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Access Navigator (Designated) - Provincial Preschool Autism Services

IWK Health Centre
Nova Scotia
$33.9688 - $44.3956 /hour
Closing date
May 18, 2024

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Social Work
Contract Type

Req ID: 167897 
Department/Program: Provincial Preschool Autism Services, Provincial Preschool Autism Services 
Location: Flexible within the Province   
Type of Employment: Permanent Hourly FT (100% FTE)  x 1 position(s)
Start Date: ASAP
Union Status: NSGEU Hlthcare, Healthcare Bargaining Unit
Compensation: $33.9688 $44.3956 /hour
Closing Date: Open Until Filled 



This position is designated for applicants who identify as Indigenous. You must self-identify at the application stage.
Successful external applicants will be eligible to receive a one-time Signing Bonus. In turn, a Return of Service will be required.
Relocation assistance of up to $5,000 may be included for those that qualify. In turn, a Return of Service will be required for a (2) two-year period.


IWK Health is a respected academic health sciences centre, providing tertiary and primary care for two million children, youth, adults and families each year across the Atlantic region. We have a team of approximately 4000employees, physicians, volunteers and learners at sites across Nova Scotia. People build careers with IWK Health with our focus on training and mentorship opportunities. We recognize each other’s talent and celebrate our successes. We collaborate in modern facilities or virtually from home, align our work to our values, and enjoy access to enhanced benefits and wellness programs. We are proud to support our patients, families and communities and are grateful for the generous donor support we receive. 


Promoting an anti-racist environment, and calling out discrimination as we work and provide care, is important to us. We are located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people. Working in Mi’kma’ki and providing care to those across Atlantic Canada is a shared privilege with the original inhabitants who have lived here for many thousands of years prior to colonization. There are 13 First Nation communities across Nova Scotia, and more than 50 historic African Nova Scotian communities who also have a long, deep, and complex history dating back over 400 years. We have the highest percentage of people with disabilities in the country. Nova Scotia has the highest proportions of transgender and non-binary people than any other province or territory in the country. We are active in our work to eliminate discrimination, but have more work to do to build that trust, acknowledge our biases and reduce the barriers our diverse communities face. We want IWK Health to be a safe and supportive space of equity and belonging in the care we provide and the employment we offer. We welcome all interested persons who self-identify as Indigenous, Black/African Nova Scotians, Persons of Colour, Immigrants/Newcomers, Persons with Disabilities, 2SLGBTQIA+ to apply to support our goal for our workforce to be representative of the patients, families, and communities that we care for at all job levels.

The Provincial Preschool Autism Services

The Provincial Preschool Autism Service (PPAS) is a partnership between IWK Health (IWK), Nova Scotia Health (NSH), Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia (HSNS) and Autism Nova Scotia (Autism NS). Based upon an extensive review and engagement, autism services in Nova Scotia are in the process of transitioning to a needs-based model responsive to the individual needs of children and their families. It will provide person and family-centred services to preschoolers across Nova Scotia who are suspected of or have a diagnosis of autism. The new and enhanced services will include a greater number and range of interventions and supports available for children and families. Examples include autism clinical intake and care coordination, family and health professional education, diagnostic assessments, QuickStart parent coaching toddler program, a 12-month intensive intervention for children with the greatest social communication and behavior needs, autism interventions by interprofessional teams, and transition to school. The intent is to create an efficient, sustainable, and integrated continuum of health services for preschool-age children with autism where services and supports are matched to the needs of children and their families.

The Opportunity

The Access Navigator (Preschool Autism Resource Coordinator) is part of a team in the Clinical Intake & Care Coordination stream of service and the single point of contact for clients and families and service providers at the point of referral.  Reporting to the assigned PPAS manager and supervised by the Clinical Leader, Clinical Intake and Care Coordination, the Access Navigator (Preschool Autism Resource Coordinator) is responsible for:

•    Being the first point of contact for families contacting PPAS 

•    Exploring child and family needs upon entry into PPAS and in reviewing their goals/priorities as children and family needs change.

•    Assisting in matching child/family needs with the services available in PPAS.  There is an on-going interaction with the clinicians and administrative staff in PPAS foundational education, intervention, and diagnostic streams of service to support a coordinated continuum of care and with community-based organizations, partners, and clinicians involved in providing autism  services to children and families . 

•    Keeping timely and accurate records of navigation and coordination activities for the purpose of team communication and care coordination

•    Developing and maintaining a professional relationship with families throughout their preschool years and supporting the transition to school process.  

•    Supporting access to school-age diagnostic services as appropriate 

•    Participating in planning, development, and ongoing evaluation/quality improvement. 

This position ensures that clients/families, partners and referring and community providers experience a respectful and consistently high quality of service as children enter and navigate through and within PPAS. The position supporting Clinical Intake is critical to create and maintain client/family, provider and public confidence in PPAS intent, processes and integrity. Principles of equity, diversity, inclusivity, anti-racism, and reconciliation will be required to be embedded within the work of Access Navigators (Preschool Autism Resource Coordinators) to ensure all families have equitable access to culturally safe and inclusive services. The incumbent must have strong communication and relationship building skills to foster productive interactions with families, clinical teams, and partners. 
The position is provincial in scope – all Access Navigators (Preschool Autism Resource Coordinators) will have responsibility to have broad understanding of clinical and community-based services and supports across the province (all health zones) to support navigation to local resources and care coordination functions.

Hours of Work

75 hours bi-weekly
Capacity to work flexible hours, allowing for extra travel time and overnight stays
Capacity to work flexible hours to accommodate service needs (evenings, weekends)

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