand and use relevant administrative, financial, and information management systems
  • Adhere to the confidentiality guidelines of the organization
  • Know and understand communities served and resources (internal and external, formal and informal) available within that community

Assessor Competency: Legislation, Policy, Standards and Systems

Assessors will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the CYFE Act and regulations and apply this knowledge to one’s role
  • Interpret and apply other relevant legislation, regulations and protocols that guide intervention practice
  • Know the policy, standards and protocols regarding service delivery and recognize the implications for practice
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the court system as it relates to the role and responsibility of the child, the family and the Assessor
  • Know the procedures for initiating, obtaining, and maintaining legal authorities under the Enhancement Act
  • Know the legislation and policy regarding the various intervention legal statuses and recognize the implications for practice

Contacts

To enable the safety of the child/youth and the development of a comprehensive case plan that meets the identified needs of the child/youth and their family the Assessor has contact with:

  • Child with their family and may include extended family
  • Professionals (hospitals, schools)
  • Colleagues and supervisor
  • Community and contracted agencies, service teams as per Matters to be Considered in the CYFE Act
  • Legal system (courts, lawyers, RCMP, police)
  • Other government program areas (i.e. The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate)
  • Interest groups
  • Other Provincial jurisdictions
  • First Nations Band Designate/Métis Resource Person

Supervision Exercised

None.

The Government of Alberta is committed to a diverse and inclusive public service that reflects the population we serve to best meet the needs of Albertans. Consider joining a team where diversity, inclusion and innovation are valued and supported. For more information on diversity and inclusion, please visit the Diversity and Inclusion Policy.