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Care & Recovery Worker

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Organisation : Ngwala Willumbong

Location : Melbourne (St Kilda)

Work type : Full-time

Sector : Community Support Services, Drug, Alcohol & Addiction, Indigenous

Salary type : Annual Package

About the role

The Aboriginal Metropolitan (‘ice’) Partnership – Pilot (referred as The Pilot) is a practical response to assist in addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community needs associated with ice issues, in metropolitan areas of Melbourne. The Pilot targets Aboriginal individuals and families affected by ice, as well as alcohol and other drugs. 

The intention of the pilot (which will be piloted until 30th June 2017) is to develop strong community linkages supported by AOD-specific clinical expertise to provide an effective and appropriate response. A partnership approach between ACCHO / ACCO and mainstream AOD service providers focuses on assertive outreach, AOD clinical interventions and better access to AOD and Aboriginal services for Aboriginal people with ice, and other AOD issues, and their families. 

There are three aims of the pilot, they are to: 

  1. Improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people and families by minimising harm associated with  use of methamphetamine (ice), alcohol and other drugs;
  1. Build sector capacity to specifically work with the impacts of ice on Aboriginal individuals and  families; and
  1. Provide learnings about approaches and practices that can be embedded into the AOD service  system to provide better responses to clients and families affected by ice.

The main objectives of the pilot are to: 

  1. Provide intensive Aboriginal culturally responsive support, clinical services, and holistic wrap around care to improve the health and wellbeing of those impacted by ice and AOD issues;
  2. Provide education, counseling and support to individuals, families (both individual and group work) and community members to build their capacity and resilience to manage ice and AOD related issues;
  3. Build the capacity of mainstream AOD services to provide culturally-responsive care for  Aboriginal people;
  4. Strengthen the capacity of ACCHO/ACCOs to provide effective treatment and support for ice and AOD issues;
  5. Strengthen partnerships and referral pathways between ACCHOs / ACCOs and mainstream AOD  services;
  6. Develop evidence and best practice around effective approaches and practices; and
  7. Contribute to a broader understanding of the patterns of ice and AOD use.

The role works in an integrated and coordinated fashion with the AOD service stream including Intake and Assessment, Counselling, Care Coordination, Non Residential and Residential Withdrawal, Residential Rehabilitation and Youth services, as well as related sectors to provide an integrated catchment wide service response. 

The role of the Care and Recovery Worker is to provide support and advocacy for Aboriginal people, their families in supporting access and treatment in relation to substance use. This will involve referral and support services for Aboriginal people (youth and adult) who have alcohol and and/or drug related problems. The Care and Recovery role, seeks to support integrated treatment and care pathways for the highest need/ highest risk clients. 

A key facet of this Pilot is the collaboration between the mainstream AOD Counsellor and the AOD Care and Recovery Worker, in the daily management of complex clients through providing practical assistance to help clients achieve their longer term recovery goals. The partnership/working together approach between the AOD Counsellor and the AOD Care and Recovery Worker will have expected results of best treatment outcomes for Aboriginal people and engagement of Aboriginal people. 

The proposed model for the Southern Metropolitan Region is a service delivery partnership between Ngwala Willumbong and Monash Health. Key underpinnings of this model includes: 

  1. A co-ordinated team approach between the AOD Counsellor and the AOD Care Recovery position. 
  2. Joint management, review and support to the positions from both partner organisations. 
  3. Commitment from the partner organisations to build cultural competency, clinical knowledge, community engagement and service delivery for all stakeholders.


Provision of Treatment and Support Services: 

  • Support the provision of high quality engagement, assessment, treatment and support services to individuals and their families. 
  • Assist the Counsellor in the daily management of complex clients, inclusive of clients with mental health issues, throughout the life cycle of their treatment plan 
  • Assist in the provision of pre-care support to clients and their families until their engagement with services commences and work closely with the catchment based intake and assessment service, in providing a culturally responsive service 
  • Provide practical assistance, such as transporting clients to key appointment, supporting clients to source suitable accommodation where required, encourage personal care such as healthy living, recreation and other community integration activities. 
  • Assist clients with the implementation of their individual treatment plan, and provide advice on coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with their AOD and associated issues 
  • Support clients and their families access to a range of appropriate service providers, both internally and externally to address their AOD use and meet long term recovery goals 
  • Provide clients and families with harm reduction information and basic education (through individual and group based forums and actively support client participation) 
  • Maintain client engagement through regular contact to monitor client progress against their recovery goals. 
  • Provide brief opportunistic interventions, and endeavour to motivate clients to achieve recovery goals 
  • Link with Koori Mental Health Liaison Officers (KMHLO’s) and Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers (AHLO) where appropriate 
  • Follow up with clients at 3 and 6 months post treatment to track progress of recovery and support reengagement with AOD treatment or other supports where appropriate. 
  • Assist with the facilitation of referrals to partner and other Child First and family service where vulnerable children are involved 
  • Provide information and education to Koori communities, individuals and other agencies about the effects of alcohol and drugs on the Koori community within an appropriate cultural context, in order to increase awareness of alcohol and drug problems and their effects 
  • Provide Koori people with opportunities to participate in health enhancing behaviours and culturally sensitive and appropriate health promotion activities 
  • Ensure service access to Koori people of all ages and both genders and to operate under age, gender and culturally sensitive protocols in relation to service provision 
  • Maintain ongoing records and other administrative tasks including notes on activities and achievements with each client and families and other correspondence 

Professional Liaison and Consultation: 

  • Build supportive relationships with clients and families to support and enhance recovery 
  • Develop and maintain relationships with a range of providers to support client recovery including GPs, mental health services, hospitals, family services, housing workers and homeless support, child protection, debt/financial counselling, employment service and other related providers 
  • Establish and maintain strong connections with all AOD, mental health and related services across the catchments 

Professional Liaison and Consultation: 

  • Participate in team planning, steering groups, reference groups and working parties as appropriate 
  • Attend regular case planning and review meetings regarding clients and families 
  • Work collaboratively with the AOD Counsellor in the mainstream organisation to support the needs of Aboriginal clients and families and to target at risk clients through assertive outreach 
  • Work collaboratively as a team across the catchment 

Service Delivery: 

  • Provide information and learning opportunities to Aboriginal communities, individuals and other stakeholders about the effects of alcohol and drugs on the Aboriginal community within an appropriate cultural context, in order to increase awareness of alcohol and drug problems and their effects 
  • Provide Aboriginal people with increased opportunities to participate in health enhancing behaviours and culturally sensitive and appropriate health promotion activities 
  • Assist in the development of Ngwala’s health promotion policies and programs in consultation with all stakeholders. 
  • Provide culturally sensitive case management supports within a harm minimisation framework (individual or group-based) to effect, and maintain change, in individuals with alcohol and drug use problems 
  • To assist in the assessment of the consumer’s continuing needs in relation to alcohol and drugs 
  • Participate in the development, implementation, monitoring and review of Individual Treatment Plans. 
  • Participate in the dissemination of information to the Aboriginal communities of the roles and function of the pilot project and the broader AOD service sector. 
  • Provide and maintain ongoing case management and data records and other administrative requirements including statistical reports and other correspondence. 
  • Understand and comply with Ngwala Willumbong policies and procedures and all requirements relevant to the positions funding and service agreement. 
  • Ensure that all client related documentation and data recording is compliant with Ngwala procedures, QIP standards and funding body requirements. 
  • Represent Ngwala in a professional manner at all times. 
  • Ensure that client confidentiality is maintained in compliance with Ngwala’s policies and relevant legislation. 
  • Actively participate in and contribute to Ngwala team meetings and network meetings as required. 
  • Comply with Ngwala’s administrative and personnel requirements. 



  • Provide culturally safe outreach case management support to Aboriginal people, their families and communities. 
  • Undertake AOD assessments and complete Individual Treatment Plans using templates provided by Ngwala. 
  • Provide culturally safe psycho-social support and outreach support. 
  • Develop and maintain linkages with other Aboriginal and mainstream AOD and/or health providers to ensure access and continuity of care for clients. 
  • Advocate on behalf of clients with services and other stakeholders. 
  • Provide information to ATSI communities about the effects of alcohol and other drugs and the services that are available to assist individuals and families. 
  • Provide and support appropriate health promotion activities with communities as required. 
  • Provide cultural competency advice to mainstream AOD and/or other health providers regarding the needs of ATSI people. 
  • Comply with Ngwala’s administrative and personnel requirements. 

Data Management 

  • Maintain accurate and up to date client records and case notes in the client’s file 
  • Provide and maintain ongoing case management and data records and other administrative requirements including statistical reports and other correspondence. 
  • Maintain a high standard of professionalism including client confidentiality 
  • Conduct client feedback and relay such feedback to management 
  • Report any concerns to management and in emergency situations be prepared to contact the relevant emergency services 

General Education and Training 

  • Understand and comply with Ngwala Willumbong policies and procedures and participate in continuous quality improvement (CQI) evaluation 
  • Participate in regular individual/group clinical supervision sessions 
  • Attend AOD and Ngwala staff meetings, conferences and forums as required 
  • Attend statewide AOD support meetings 
  • Participate in ongoing professional development and training as required 

Teamwork and Agency Representation 

  • Interact collaboratively within the team and actively participate in team meetings 
  • Represent, promote and/or deliver the program in a professional manner
  • Ensure that client confidentiality is maintained in compliance with Ngwala’s policies and relevant legislation.

Physical Demands

This position requires driving and sitting for extended periods of time, operating office equipment, climbing stairs, at times lifting, and other related physical demands. Staff are responsible to only undertake physical duties they deem safe. 


  • Minimum Certificate IV in AOD or relevant equivalent qualifications; 
  • Experience in working with young Aboriginal people; 
  • Computer literacy skills including MS Word, MS Excel, email and Internet 
  • Desirable: First Aid (Level 2) certificate; 


  • Current Victorian Driver’s License; 
  • National Police Certificate (no more than 3 years old) 
  • Current Victorian Working With Children Check; 


  • Remuneration will be in accordance with industry standards 
  • Successful applicants will need to disclose any pre-existing illness or injury which could be affected by the described work duties. Under sections 41(2) and 39(4) of the Workplace Injury, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic), failure to disclose a pre-existing illness or injury could negatively affect any future injury claim for compensation. 
  • All employees are required to adhere to the policies and practices of Ngwala. 
  • This position description reflects the initial expectation of the role and is subject to changes to support organisational goals, priorities and activities.

About the organisation

Organisation Name : Ngwala Willumbong

How to apply

Applications not allowed for this job listing.

Please quote in application: Care & Recovery Worker via Pro Bono Australia.



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