Irish Foster Care Association: National Helpline Support Service Co-ordinator

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National Helpline Support Service Co-ordinator

Job Description

Role: National Helpline Support Service Co-ordinator
Full-time (30 hours a week)
Location: Based at IFCA Office, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Reports to: IFCA CEO (this may be subject to change)
Works with: IFCA key stakeholders

Who we are

The Irish Foster Care Association is the representative body for foster care in Ireland. Child-centred and rights-based, IFCA promotes family-based solutions for children and young people in ‘out of home’ care. We are committed to supporting excellence in foster care in Ireland so that children have the best chances in life. We provide information, support, and learning opportunities for all those involved in foster care and we promote the development of positive change for children in alternative care. IFCA is an independent, membership organisation and have a role in advocating and campaigning for change.

Mission Statement
The Irish Foster Care Association is the representative body for foster care in Ireland. Child-centred and rights-based, IFCA promotes excellence in foster care for all those involved.

IFCA Values

  • Excellence in foster care for all those involved
  • Open, respectful and transparent ways of working
  • Equality and inclusion
  • A partnership approach between all those involved in foster care.

IFCA Support Service

The Irish Foster Care Association’s National Helpline Support Service offers independent guidance and support in all aspects in respect of foster care, and forms part of IFCA’s wider services to those involved in foster care.

The aim of the service is to offer support across a wide range of issues which impact on those involved in fostering and foster care. The service responds to callers who seek information and guidance through the National Helpline Support Service which is offered from IFCA’s office in Tallaght daily, from 11.00- 3.00pm, and which is delivered by a team of skilled and knowledgeable support volunteers who are supported by the coordinator within the service. The service also offers the support of National Advocates and National Support Volunteers to foster families where they require greater levels of support for complex issues in foster care which impact on them in their fostering role. The National Advocate Service is managed by the Advocate Coordinator and both coordinators work very closely together for the delivery of the overall service.

Reports to: The National Helpline Support Service Coordinator reports to the CEO. (This may be subject to change)

National Helpline Support Service Coordinator

The Coordinator is responsible for the day to day oversight and delivery of IFCA’s National Helpline Support Service through supporting the work of the staff and volunteers to ensure they function effectively through the implementation of IFCA’s best practice guidance, policies and procedures and within the overall objectives of IFCA’s Strategic Plan.

Key Duties and Responsibilities


  • Deliver a high-quality National Helpline Support Service for IFCA which offers support and guidance to those involved in foster care
  • Work in close collaboration with the Advocacy Coordinator and CEO in setting of relevant targets as identified in the Strategic Plan
  • Provide regular supervision to staff which is consistent with IFCA’s supervision policy
  • Ensure the continued support and supervision for volunteers
  • In collaboration with colleagues, develop and implement a strategy for the recruitment, support and development of volunteers
  • Ensure volunteers have appropriate training and professional registration as required
  • Maintain appropriate records in respect of all aspects of the service
  • Provide training and supports to aid in the delivery of the overall service
  • Lead staff and volunteers in the quality delivery of a comprehensive National Helpline Support Service
  • Maintain records relating to all aspects of the work
  • Make recommendations regarding role adjustment and performance management of volunteers
  • Ensure Garda Vetting of volunteers where required
  • Contribute proactively and respectively to IFCA’s wider team and contribute to the planning and implementation of the IFCA Strategic Plan.


  • Plan the aims, objectives and priorities of the Service
  • Develop policies and procedures, information and training to all involved in the support service relevant to the role
  • Develop and deliver information for foster care as identified
  • Develop and implement a strategy for the development of the Support Service consistent with the IFCA Strategic Plan
  • Conduct ongoing evaluation of the service delivered by volunteers and implement improvements as necessary
  • Strategically develop the programme and review and update systems and materials to reflect the interests of members in changing circumstances
  • Oversee the design, implementation and evaluation of programme plans
  • Ensure all data is captured on the service CRM system
  • Train volunteers in the use of the service CRM system
  • Prepare an annual service report and other reports as required
  • Identify trends arising for the national support helpline data to inform strategic direction
  • Seek to inform the service using best practice and drawing from research
  • Maintain availability of volunteers and performance levels through quality volunteer best practices
  • Actively participate in effective organisational communication systems
  • Represent IFCA as requested by the CEO on working groups to represent the organisation’s views in relation to foster care
  • Develop strategic alliances and partnerships in furthering the values and developmental priorities of IFCA in relation to the brief
  • Develop and maintain pro-active and respectful working relationships with external shareholders
  • Furnish the CEO with regular operational and strategic progress reports
  • Ensure the implementation of the organisations commitment to quality assured policies and services
  • Promote and enhance the organisations commitment to continuously improve the standards of service and development of initiatives to members and funders, as appropriate
  • Engage pro-actively in supervision
  • Maintain a good and safe working environment
  • Carry out any other duties as deemed reasonable and appropriate by the CEO.


  • Knowledge of policy, legislation and systems which inform foster care
  • Experience of supporting and retaining volunteers
  • Experience of working with multiple key stakeholders
  • To respond effectively and confidently with challenging circumstances, queries and emotional complexities.
  • Excellent report writing skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Experience of case management and supervising staff
  • Proficiency in IT systems including CRM systems
  • Working as part of a team

Experience & Qualifications Essential:

  • Qualification is social work, social science, counselling, psychology.
  • Experience of working in, or knowledge of the field of Alternative Care
  • Experience of liaising with key stakeholders


  • Experience of working in a phone support helpline service
  • Experience of working with volunteers
  • Experience in using data base (CRM) systems

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Full-time 30 hours per week
  2. Location: IFCA Office, Unit 23, Village Green, Tallaght, Dublin 24
  3. Garda Vetting and attendance at Induction training is required
  4. Two satisfactory references of which one should be from the current employer
  5. Access to car and hold a full Irish driving license.

Salary Scale:

Salary: €33,792- €39,333 (8 points) Pro Rata

Please email your CV and cover letter to:

The closing date is 5pm, Monday 22nd April 2019

Shortlisting will be applied, and interviews will take place on the week beginning 29th April 2019


Dublin 24

Expiry date: 


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