The Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare (the Centre) is the peak body for child and family services in Victoria. For over 100 years we have advocated for the rights of children and young people to be heard, to be safe, to access education and to remain connected to family, community and culture. We represent over 150 community service organisations (CSOs), students and individuals throughout Victoria working across the continuum of child and family services, from prevention and early intervention to the provision of out-of-home care.
The Centre provides public policy and program advice, delivers sector training, facilitates and publishes research, advocates for positive reform and works with our member agencies to make sure children and families have access to the services and supports they need. We also provide consultancy services for the child and family services sector, run regular forums across a range of policy and practice areas to capture the views of child and family services organisations and their clients, and manage various projects designed to improve practice in the sector.
The Centre is a diverse and inclusive workplace, committed to the health, wellbeing and cultural safety of our staff. We encourage applicants of any background, culture, gender, and experience to apply for roles as these become vacant.
This new role sits within the Centre’s Social Policy & Research team. The role is funded by the Department of Education and Training and is designed to optimise the health, learning and cultural opportunities for children in Out of Home Care (OoHC), and, more broadly, all children in Victoria experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, vulnerability.
The project aims to:
- Raise the awareness of carers and parents about the range of services available to support the learning and development of children experiencing vulnerability, including those in OoHC
- Build workforce capability and provide information and training to practitioners to ensure broad awareness of services available for children experiencing vulnerability, including children in OoHC, children experiencing disability and from diverse cultural backgrounds
- Facilitate effective communications and connections between universal services, specialist services and educational settings to support children experiencing vulnerability
- Reports to: Deputy CEO, Director Social Policy and Research
- Reporting to this role: Nil
The Centre is committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff. The Centre and its staff must comply with a range of statutory requirements including equal opportunity, occupational health and safety and privacy. The Centre requires staff to comply with its policies and procedures and related statutory requirements. Appointees are accountable for completing training on these matters and making sure their knowledge is up to date.
The role involves engaging professionals and parents or carers to inform their support for children in OoHC and vulnerable children and to do this through consultation, investigation, development and dissemination of best practice information. Specifically the role will be responsible for:
- Raising awareness among carers about the range of MCH and ECEC services available for children, including information about supports and subsidies available
- Working with community service organisations, early years educators, Child FIRST and Orange Door practitioners to build workforce capability in supporting parents and carers of children in OoHC and provide information and training to practitioners
- Contributing to the evidence base about the factors that hinder and facilitate access to engagement in early years services by children, carers and vulnerable families
- Facilitating effective sector collaboration with the Child Protection workforce to make sure all children involved in the OoHC system are attending the appropriate services to participate in MCH key ages and stages visits, immunisations, and any specialist services
- Supporting connections between carers and ECEC services to monitor children’s learning and development and address emerging issues.
Key Selection Criteria
- Excellent understanding of DET’s key early years reforms (e.g. Three Year Old Kindergarten, School Readiness Funding and the Kindergarten Quality Improvement Program) and the range of supports available for vulnerable children.
- Excellent understanding of the key barriers to and enablers of family engagement with early years services
- Highly developed stakeholder engagement skills, including (preferred) experience in working with government, early years services, child and family services, child protection, CALD families and communities, Aboriginal families and communities, and other relevant stakeholder groups.
- Ability to undertake literature reviews and analyse information from surveys and consultations
- Ability to develop engaging online resources and curate information into accessible products for a wide range of workers and carers
- Experience working independently with minimal supervision and ability to work effectively in a team
- A relevant tertiary qualification (and/or experience within the community services sector)
Conditional Employment Requirements
- National Police Check
- Working with Children Check
- Current Australian Driver’s Licence (Desirable)