Family Preservation Counsellor
Vancouver Aboriginal Child & Family Services Society
Vancouver, BC
Position: Family Preservation Counsellor
Status: Regular Full-time
Hours of Work: 8:30 - 4:30 Monday to Friday
Closing: Open until filled
Salary: $55,369.45 - $72,937.86
Classification: Delegated Social Program Worker, Grid 19-24, BCGEU
Location: 745 Clark Drive, Vancouver BC

Use your child welfare expertise to make a lasting difference in Vancouver's Aboriginal community!

Receive competitive salary of $55,369.45 - $72,937.86 PLUS a comprehensive benefits package!

Take on a challenging role that provides membership in the Public Service Pension Plan!

At VACFSS, we ensure that the rights, safety, well-being and spirit of Aboriginal children and families are upheld,
honoured and protected. We strive to eliminate oppression, discrimination and marginalization within our
community. We acknowledge and honour the inherent wisdom, capacity and resourcefulness of our community in
designing programs and services to care for our own children and families. Accordingly, we are dedicated to planning,
developing, and implementing creative and innovative Aboriginal programs and services in collaboration with
members of our community and other agencies.


Reporting to a Family Preservation Clinical Supervisor, the Family Preservation Counsellor (FPC) provides individual
family preservation and reunification services as well as associated services to children, youth and families in the
family home, community or at VACFSS.

The FPC receives referrals from VACFSS’s Child Protection or Guardianship programs. The FPC will work in partnership
with the referring social worker and the child’s immediate and extended family to identify and build on strengths so
that risks to child safety and wellbeing can be reduced and/or eliminated. This is enacted through practice by: (1)
Gathering the Circle; (2) Listening, Assessing and Finding Solutions; (3) Creating Security, Belonging and Well-being;
and (4) Keeping the Circle Strong.

The FPC will provide an intensive array of services over a short term either directly or through referrals to contractors
or community partners to assist families in building upon their strengths and enhancing family functioning. The FPC in
consultation with their Supervisor will also assist with therapeutic access or visit supervision, support families during
court proceedings, and ensure case documentation is maintained accurately, fully and in a timely manner.

The FPC will understand the importance of culture in healing for children, youth and families and will help guide
connection to culture or spiritual expression with bands or nations. The FPC will be able to work closely with
community, VACFSS’ Family Support Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and others where appropriate to help families
participate in culture and ceremony and gain connections to community.

The work of the FPC is guided by the values of belonging, respect, strengths-based practice, integrity and humility. It
is conducted in accordance with practice standards, delegation, legislation, and VACFSS’s philosophy of service
delivery, in pursuit of a balanced and harmonious Aboriginal community.


Provision of direct service to clients including counseling and access to concrete services such as child care, and

availability of crisis intervention by:
Observing family interaction in the home for a significant amount of time to accurately assess situation

Providing therapeutic services including skills building, behavioral intervention, motivational interviewing,
relapse prevention, and other cognitive strategies

Developing and presenting teaching strategies that will model appropriate behaviors, role playing, and
rehearsing newly acquired skills

Being available to provide a variety of services to the family from counseling to job training and house

Participating in ongoing communication with children, families, caregivers and relevant external agencies for
assigned caseload

Meet with families on a weekly basis or as otherwise agreed upon with supervisor

Provides and prepares all professional participants to ensure clarity of roles by:

Providing information and referrals to other community service providers, resources and professionals as
deemed necessary

Responsible for regularly contacting Social Workers assigned to the case and ensures that all relevant
information concerning risk and safety concerns involving client and family are met

To work with a professional team and liaise with colleagues and other professionals

Develops an analysis and plan of action by:
Meeting with families in their homes or communities to identify conference participants and to clarify
confidentiality and potential safety issues

Ensures that the views of the child / and or children are always heard

Develops an analysis and plan of action around issues of resistance or reluctance

Works to explain the goals and effectiveness of their participation in the process

Where the participants cannot agree on the Family Plan, the Counselor will refer the matter to the referring
social worker with an explanation of the reasons for failing to reach an agreement

Establish an atmosphere of safety and respect that supports the strengths and integrity of the family group

Involve the family members to establish guidelines about how they would like the discussions to happen

Maintains case files by:
Ensuring file documentation and reports are up to date

Ensures that any changes made to the Family Plan are well documented

Prepare and provide information on assessments, progress reports, completing caseload statistics for client
files and providing this information to the Supervisor on a regular basis

Follows up with the Social Worker to ensure that the Family Plan has been completed, signed off and a copy
provided to the family and appropriate staff

Planning and support by:
Interviewing the client and family

Remaining neutral regarding the views of the participants while maintaining the principle that the protection
of the children is paramount; adjourning the conference at the request of the participants for any reason
where it is in the best interest of the child/children

Assessing the problem and preparing family histories

Outlines the basic structure of the organization to the client and family

Contacts the clients and families to assess the willingness to participate in programs

Provides Community Liaison and Advocacy by:
Consulting with, advocating for, and coordinating client services with other agencies, professionals and

Refer, as needed to other programs, services and resources

Participate, as requested, in liaising and networking around issues pertaining to counseling and /or support of
“at risk” families

Respond to requests from the community and from other professionals for information and presentations
about the program and various issues that families face

Provides Cultural connection to families by:
Connecting families to cultural supports in the community

Supporting families in connecting to their Aboriginal heritage

Knowledge of issues affecting Aboriginal people in Canada

A willingness to engage in Aboriginal culture and teachings

MSW or Master’s degree in a related social services field; or

BSW; and

2 years of experience in providing family therapy, crisis intervention, child care or family support

Other degrees with recent and relevant experience may be considered

Job Skills and Abilities:
Tact, sound judgment, good skills in handling complex interviews

Ability to obtain and foster confidence of children and families

Ability to respond to crisis situations

Ability to work flexibly

Knowledge of existing community services and resources

Ability to function independently and frequently under pressure

Ability to work collaboratively on a team and with other professionals

Maintain up to date and detailed case management files, recording information including all required forms
and documentation

Must have excellent facilitation, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills

Cultural competency in working with a variety of First Nations families

Computer skills for Microsoft Word, Outlook and the Internet

Knowledge and understanding of the history of Aboriginal people in Canada, residential school, colonialism,
and historical child welfare practices

Valid class 5 driver’s license and reliable vehicle

Interested applicants may apply at

Preference may be given to qualified Aboriginal candidates per Section 41 of the Human Rights Code.