Nihdawin Family Support Worker-Full Time Contract til March 31, 2022

Nihdawin Family Support Worker-Full Time Contract til March 31, 2022

Job Information
Author pmnationtalk
Date September 23, 2021
Deadline Open
Type Full Time
Company Ontario Native Women’s Association
Location Thunder Bay, ON
Category Community Services
Client Ontario Native Women’s Association
Contact Information
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Nihdawin Family Support Worker-Full Time Contract til March 31, 2022



The Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) is a not for profit organization that empowers and supports Indigenous women and their families in the province of Ontario.  ONWA encourages the participation of Indigenous women in the development of Federal, Provincial, Municipal/Local government policies that impact their lives and ensure issues affecting Indigenous women and their families are heard at key government tables.

ONWA is committed to providing services that strengthen communities and guarantees the preservation of Indigenous culture, identity, art, language and heritage.  Ending violence against Indigenous women and their families and ensuring equal access to justice, education, health, environmental stewardship and economic development, sits at the cornerstone of the organization.  ONWA insists on social and cultural well – being for all Indigenous women and their families, so that all women, regardless of tribal heritage may live their best lives.

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 wrap­around 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.
  • 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.
  • Must be dependable, able to follow instructions, respond to management direction and be able to improve performance through management feedback.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office Software, internet, and general office equipment
  • Valid G Class Driver’s License, clean driver’s abstract and access to a reliable vehicle with appropriate insurance.
  • Current, valid vulnerable sector criminal records check, reliable cellphone. Valid 1st Aid/CPR.
  • Ability/willingness to travel and to work flexible hours.


  • Inter-cultural Competency Informed – Understands to incorporate a personal responsibility to increase sensitivity, awareness and implementation of ONWA’s cultural teachings and organizational practices in both professional conduct and work related deliverables.
  • Indigenous Gender-Based Analysis Informed – Understands to incorporate an intersectional approach to gender, race and discrimination and subsequent intergenerational impacts affecting Indigenous women and their families.
  • Trauma-Based Practice Informed – Understands to incorporate a trauma-informed approach to recognize and respond to all forms of trauma and the necessity of supporting Indigenous women in a culture of tradition and safety in her healing journey.
  • She is Wise Leadership Informed – Understands to incorporate the Four Agreements within daily responsibilities and combined with ONWA’s cultural teachings contribute to the empowerment and leadership of Indigenous women within their communities.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Establish and build relationships with existing and potential landlords within the city as part of the Housing First Approach.
  5. Transport Community Members or arrange transportation for Community Members as required for a variety of reasons as it relates to supporting our Community Members
  6. Provide up to date housing lists and accompany Community Members to viewings.
  7. Educate self on changes to OW/ODSP benefits and programs to assist with start-up costs and utility entitlements.
  8. 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.
  9. To provide Community Members with mental health/addiction issues with referrals to treatment, counselling and help lines.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. To directly respond to the Indigenous people and their families of this community in need, with measurable outcomes.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. Proven ability to ensure confidentiality, and show respect, patience and empathy towards Community Members.
  18. Demonstrate strong case management/crisis response/intervention skills/needs/risk assessment skills.
  19. Prepare case reports, carefully document information, and maintain accurate case records, draft correspondence, impact statements and program reports, including program evaluation.
  20. Maintain accurate logs and up to date Community Member files.
  21. 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.
  22. Existing connections to and knowledge of local community resources and agencies.
  23. Develop/maintain networking with service providers for referrals to assist Indigenous people in securing sustainable housing.
  24. Other duties as assigned.


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


  1. Promote the program within the community.
  2. To adhere to professionalism in representing the organization at all times and maintain good communications.
  3. Maintain professionalism at all times.


  1. Adhere to the Policies and Procedures as set by the ONWA.
  2. Representation on committees as required for the enhancement and benefits of ONWA’s programs.
  3. To network and promote ONWA and all ONWA related programs. Maintain good communication.
  4. Maintain professionalism at all times.
  5. The completion of functions outlined in the description and the achievement of goals set to a high level.
  6. Attendance and conduct at work according to the requirements of the Association’s Personnel Policy.
  7. 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 the Branch Manager for the proper completion of the functions outlined in the job description.

ONWA is committed and legally obligated (via Ontario Public Health Directives and Regulations) to implement measures to protect its clients, staff and other stakeholders from COVID-19. To comply with its legal obligations, ONWA has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy. Exemptions will be made for those with a valid medical exemption; proof of the exemption will be required

 Indigenous Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

As Indigenous leaders, ONWA is continuing full operations including hiring, while working from home, as supporting our community members is a priority.  ONWA is scheduling all interviews, providing all training, onboarding and orientation for new employees, through the use of virtual tools.  We will continue to accommodate remote and home based work arrangements in an effort to keep our ONWA employees healthy and safe

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