Irish Foster Care Association: Support Helpline Project Worker (Part-Time)

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Support Helpline Project Worker

Role: IFCA Support Helpline Project Worker
Part-Time (20 hours a week)
Location: Based at IFCA Office, Tallaght, Dublin 24.
Reports to: IFCA Helpline Coordinator
Works with: IFCA Advocates, IFCA Support Service Project Workers and IFCA Helpline Volunteers

Mission Statement

The Irish Foster Care Association is a ‘rights based’, child centred organisation which promotes family-based solutions for children and young people in ‘out of home care’. The Irish Foster Care Association believes in the highest standard of excellence in all foster care services and is committed to achieving its goal through advocacy, support, education and working in a spirit of partnership and co-operation.

The Irish Foster Care Association believes every child has the right to a caring and functioning family. Where this is not possible with their birth family, IFCA believes they have a right to a substitute family.

The Irish Foster Care Association is a Company Limited by Guarantee with a Charity Number.

IFCA Values

  • Working in a respectful, open and transparent way.
  • Equality and inclusiveness and a non-judgemental approach to our work.
  • Promotion of a partnership approach between all parties involved in the foster care system.
  • Collective responsibility in our work.

IFCA Support Service

The Irish Foster Care Association’s National Support Service offers independent and professional support in fostering situations. The aim of the service is to offer the best support during difficult times to make the process clearer and easier for all involved.

IFCA operates a Telephone Helpline from its office in Tallaght, Monday to Friday, from 11.00am – 3.00pm, providing a first point of contact to foster carers and all those with a query or question about fostering. The Telephone Helpline can provide practical information and advice regarding any aspect of fostering as well as a supportive listening ear.

Where an initial query is identified as being complex in nature, the case is referred to IFCA’s National Advocacy Service. The advocacy team is comprised of a combination of advocate staff and National Volunteers who are located in areas across the country and who support IFCA members.

Support Helpline Project Worker

The Helpline Project Worker will assist in the day to day running of the support service, assisting in the daily duties and the implementation of a quality support service. Primary tasks will include:

Helpline Support

  • To support IFCA’s helpline volunteers (11am to 3pm), answering queries from both members and non-members by phone and email.
  • To provide daily assistance to all helpline volunteers with training, IT issues, administrative tasks.
  • Offer practical advice and information to callers relating to all aspects of fostering.
  • Provide solution-focused non-judgmental emotional support to callers to the service and signposting to other relevant areas of support where necessary.
  • Assist service users with understanding relevant policies and procedures, national standards etc.
  • Provide a level of continuity for regular/frequent callers to the service.
  • Assist the IFCA Helpline Coordinator in leading volunteers and staff in the quality delivery of a comprehensive information and support service.
  • Ensuring cases that are generated through the service are effectively handled, the appropriate service delivered, and timely assistance given.
  • To assist in ensuring helpline volunteers are kept abreast of all organisational updates, systems and any other supports as required.

Advocacy Support

  • Identify appropriate referrals for case advocates.
  • Partake in research activity where required.
  • Support Regional Advocacy Work and assist case management if necessary.

Key Duties and Responsibilities (General):

  • Contribute to the organisations commitment to continuously improve the standards of service.
  • Ongoing project work and research into assigned programmes.
  • To engage with supervision.
  • To provide reports when necessary.
  • Maintain records as agreed with the IFCA Coordinator.
  • Follow all IFCA policies and procedures as advised in the delivery of the programme.
  • Contribute to a good and safe working environment.
  • Carry occasional other duties as deemed appropriate by the IFCA Coordinator.
  • Assist in compiling records that contribute to statistical analysis.
  • Administrative and occasional research work relating to ongoing projects.


  • To assume responsibility for checking emails, phone messages and maintenance of the database folder daily.
  • Record all data on IFCA’’s CRM system
  • Keep accurate and up to date records.
  • Use systems appropriate to the maintaining of records.
  • Actively participate in effective organisational communication systems.
  • Maintain the volunteer Helpline rota.


  • Attend regular team meetings.
  • Contribute to team meetings and the overall work of the team.


  • Good time management skills and dependability.
  • Good administration skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral/written communication skills.
  • Ability to engage emphatically with individuals who are experiencing difficulties by phone.
  • Ability to work within a team and enthuse colleagues.
  • An understanding of the process and content of support services and a passion for quality and innovation in the service.
  • Ability to work independently and take the initiative within the operational parameters set by the Helpline Coordinator and wider management team.
  • Understanding of information technology (Word/Excel/Outlook).
  • An understanding /interest in foster care and a strong commitment to the strategic goals of the Irish Foster Care Association.

Experience and Qualifications


  • A professional qualification in Social Work/Counselling/Psychotherapy/ or related field (Social Care, Child Care, etc) NFQ Level 8.
  • An ability to work effectively with both volunteers and professionals.
  • Experience of working to promote best quality standards of practice.
  • Evidence of capacity to cope efficiently with a challenging workload.


  • Knowledge of Case management.
  • A knowledge and/or interest in fostering and the foster care system, childcare or related work (e.g. Social Work, Residential Care, or Counselling
  • Relevant professional qualifications or certification showing evidence of continuing professional development.
  • Experience in Counselling/Psychotherapy.
  • Evidence of experience in the provision of support services work.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. Part-time post, working 20 hours a week - flexibility required.
  2. Location: IFCA National Office, Tallaght, Dublin 24, with occasional travel; (full drivers licence required).
  3. Garda Vetting and attendance at Induction training is required.
  4. Satisfactory references of which one should be from the current employer.

Salary Scale: €24,041- €34,391 (8 points) pro-rata

Please email your CV and cover letter to Deirdre Fennelly, at
The closing date is 5pm, Monday 29th July
Shortlisting will be applied, and interviews will take place the week beginning the 12th September


Dublin 24

Expiry date: 


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