Professional Female Mentor - Foster Care Youth 4.2018
Make a Difference in the Community, Join Friends of the Children!
Friends of the Children is seeking a talented Professional Female Mentor (Friend) with experience working with youth from high risk environments, and a strong knowledge of the child welfare system, to join our diverse team of dedicated and passionate professionals. This position will serve on a team of professional mentors dedicated to serving children enrolled in our program through a partnership with the Department of Human Services.
Friends of the Children’s mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty for the highest priority youth in our community. We do this through a 12 ½ year program that emphasizes development of socioemotional assets and the skills to succeed in postsecondary programs and sustainable careers.
Friends of the Children is at an exciting point in our trajectory. We have completed a year-long racial equity initiative, in partnership with the Center for Equity & Inclusion, and are poised to transform our organization through the development and implementation of a staff-driven equity action plan. Additionally, we have just launched a five-year strategic plan that sharpens our programmatic focus on supporting long-term self-sufficiency for our program graduates. We are committed to our community, to equal employment opportunity, and to diversity in our workplace.
A Friend works intensively with 8-10 youth as a positive adult role model to develop a caring, trusting and sustained relationship with each youth.
For each youth, a Friend will:
- Set positive expectations.
- Nurture and promote their strengths, talents, and abilities.
- Help assure physical and emotional well-being.
- Teach life and academic skills.
- Provide enrichment activities.
- Model responsible behavior
Friends work both one-on-one and in group settings with each of their youth for about four hours per week. A Friend will fully document all youth service efforts and participate in an ongoing reflection, observation, and evaluation process.
A Friend must also know, understand, honor and support the organization’s mission, vision, values, principles and policies, and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.
Core Job Accountabilities:
- Develop and sustain a long term, caring, trusting and accepting relationship with each youth
- Spend time with each youth, one-on-one and in the classroom
- Develop, maintain and follow a Roadmap Goal Plan or Transition Plan for each youth
- Advocate for and empower each youth within the DHS Child Welfare system to promote youth wellbeing.
- Set realistic expectations and goals based on each youth’s strengths, talents, abilities and needs
- Teach life skills and healthy habits to contribute both to basic development and learning, and to contribute to building positive self-esteem
- Develop a talent/skill/area of interest with each youth to help develop positive self-esteem and experience growing confidence
- Provide enrichment resources and activities which include opportunities for cultural awareness, diversity and community service
- Contribute to youth acquiring behavioral management skills, tolerance, respect for others, courtesies and compassion
- Develop positive relationships with families, teachers and others involved in each youth’s life
- Reinforce basic academic skills and learning
- Model and promote good problem solving and decision making skills
- Participate in the programming and resources available through the organization, effectively utilizing program resources to meet the needs of each youth
- Maintain spending within budgetary guidelines
- Complete, distribute and collect time summaries, activity journals, short term plans, expense reports and evaluation materials accurately and in a timely manner
- Attend and actively participate in team meetings and staff functions
- Provide information and support to development team and related activities as needed
- Fulfill other responsibilities as required.
Essential Skills and Abilities:
- Ability to relate to youth and to develop and sustain trusting, supportive relationships with them
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Demonstrated ability to work with youth in varied capacities and settings to help them learn and grow
- Ability to cultivate trusting relationships with youth, caregivers, teachers and community members
- Ability to navigate complex government systems and communicate with all systems youth is actively involved in.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and communicate appropriately within the workplace
- Ability to use creativity and initiative in planning activities to continually develop youth
- Ability to work independently in diverse environments with limited supervision
- Ability to work as a team player
- Ability to manage several concurrent issues and solve problems effectively exercising appropriate discretion and judgment
- Ability to set goals and develop plans to meet those goals to ensure the development of each youth
- Ability to complete administrative tasks accurately and on time
- Ability to handle high mobility and driving demands safely and with good judgment
- Strong written and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management skills
- Basic computer and keyboarding skills, proficiency with e-mail systems, familiarity with MS Outlook and Access (or other database applications);
- Ability to exercise good judgment independently, in various situations and environments, and under varying levels of stress.
Education and Experience Required:
To meet the minimum requirements, candidates should have an Associate’s degree plus at least four years youth work experience. A Bachelor’s degree plus at least one year of youth work experience is preferred. Mentoring experience with youth from high risk environments preferred. Bilingual/bicultural, second language speaking candidates strongly preferred.
Additional Job Requirements:
- Maintain current driver’s license, good driving record, and vehicle insurance
- Maintain First Aid/CPR certification
- Transport youth in personal vehicle as required for mentoring activities; we reimburse for mileage.
This is a full-time, exempt position. Work hours vary but are generally 10:00am – 7:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday; flexibility is essential. Due to the nature of a Friend’s role, the work hours are somewhat nontraditional, and include late afternoon and evening work. We recognize that each Friend’s daily work schedule will vary due to the uniqueness of the role and the needs of the individual youth being served. Each Friend is expected to exercise appropriate discretion in this regard. During the school year, the general work week is Tuesday through Saturday, with Sunday and Monday as days off. During the summer, and for spring and winter breaks, many Friends work Monday through Friday.
The Program requires that you provide direct and indirect service to each of your assigned youth both in- and outside of school for an average of four hours each week, although how you accomplish that is at your discretion within established Program guidelines.
Annual salary starts at $35,000. Friends of the Children offers a comprehensive benefits package for all of our employees.