ORGANIZATION: First Place for Youth is an innovative and entrepreneurial nonprofit organization whose programs proactively challenge the trends among former foster youth by building self-esteem, self-reliance, and forging the skills necessary for successful independent living. Focusing on housing stability, educational support, economic security, improved health, and connection to community, First Place programs are considered a national model for supporting youth in their transition out of foster care. With these critical resources, youth are significantly more likely to overcome homelessness, poverty, low educational achievement, and poor health. Please visit http://www.firstplaceforyouth.org/ for more information.
JOB SUMMARY: The Youth Advocate provides comprehensive case management to youth living in the supported housing program, My First Place. The Advocate and client work in partnership to identify and attain goals in the areas of employment and education, self-sufficiency skills, health and wellness, relationships, professionalism and personal advocacy. The position requires carrying a caseload of, on average, 15 young adults, and work within a team that fosters positive transitions and impactful outcomes for participants. Advocates will spend most of their time out in field, meeting youth in their apartments, on the job, or out in the community.
- Create and deliver impactful service plans for youth that focus on achieving outcomes in the areas of education, employment, long-term housing, parenting, relationships and overall health
- Conduct one-hour weekly meetings with all youth assigned to caseload to help participants identify and accomplish short and long-term goals.
- Coordinate with referral agencies, identify community resources, track participants’ progress, and develop creative ways for participants to practice and strengthen their independent living skills.
- Conduct one-hour monthly roommate meetings to make sure that household bills are being paid, chores are shared evenly, and to address concerns and conflicts that may arise in each two-bedroom household.
- Help participants move into supported housing. This includes helping youth secure and transport furniture, shop for home necessities, and locate resources in their new community.
- Ensure that apartments meet minimum cleanliness standards by conducting bi-monthly apartment inspections.
- Support property management functions for the transitional housing program by acting as the link between program participants and the Housing Specialist.
- Distribute monthly grocery vouchers and transportation assistance to participants.
- Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and individual weekly supervision with Program Coordinator
- Enter all data on time and correctly to support program evaluation and outcomes tracking
- Ensure proper and timely documentation of services including written case notes
- Work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization and within respective department
- Other duties as assigned
- Master’s degree in related field preferred. Bachelor’s degree required
- Three years of experience working with at-risk youth, preferably current and former foster youth
- Experience working with youth who have mental health and substance abuse issues
- Experience in creating and delivering impactful service plans for participants
- High level of personal accountability for the quality and impact of work
- Excellent communication skills, professional demeanor, sound judgment, and strong organizational skills
- Strong clinical skills, and/or a desire to learn more about the effects of the child welfare system on the lives of youth and young adults
- Experience in youth development model, asset-based relationship building, and experience in motivating youth
- Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently
- Must have a dependable car, valid driver’s license, and proof of insurance
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, particularly Word and Excel.