Wala Yarka Case Manager (Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care)

  • Base/Location:Njernda Aboriginal Corporation 84 Hare Street Echuca
  • Reports To:Wala Yarka Team Leader
  • Hours:37.5 (Full time)
  • Award:SCHADS Level 4
  • Position Scope:

    The Wala Yarka program, which means “Water children” in Yorta Yorta language, operates under section 18 of the Children, Youth, and Families Act 2005, which offers a new model of child protection practice that involves Aboriginal organisations working in partnership with Aboriginal families. The Wala Yarka programs works with Aboriginal children and young people on specific Child Protection orders and works with a holistic wraparound approach to strengthening and empowering families.

Organizational Values
Respect Establishing relationships based on respect and trust
Accountability Taking ownership and initiative of Njernda values to ensure trusted collaborations are formed
Resilience Encouraging cultural and spiritual growth to enable personal growth
Advocacy Working to transform the disadvantage and challenge that causes impact on our community
Cultural Sensitivity Welcoming and serving our community with understanding and without judgement


About Wala Yarka

The Wala Yarka program (pre-authorisation phase) commenced in October 2019 where the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing commenced transferring statutory responsibility of Aboriginal children on children’s court protection orders to Njernda Aboriginal Corporation. This means that all decision making in relation to the care, case planning and case management of the child or young person could now be made at the community level (through the ‘principal officer’ or CEO of the ACCO). During the preauthorisation phase this is guided by the support and partnership of the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
Practice within the Wala Yarka program is guided by the Children Youth and Families Act 2005 which includes best interests’ principles and Aboriginal policies such as the Aboriginal Child Placement Principles. A goal of the Njernda Aboriginal Corporation is to be a leader in the care and protection of children and young people and in working with families and communities to build capacity, resilience, and independence.


Key Responsibilities

-Work collaboratively and with a strength based and solution focus approach with Aboriginal families and children involved in Statutory Child Protection Program in their healing journey.
-Interventions will be guided by the Best Interest Case Practice Model; taking in consideration the need to protect the child from harm, protect their human rights, and will promote their development.
-Support families and children to build cultural connections within their family groups, local community, and traditional community.
-Provide professional, effective, and timely case management which will include conducting home visits and provide connection opportunities for children with their families. Contact may include the transporting the child.
-Ensure meaningful participation of families, children and young people in case planning and decision making.
-Utilise resources when working with families including the practice manual and child’s voice tools.
-Prepare plans, letters, emails, and reports and write case notes using clear, concise, and grammatically correct language. Ensure written communications contains necessary information to achieve their purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
-Support the child and families to access services by referring to other Njernda services or mainstream services to support a family to meet their goals.
-Manage competing demands able to negotiate and provide advocacy for children and their families.
-Able to be flexible and work after hours.
-Participate in Supervision with a focus on professional development, accountability, and worker self-care.
-Participate in training opportunities to develop practice.


Key Selection Criteria

Required Education, Experience, and Competencies
Demonstrated knowledge of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community including issues that have an impact on the safety and well-being of Aboriginal children and young people, including intergenerational trauma and experience in working in the child and family sector.
-An understanding of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005, DFFH policies and procedures regarding Aboriginal policies, leaving care, case planning including related framework such as “Looking after Children”.
-Well-developed verbal and written communication skills including experience in effective problem solving, dispute resolution and advocacy for clients, court report writing, case notes, incident reports and the use of a range of electronic data systems.
-Demonstrates effective and culturally appropriate interpersonal skills e.g., active listening, empathy in all verbal and non-verbal communications.
-Practice guided by the Best Interests Principles that is child centred and family focussed, working towards solutions and healing through a culturally safe therapeutic approach and advocating for the child’s voice.
-Demonstrated knowledge of trauma, child development and attachment theories and an understanding of the issues relating to families who are in contact with Child Protection.
-Proven experience in completing assessments, including assessments of risks, and developing, implementing, and reviewing plans for children, young people and families including case planning and cultural planning.
-Demonstrated ability to work in a complex, fast paced team, to demonstrate resilience in managing competing demands and the capacity to work flexible hours according to work demands.

Personal Qualities:

-Ability to achieve results – takes initiative to proactively creating solutions and solving of problems.
-Decisiveness – Makes rational and sound decisions based on consideration and facts.
-Resilient – responds thoughtfully, seeks guidance, communicates effectively. when working with children and families in crisis and who have experienced trauma.
-Adaptable – willing to learn.


A recognised Social Work Degree or Diploma of Community Services qualification which includes:
(a) primary focus on child development, human behaviour, family dynamics and/or impacts of trauma; and
(b) preferably a practical component such as counselling or case work practice

• Appointment is subject to a satisfactory National Police Records Check and Working with Children Check & Driver’s License check.
• Commitment to equal opportunity and occupational health and safety principles and practices is required.
• You will need to disclose any pre-existing illness or injury you know about which could be affected by the described work duties.
• Under section 82 (7) of the Accident Compensation Act, failure to disclose such a pre-existing illness or injury will mean that, if employed, you will not be paid compensation for that condition.

Written applications should include:
o Covering letter
o Resume
o Must address the selection criteria otherwise interview will not be given
o Please include the names and telephone contacts of at least two referees and forward to:

Address your application marked: “Private & Confidential”:

HR Manager

Njernda Aboriginal Corporation

307 High Street

Echuca Vic 3564

Email         jobs@njernda.com.au

Please check the closing date to ensure your application is received within the specified time. Applications may be posted, emailed, hand delivered or faxed (provided that a hard copy is posted on the same day).

All applications close: 6th Apr 2023

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