POSITION: Team Leader, Child FIRST
ACCOUNTABILITY: Manager Child FIRST & CPS Coordination Services and
CPS is an independent child welfare organisation with a mission to break the cycle of abuse and
neglect in families and improve the life chances and choices for children who have experienced abuse
CPS provides child and family services and has a specialist therapeutic counselling program for
children who have been sexually abused, children with sexualised behaviours and children with
sexually abusive behaviours.
CPS services are funded through the State Government Office for Children, the Commonwealth
Family and Community Services Program, philanthropic trusts and foundations, and public donations.
Our legislative and policy context in 2007 is a dynamic one as we act on opportunities to lead and
develop practice in response to the newly enacted Children, Youth and Families Act.
Strategic priorities within this context include:
the successful implementation of Child FIRST (Family Information, Referral Support Team) in
the north east catchment of Melbourne
positioning for growth in core CPS services, including family services and therapeutic services
for children (Family Support Innovations and Therapeutic Treatment orders being examples)
development of evidence based effective practice in supporting vulnerable children and
children at risk of significant harm in the community, particularly multi disciplinary care teams
capable of working with all members of affected families – victims, siblings, offending family
and, within a sub-regional catchment, contributing to the development of a continuum of
services needed to achieve the goals of diversion of children from unnecessary entry into and
progression within the State Child Protection system.
In 2007 CPS is into the first year of a new 5 year strategy to achieve our mission (see Appendix 1),
and we are in a process of review, development, innovation and change.
CPS competitive advantage lies in the capacity to innovate and change in response to new
opportunities to achieve our organisational mission and vision.
May, 2007 finds CPS at the beginning of a two year People and Innovation Strategy that aims to
ensure we have the workforce and performance to achieve our aspirations.
We are actively seeking to develop and recruit CPS personnel to be strongly aligned to our vision,
values and strategy.
We are developing our excellent child and family welfare practitioners into self managing teams, led by
practice leaders with the management capability to identify and manage opportunities and ensure the
alignment of CPS operations with CPS strategy and priorities.
Key innovations to be successfully consolidated in 2007 include:
the development of a single point of intake to CPS services
the development of cross program care teams
the development of an integrated service system for vulnerable children and families with
centralised intake via Child FIRST
the consolidation of two discreet sites for CPS services at Thomastown and West Heidelberg
and their integration into local service systems and communities.
Child FIRST is the key initiative for Family Services emerging from the Children, Youth and Families
Act 2005. It builds on earlier reforms in the sector to provide a visible and coordinated intake process
that will enhance the capacity of the secondary service system to provide flexible and innovative
response to meet the needs of vulnerable children and their families and prevent their unnecessary
progression into the Child Protection system.
The core purpose of Child FIRST is to provide a clearly visible and accessible entry into Family
Services; to provide effective service responses for vulnerable children, by providing:
A single telephone number.
Provision of information and advice.
Initial needs identification and assessment of risk, in consultation with Child Protection and
Identification of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status of children, young people and
Identification of differentiated service responses for families related to the assessment of
needs and underlying risks.
Active engagement with the child, young person and their family.
Determination of the priority of a response, and allocation of families to Family Services,
undertaken in consultation with Family Services and Child Protection (where required).
Timely responses through provision of or oversight of „active holding strategies‟ involving active
short term work with children and families, prior to allocation to Family Services.
Entry into capacity within the Family Services agencies within the catchment by direct referrals,
or by use of local, sub-catchment integrative networks.
Management and coordination of relevant data.
One CPS intake is co-located with Child FIRST at our Elliott Street Site in West Heidelberg.
The North East Metro Child and Family Services Alliance
THE North East Metro Child and Family Services Alliance (NEMFS) has been established to support
the effective operation of Child First in the catchment. The catchment includes the local government
areas of Yarra, Banyule, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Darebin. The alliance built on existing networks
that developed from the Family Support Innovation Project. It is an ongoing representative forum
comprising all DHS funded Family Services providers in the catchment, in partnership with DHS/Child
Protection as follows:
Berry Street Victoria
Brotherhood of St Laurence ( Ecumenical Migration Centre)
Children‟s Protection Society
Darebin City Council
Kildonan Child and Family Services
North Yarra Community Health Service
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
Yarra City Council
On behalf of NEMFS, CPS is the facilitating agency and as such chairs the Alliance role and is
responsible for the delivery of Child FIRST. The team comprises a Manager, a Team Leader and 1.4
EFT Intake Case Workers who are employed by CPS.
The Local Family Services Coordinators provided by CPS in Darebin, Berry Street in
Banyule/Nillumbik, Kildonan in Yarra and Anglicare in Whittlesea are an integral component of the
NEMFS Child FIRST intake, assessment and referral response. Each coordinator will spend one day
per week at Child FIRST and will convene regular local network meetings to facilitate pathways for
referrals; they will also provide “active holding” involving a range short term work prior to allocation to
1. Service Delivery
1.1 Lead a team of practitioners who receive referrals across all CPS catchments, from community
members and professionals who have significant concerns about child wellbeing to those who
want to access the suite of services at CPS.
1.2 Collect relevant information about children and families referred to CPS in compliance with
relevant legislation and CPS program guidelines.
1.3 Supervise a team of practitioners that provide appropriate information, advice and follow up to
1.4 Supervise a team of practitioners that conduct thorough needs and risk assessments using the
Best Interests Assessment and Case Practice Framework to inform decisions about suitable
outcomes for referrals.
1.5 Identify and support processes to engage marginalised families with other services and
1.6 In consultation with Child FIRST staff, ensure prioritisation of referrals based on risk and need.
1.7 Convene regular team meetings.
1.8 Promote the development of virtual Child FIRST, Family Services and CPS teams and foster a
positive work environment conducive to effective team work amongst staff
1.9 Maintain service standards, program protocols and client information systems as per funding
agreement for all relevant programs.
1.10 Screen all Referrals for urgency and priority
2. Program Implementation and Development
2.1 Participate in the development of Child FIRST North East in conjunction with the Manager
2.2 Coordinate case allocation, data collection and other day-to-day tasks involved in intake, in
conjunction with the Manager Child FIRST.
2.3 Attend relevant service coordination meetings with other service providers within CPS and the
catchment as required.
2.4 Contribute to discussions that a) seek to resolve allocation problems within CPS and the
catchment or local area and b) that promote consistent approaches to intake.
2.5 Participate in activities involved in program evaluation.
2.6 Contribute to practice knowledge and development within CPS and the broader child and
family welfare sector.
2.7 Develop appropriate policies relevant to program and practice needs which are incorporated
into Child FIRST‟s Operational Manual.
2.8 Ensure the development of programmatic service model descriptions, service goals, objectives
and performance indicators as required.
2.9 Provide community education on the role of Child FIRST and NEMC&FS Alliance and CPS
2.10 Provide leadership in implementing change management processes
2.11 In conjunction with the Manager Child FIRST, develop and ensure the implementation of
client feedback processes
2.12 In conjunction with Manager Child FIRST, develop demand management strategies to cope
with peaks of demand for service
3. Network Management
3.1 Work closely with Family Services, CPS programmes, Child Protection Services and other
3.2 Liaise with the Community Based Child Protection Workers.
3.3 Oversee the work of Alliance Family Support staff at Child FIRST
4.1 Maintain CPS and Child FIRST information and recording systems.
4.2 Coordinate Child FIRST team meetings and participate in group supervision and/or
4.3 Contribute to a cohesive, creative and robust team structure.
4.4 Participate in supervision with the Manager Child FIRST.
4.5 Provide program reports to the Manager Child FIRST as required.
4.6 Participate in regular supervision sessions and annual appraisal processes with the Manager
4.7 Act in the capacity of Manager Child FIRST and CPS Service Coordination and Training Unit
4.8 Undertake other duties as required.
Applicants must hold a current Victorian Driver‟s License. The successful applicant will be required to
undergo satisfactory pre-employment checks, including 2 professional referees, completion of a pre-
existing injury/disease declaration, Working with Children Check, National Police Check and proof of
identity and qualifications.
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA
High level skills and relevant tertiary qualification in social work, child and family social welfare
or related discipline.
Have a personal value set that is aligned with CPS‟ organisational values.
A demonstrated understanding and capability for working with diversity.
A demonstrated robustness and resilience and a level of maturity that supports independent
A demonstrated level of self awareness relating to their own practice and relationships with
Comfort with flexibility in working arrangements.
Demonstrated commitment to personal professional development.
Demonstrated capability to network with others both inside and outside organisational
Capacity to lead and support change at a policy and operational level.
Highly developed written, verbal, interpersonal and public relations skills.
Well developed supervision skills for clinical staff.
Demonstrated experience and skills in providing assessment and counselling to children and
young people at risk of abuse and neglect.
A higher degree in a the health or social sciences
A management qualification
Certificate 4 Training Qualification
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
The successful applicant will be offered an initial contract for three months. The position will
be reviewed at the end of the three months and subject to performance the applicant will be
offered an ongoing contract.
The successful applicant will be offered a salary in accordance with the Social and Community
Services Award 2000 Social Worker Class 3/4 range, full personal use of a motor vehicle and
with full salary packaging options. A Review of Team Leader remuneration is currently being
considered with a view to reclassifying these positions at the SACS Social Worker Class 4
The position is full time
The successful applicant will be required to undergo a criminal records check, provide proof of
identity and qualifications. Under Victoria Workcover legislation, it is the applicant‟s duty to
advise the Children's Protection Society of any pre-existing medical conditions, which could be
aggravated by the type of employment for which they are applying. Failure to do so seriously
jeopardises any entitlement the employee might have for a work-related aggravation of that
non-disclosed pre-existing condition.
All other conditions of employment will be in accordance with the Social and Community
Services Award 2000.
Further information can be obtained by contacting Judy Walsh on 9450 0900.
Applications in writing, marked Private and Confidential, addressing the key selection criteria and
listing the names of two referees, should be forwarded by close of business, Monday 14th July 2008,
Children‟s Protection Society
Manager of Family and Community Services
70 Altona St
West Heidelberg Vic 3081
Or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org