1.8.1 Workforce Qualifications

 

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Volume 1: Agency Standards
Chapter 8: Agency Operations
Section 1: Work Force Qualifications
Approved: 2014/08/25
Last revised:  

 

Introduction

The purpose of this standards section is to provide transparency and fairness in the hiring process for all positions. It applies to mandated child and family services agencies and licensed adoption agencies.

Standards
Policy
Legislation

Standards

The Standards section is organized into four categories:

Field Staff 1 (FS1) – This refers to entry level field staff who are hired to do front-line child protection work and are hired only if there are no applicants that meet the Field Staff 2 entry qualifications. Persons hired with FS1 entry qualifications commit in writing to an education and training plan that will lead to a FS2 designation.

Field Staff 2 (FS2) – This refers to an entry level field staff that meet the educational and experience qualifications.  

Supervisor – This refers to entry level supervisory positions committed to providing direction and support to front line work units. It is not intended to be applied to persons supervising related departments such as finance and human resources.

Manager – This refers to positions dedicated to providing support and direction to supervisors of units as described above.  It is not intended to be applied to persons managing related departments such as finance and human resources

Field Staff 1

Hiring Person with Field Staff 1 Qualifications
An agency must not hire a person to do front-line child protection work who does not meet FS2 qualification requirements unless they meet all of the following criteria:

  • completion of a Grade 12 diploma or General Education Development (GED) testing program
  • stability in one’s personal life demonstrated through skills in decision-making, problem-solving and leadership
  • significant approval and respect from members of the community where the person will be working
  • a cultural background consistent with the community where the person will be working or a sound understanding of the community’s cultural traditions and
  • an acceptable level of counseling and interpersonal skills demonstrated through prior work experience

Qualifications that are considered an asset but are not required include a person’s affiliation with a community and an ability to speak or understand an aboriginal language.

Supervision of Persons with FS1 Qualifications – An agency must provide FS1 front-line child protection workers with additional supervision on a weekly basis to assist them in carrying out their duties. Supervisors are required to record on personnel files the amount and frequency of supervision provided, progress reports with respect to education and training plans and results of performance reviews.

Mentoring of Persons with FS1 Qualifications – Within one month of hiring a front-line child protection worker with FS1 Qualifications, an agency must assign the person in writing to a formal mentoring relationship. The mentor must be a senior worker with FS2 qualifications and two years direct child welfare experience. Any necessary workload adjustments for the mentor are the responsibility of the agency. The terms of the assignment must include the following at a minimum:

  • a statement that a mentor will be provided for a minimum of six months
  • a description of the role of the mentor and the fact that the relationship does not replace and should not undermine the role of the supervisor
  • the nature and frequency of contacts between the mentor and the worker and a commitment to ensuring daily contact if necessary and possible, and
  • the types of mentoring to be provided including job shadowing and coaching, case advice, emotional support and orientation to agency and community resources

Education and Training Plan – All persons with FS1 qualifications hired to do front-line child protection work must agree in writing to an education and training plan that includes the following terms and conditions:

  • Within three months of commencing employment, the person produces confirmation of registration in one of the post-secondary academic programs listed under standards for Field Staff 2, which is approved by the agency in order to fulfill probationary employment requirements. An agency may grant the person a three-month extension to produce the required registration when circumstances warrant it. Persons who do not meet this requirement shall be terminated prior to the end of the probationary period.
  • Within one year of commencing employment, the person must complete at least one course in the approved post-secondary academic program and provide written confirmation of successful completion.  Persons who do not meet this requirement shall have their probation period extended or have their employment terminated.

Reclassification to FS2 Status – Upon providing written confirmation of completion of at least 50 per cent of the approved post-secondary academic program and the full experience requirement listed under standards for Field Staff 2, an FS1 worker is eligible to apply to the agency’s mandating child and family services authority for FS2 status. If the application is successful, the person can be permanently designated FS2 with respect to the position he or she is filling in the agency. The FS2 designation does not travel with the person to another agency unless approved by that agency’s mandating authority prior to the person commencing employment.  One authority is not bound by another authority’s decision regarding an FS2 designation. 

FS1 workers who have already started a Bachelor of Social Work degree at point of hire may apply for FS2 status upon verification that at least 50 per cent of the program has been completed after the attainment of one year experience in a front line child protection role.

Exemptions to Education and Training Plan Requirements
A front-line child protection workers with FS1 status may apply to the appropriate child and family services authority for an exemption to education and training plan requirements (listed under standards for Field Staff 2) in the following circumstances:

  • none of the post-secondary academic programs listed under standards for FS2 are available or accessible to the employee due to community remoteness, and
  • the FS1 employee has signed a written training and professional development contract with the agency that is approved by the agency’s mandating authority and the Director of Child and Family Services

The best interests of children are, in all cases, the paramount consideration in the granting of an exemption by the authority and the Director of Child and Family Services.

Field Staff 2

Field Staff 2 Designation
An agency must not designate a person hired to do front-line child protection work as an FS2 unless the person meets one of the following criteria:

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited university
  • Master of Social Work degree from an accredited university
  • completed Pre-Master in Social Work from an accredited university
  • related social services degree from an accredited university plus two years social service experience
  • post-secondary diploma in a related field plus three years direct child welfare experience
  • post-secondary certificate in a related field plus five years direct child welfare experience
  • Grade 12 diploma plus ten years direct child welfare experience

Direct child welfare experience is calculated as one year for one year of front line child protection work and one year for two years of all other social services related employment.

Supervisor

Essential

Entry level skills for Supervisors include the ability to:

  • provide guidance, direction and support to employees,
  • recognize potential situations which may involve conflict of interest,
  • manage conflict in a healthy manner,
  • understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures,
  • articulate messages clearly, to actively listen to others, and to develop appropriate responses,
  • understand agency, Authority and fundamental standards, policies and procedures
  • understand relevant legislation,
  • good writing skills, including the ability to write letters, briefing notes and case management notes,
  • evaluate priorities and allocate work time accordingly,
  • analyze complex issues and situations to identify possible solutions and their impact, and
  • work with others by putting in place conditions conducive to respect for individuals and teams.

Education

  • Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited university, or related social services degree from an accredited university plus two years direct child welfare experience, or
  • Post secondary diploma in a related field plus three years direct child welfare experience, or
  • post-secondary certificate in a related field plus five years direct child welfare experience, or
  • Grade 12 diploma plus ten years direct child welfare experience

Direct child welfare experience is calculated as one year for one year of front line child protection work and one year for two years of all other social services related employment.

Manager

Essential

Managers are expected to demonstrate all of the supervisory competencies and also have the ability to:

  • effectively communicate information within the organization, as well as with parties external to the organization,
  • participate in strategic planning activities for the organization,
  • demonstrate positive group leadership, understand and explain legislation, regulations, policy and procedures that govern the work of the agency,
  • understand the socio-cultural, historical, political and economic context within which the organization operates,
  • be aware of current trends that will affect the organization,
  • provide employees with developmental opportunities,
  • solve problems by identifying patterns, and key issues, and
  • demonstrate commitment to the organization

Experience/Education

  • Four years of supervisory experience, and:
    • Master of Social Work degree from an accredited university with two years of social service experience or
    • Bachelor of Social Work degree from an accredited university with three years of social service experience or
    • related social services degree from an accredited university plus four years social service experience.

 

Probationary Period of Employment – All new employees to an agency,  are subject to a six-month probationary period during which their suitability for ongoing employment with the agency will be assessed.  Any employee who does not meet performance expectations or any other employment obligations will be subject to employment review and action, such as an extension of probation or termination of employment.

Policy

Agency Human Resource Policies
Agency Hiring Practices

Agency Human Resource Policies

Provincial policies with respect to human resource practices of external (non-government) agencies are reflected in a Manitoba Family Services and Housing publication entitled The Roles, Responsibilities and Functions of a Board: A Board Development Guide. This guide was prepared for board and staff of provincially funded social service agencies.

Regional offices of Family Services and Housing follow the Principles and Policies for Managing Human Resources developed by the Civil Service Commission.

Child and family services agencies are also required to follow culturally appropriate standards developed by their respective mandating authorities pursuant to section 19 of The Child and Family Services Authorities Act.

Agency Hiring Practices

Child and family services agencies and licensed adoption agencies are expected to employ or retain skilled and experienced workers (field staff) capable of delivering services under The Child and Family Services Act and The Adoption Act. When appropriate, agencies may also adopt an affirmative action program or give priority to developing an aboriginal workforce. All applicants for employment as an agency field worker, including contracted persons, are subject to satisfactory criminal record, child abuse registry and prior contact checks. Applicants will be subject to a check of their academic credentials. 

A front-line child protection worker refers to field staff whose duties include child protection work. For child and family services authorities and agencies, entry-level qualifications for child protection field staff must reflect the following considerations:

  • academic credentials
  • competency-based skills
  • suitability and relevance of work experience
  • equivalencies
  • cultural appropriateness

Legislation

The Child and Family Services Authorities Act
The Child and Family Services Act
The Adoption Act

Other Relevant Legislation

The Child and Family Services Authorities Act

Ministerial responsibilities under section 24 of The Child and Family Services Authorities Act include establishing policies and standards for the provision of child and family services. Child and family services include adoption services under The Adoption Act.

Section 19 of the Act lists the duties of child and family services authorities. Clause (b) requires authorities to develop objectives and priorities for child and family services consistent with provincial objectives and priorities. Under clause (d), authorities must ensure that culturally appropriate standards they develop are consistent with provincial standards, objectives and priorities. Clause (f) requires authorities to establish hiring criteria and ensure agencies implement them.

The Child and Family Services Act

Section 86(k.1) of The Child and Family Services Act provides for the making of a regulation with respect to qualifications to be met by persons who provide services to or for agencies. Section 3 of the Child and Family Services Regulation pertains to child abuse, criminal record and prior contact checks. Section 4 applies to agency contract staff.

The Adoption Act

Section 127(2)(c) of The Adoption Act provides for the making of a regulation with respect to qualifications to be met by persons who provide services to or for agencies. Section 45 of the Adoption Regulation pertains to persons who provide adoption services for an adoption. Section 46 applies to persons who provide adoption services for a child and family services agency on a contract basis.

Other Relevant Legislation

In addition to the specific provisions noted above, the following federal and provincial Acts also govern human resource practices: