Employment & Volunteering

Carer Assistance Program (CAP) Worker – Permanent Care and Adoption

Job Advertisement February 2022


An exciting opportunity has become available to join the Foster Care Association of Victoria’s Carer Assistance Program (CAP), offering therapeutic support to permanent carers and adoptive parents.


About us


Foster Care Association of Victoria (FCAV)


The FCAV is the peak body for Victorian foster carers. Established in 1992, we are a not-for-profit organisation working towards better outcomes for foster carers and the children and young people in their care.


Foster care is the backbone of the Victorian response to protective intervention for children and young people at risk. Foster carers are the volunteers providing a home, family life and care to children and young people who are unable to live with their birth family for a variety of reasons. Many of these children have suffered traumatic events and the role of our foster carers is critical and complex in providing a safe and healing environment for children and young people to reach their full potential.


The FCAV is here to provide information, support and advocacy directly to all Victorian foster families. Our work directly impacts the care provided to the thousands of Victorian children and young people in foster care by providing:


  • Carer Information & Support Service - free, independent advice and support to foster carers
  • Advocating on behalf of foster carers to government, their agencies and in the community
  • Community building - as the only centralised body for all foster carers in the state; providing forums and carer events.
  • Providing carer news and updated information through our comprehensive website & regular newsletters
  • State-wide Learning & Development opportunities for carers throughout Victoria through Carer KaFÉ


The FCAV represents over 4,000 foster carers across Victoria. In tandem with one-to-one support we provide to individual foster carers, our role as a membership Association is to advocate for vital improvements to the foster care system. Our current member database consists of over 5,000 carers and the wider sector and community. The Foster Care Association is mandated to strengthen Victoria’s investment in greater recognition, respect and resources for foster carers, the volunteers who every day and every night make a difference in the lives of Victoria’s children and young people.


Permanent Care and Adoptive Families (PCA Families)


PCA Families is a not-for-profit carer representative body of the permanent care (including kinship care) and adoption community in Victoria, with over 2,000 members. We administer the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) Flexible funding and Homestretch/Better futures programs, and provide a helpline, peer support, education and advocacy services. We take a child-centred and family-focussed approach to supporting strong and sustainable permanent care and adoptive families.


PCA Families is governed by an elected Board, comprising directors with relevant personal and professional expertise.


Our vision – that every child who cannot live permanently with their birth parents thrives in a strong, stable and permanent family.

Our Purpose – Permanent care, kinship care and adoptive families have committed to helping their children thrive and we are committed to helping them do it.

Our mission – we advocate on behalf of and deliver peer support and other trauma informed services for permanent care, kinship and adoptive families. 


We inform, upskill and empower our parents/carers to advocate strategically for the services and support their children and our communities need.  Our independent support is trusted by our families and often critical to their success.  

PCA Families has delivered high-impact early support and services to families since 2003, informed by research and the lived experience of the families we represent.


Carer Assistance Program (CAP)


The Carer Assistance Program (CAP) provides an additional direct service of therapeutic support, aimed at supporting and improving the mental health and wellbeing of foster carers, permanent carers and adoptive parents. Whilst similar to an EAP, with a short term outcome focus, it is delivered with an increased understanding of the issues faced by foster, permanent carers and adoptive parents.


It is particularly meaningful at a time of heightened stress and anxiety as a result of Covid 19 shutdowns, as carers continue to struggle with managing the ongoing system issues (eg, placement breakdowns, navigating support systems) alongside financial stress, isolation and home schooling, with even less direct support from the broader sector. This is likely to compound feeling overwhelmed and isolated.


The Carer Assistance Program (CAP) clearly fills an identified service gap and aims to:


  • Empower carers and improve personal morale
  • Increase capacity to engage with and provide a better quality of care to children
  • Prevent placement breakdown
  • Positively impact carer retention.


Position Summary


During 2021, with the added pressures of the COVID 19 pandemic FCAV established the CAP program that currently provides an online service of 15.2 hours per week to foster carers in Victoria. Due to the overwhelming success of the program, PCA Families is funding the extension of the service to permanent carers and adoptive families in Victoria.


In the initial stages of the service the position would be offering online short term therapeutic support to permanent carers and adoptive parents.

The position is 15.2 hours (2 days) per week on a fixed term (contract) from March 2022 until June 2023.

The position is employed by the FCAV under the SCHADS award, working on a collaborative project with PCA Families.


The hourly pay rate for this position is $42.94. Annual remuneration is $93,334 FTE x 0.4 = $37,334 per annum (inclusive of compulsory Superannuation). Based on Level 5 – pay point 1 of the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry (SCHADS) Award 2010.


The successful applicant's knowledge and experience will include


A recognised Social Work or Psychology tertiary qualification or equivalent

  • Experience working in the child and family welfare field; in Permanent Care, Out-of-Home Care, Child Protection, Family Services, or other services working with vulnerable families and children
  • An understanding of child development and theoretical frameworks for trauma, grief, loss and attachment relating to children and young people placed in foster and permanent care
  • Experience in therapeutic counselling and support to clients individually, and through group work.
  • Knowledge of current legislation relevant to Permanent Care and Out-of-Home Care.
  • Knowledge of Organisational Reconciliation Action Plans.


How to apply


To be considered for the role, applicants are required to provide a resume and cover letter, addressing the Key Selection Criteria outlined in the position description.  


View a copy of the position description, email admin@fcav.org.au, or call the CISS Manager to discuss the role on 03 9416 4292.


Applications close 9:00am, Monday 14 March, 2022. Email applications to: admin@fcav.org.au.


The successful applicant will be required to undergo satisfactory pre-employment checks, including two referees, a criminal records check and a working with children check. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are encouraged to apply.