Nihdawin Family Support Worker

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Nihdawin Family Support Worker

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date June 13, 2019
Type Full Time
Company Ontario Native Women’s Association
Location Thunder Bay, ON
Category Business / Management
Client Ontario Native Women’s Association
Contact Information

Nihdawin Family Support Worker

POSITION SUMMARY: The Ontario Native Women’s Association is currently accepting applications for a full time position of Nihdawin Family Support Worker in Thunder Bay.

The Nihdawin Family Support Worker advocates and supports Indigenous people 16 years of age or older who are or are at imminent risk of homelessness in the community of Thunder Bay. Priority is given to Indigenous people who are at a greater risk of losing their children to the child welfare system and or who are at a greater risk of becoming in conflict with the law because of their homelessness.

The Nihdawin Program assists Indigenous people in these circumstances and supports their traditional roles within our culture. Nihdawin provides advocacy and support in the areas of housing; maintaining existing housing and finding affordable sustainable housing for Indigenous people, acting as advocates with Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program, the court system, schools and medical services. Nihdawin recognizes the importance of providing wrap¬around supports and services to attend to the needs of Indigenous people as they strive for personal recovery, to maintain their families and live their best lives.


  • Post-secondary diploma/degree in social work, indigenous learning, women’s studies with a minimum three (3) years’ work experience in community service delivery.
  • Knowledge of criminal justice system.
  • Proven experience in and knowledge of victims’ issues surrounding housing and homelessness, poverty, and addictions.
  • Strong communicator – excellent written, oral, and facilitation skills.
  • Experience in Community Member advocacy with demonstrated experience providing services to Indigenous families and/or communities. The ability to speak Ojibway and/or Oji-Cree is an asset.
  • Experience working with Indigenous Peoples, knowledge of Indigenous cultures, traditions, and community.
  • Proven analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to create and maintain a confidential, welcoming, friendly and safe environment for Community Members.
  • Knowledge of and relationships with other service agencies, ability to network and create/maintain these relationships.
  • Strong organizational/time management skills with an ability to plan ahead define measurable objectives and outcomes and meet objectives in a timely manner.


  • Working knowledge of MS Office Software, internet, and general office equipment.
  • Valid G Class Driver’s License and access to a reliable vehicle with appropriate insurance.
  • Valid current vulnerable sector criminal records check and, First Aid/CPR.
  • Ability/willingness to travel and to work flexible hours.
  • Must be dependable, able to follow instructions, respond to management direction and be able to improve performance through management feedback.
  • Cultural competency:
  • Experience working with Indigenous organizations an asset
  • Experience working with Indigenous communities with a working knowledge of Indigenous cultures and traditions.


  • Provide direct Community Member services that are holistic in nature, for the delivery of services to address the needs of Indigenous individuals that are homeless or at imminent risk of being homeless, the hidden homeless, the newly homeless and those that episodically access shelters.
  • To provide an increased focus and provision of services available and referrals to legal/financial services for Indigenous people in conflict with the law to increase support services and specialized services to help Indigenous people and their families, especially those that are at risk of intervention services from a Children Aide Society due to the risk of homelessness.
  • Strong advocacy skills to act on behalf of the Community Member and provide guidance to empower them to represent themselves when interacting with potential landlords.
  • Establish and build relationships with existing and potential landlords within the city as part of the Housing First Approach.
  • Transport Community Members or arrange transportation for Community Members as required for a variety of reasons as it relates to supporting our Community Members
  • Provide up to date housing lists and accompany Community Members to viewings.
  • Educate self on changes to OW/ODSP benefits and programs to assist with start-up costs and utility entitlements.
  • Provide referrals to services in the community to assist with clothing and food supports and additional programming that will benefit the Community Member in attaining goals set out in their plan of care.
  • To provide Community Members with mental health/addiction issues with referrals to treatment, counselling and help lines.
  • To reduce the Indigenous homelessness population through the facilitation of greater access to support networks appropriate to individual need (ie: connection to employment and education services; access to addiction and mental health supports; access to culturally specific supports; referrals to the necessary services; direct support for crisis as well as psychosocial issues; and housing support) to help them move towards stabilized living environments.
  • To provide Community Member with the opportunity to participate in culturally relevant, safe programming and activities, including but not limited to ceremony, Elders consults, traditional crafts, use of medicines, etc.
  • To directly respond to the Indigenous people and their families of this community in need, with measurable outcomes.
  • Apply appropriate counseling methods relevant to individual Community Member’s needs, including but not limited to one on one, group and/or sharing circles, meeting with Community Member/Elder.
  • Assist, advise, teach and guide Community Members through process of evaluation of personal situations and taking positive action. Completing Plan of Care based on the Medicine Wheel teachings with Community Member. Develop treatment / support plans encompassing Indigenous culture and teachings with the Community Member setting measureable and realistic goals.
  • Ensure Indigenous culture, traditions, and values are included in all aspects of service delivery in a wholistic manner and respectful of the Community Member’s needs to promote their healing
  • Demonstrated ability to handle difficult and painful emotional situations and distance oneself from Community Member’s problems or emotions, ensuring self-care is at the forefront.
  • Proven ability to ensure confidentiality, and show respect, patience and empathy towards Community Members.
  • Demonstrate strong case management/crisis response/intervention skills/needs/risk assessment skills.
  • Prepare case reports, carefully document information, and maintain accurate case records, draft correspondence, impact statements and program reports, including program evaluation.
  • Maintain accurate logs and up to date Community Member files.
  • Demonstrate initiative and work within established procedural guidelines as needed, liaise with stakeholders and service providers to provide integrated services and/or pertinent specialized information to enhance program effectiveness and Community Member outcomes.
  • Existing connections to and knowledge of local community resources and agencies.
  • Develop/maintain networking with service providers for referrals to assist Indigenous people in securing sustainable housing.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Culture – takes personal responsibility to increase sensitivity, awareness, and implementation of ONWA’s cultural teachings and organizational practices in both professional conduct and work-related deliverables.
  • Support and work towards the overall aims and objectives of the ONWA.
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures. Carry out other tasks which may be necessary from time to time as required.


  • Complete monthly reports (mileage, Community Member list and monthly workplan) and submit to Program Manager on or before due date.
  • Complete quarterly reports on or before the requested due date.
  • Complete reports to funders as required.
  • Maintain accurate up to date Community Member listing, case notes and Community Member files.


  • Representation on committees as required for the enhancement and benefit of ONWA’s programs.
  • To network and promote ONWA and all ONWAs related programs. Adhere to professionalism at all times and maintain good communications.
  • Maintain professionalism at all times.


  • Adhere to Policies and Procedures as set by the ONWA.
  • Representation on committees as required for the enhancement and benefits of ONWA’s programs.
  • To network and promote ONWA and all ONWA related programs. Adhere to professionalism at all times and maintain good communication.
  • Maintain professionalism at all times.
  • The completion of functions outlined in the description and the achievement of goals set to a high level.
  • Attendance and conduct at work according to the requirements of the Association’s Personnel Policy.
  • Adherence to the Code of Ethics, and positive relationship building.


To execute duties and responsibilities outlined in this job description.


The Nihdawin Family Support Worker will be directly accountable to Program Manager of Services for the proper completion of the functions outlined in the job description.

Applicants are asked to apply in confidence through our website (

Indigenous Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
Only those applicants granted an interview will be contacted.
A job description is available upon request.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. ONWA offers a very competitive compensation package including full benefits, generous vacation allowance and savings plan.

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