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The Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence is a partnership between the University of Washington – School of Social Work, Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families, Eastern Washington University – School of Social Work, University of Washington in Tacoma – School of Social Work and Criminal Justice, and the University of Washington – School of Social Work – Partners for Our Children (the Partnership). The vision of the Partnership is to join as one entity to support the readiness and continued learning of foster and relative caregivers and the child welfare workforce with the intention of achieving the best possible outcomes for Washington’s children and families.
The School of Social Work has an outstanding opportunity for a Volunteer Mentor Coordinator.
The Caregiver Retention Education and Support Services Volunteer Mentor Coordinator (CaRESVMC) will be responsible for recruiting and sustaining a skilled network of volunteers serving caregivers over various CaRES programs and service elements of the Retention and Support contract, which is a new service for the Alliance continuum of service and is contracted through 6/30/2022, with the potential to be extended for an additional 2 years before being rebid. The goal of the DCYF Retention and Support contract is to assist new foster parents to move through the licensing process in an expeditious manner, and to support current foster parents and relative caregivers to improve retention outcomes, for improved service to children in care.
The CaRESVMC will; • Serve as CaRES lead for recruiting and sustaining a strong statewide network of volunteers across CaRES services; • Directly supervise volunteers and ensure that services they provide are culturally relevant and meet local cultural needs; • Develop and implement an effective network of support groups in local communities throughout the state; • Build and maintain resource guides for communities throughout the state to support caregivers and the children they serve; • Approach local businesses and organizations to support caregivers needs for community respite activities; • Coordinate with sub-contractors who are providing pre- and post-licensure and kinship care mentoring and other supports; • Enter and maintain program data resulting from CaRES volunteer services; • Actively collaborate with DCYF Licensing Division and other DCYF staff
The CaRESVMC works within the Partnership to accomplish its vision and values, and works within the framework set out in the contract's scope of work. The CaRESVMC participates in team efforts to improve outcomes for children in care through timely and efficient foster parent licensure; increasing community and cultural connections; promoting diversity and supporting caregivers with a variety of individual and group supports. The CaRESVMC actively collaborates with DCYF and other community partners to establish and maintain an effective, impactful statewide network of culturally diverse caregiver services. The CaRESVMC should demonstrate; genuine curiosity, eagerness to listen and to learn from the diverse experience of others; extensive experience and knowledge of the needs of licensed foster parents and kinship caregivers; skills building and sustaining volunteer services and programs; thorough knowledge of the foster parent licensing requirements and applicable RCW/WAC; ability to identify and address barriers to continued licensure; active engagement with diverse caregiver populations to ensure culturally appropriate services are delivered. Skills in program implementation and contract coordination, and data management /reporting are also needed in this position, for this program to be successful.
The CaRESVMC represents the Alliance and the University of Washington School of Social Work to professionals, prospective and licensed foster parents, other volunteers, kinship providers, those with lived experience in child and family serving systems, community partners, and DCYF. This role must demonstrate skill and experience; mentoring and actively supporting caregivers in ways that lead to improved retention over time; understanding the child welfare system and successfully caring for high needs children in homes and the community. It is important that this program, administered by the Alliance, show improvement in foster parent retention, as well as increasing foster parent commitment to the family reunification process, which will lead to better outcomes for children in care. Expanding the support provided by the Alliance opens up future opportunities to improve the lives of children, youth and families, throughout the state.
Approximately 60%; • Lead CaRES efforts to build and sustain a statewide network of volunteer mentors with current or previous experience parenting children placed in out of home care through DCYF, for a variety of key CaRES services including; o Pre-licensure mentoring for those in the licensing process o Mentoring for newly licensed foster parents, kinship caregivers and suitable other caregivers with first placements o Matching newly licensed foster parents with experienced foster parent mentors for support, including, but not limited to, respite services o “Warm Line” volunteers to support caregivers during times of stress when others are not available o Volunteer mentors to support licensed and kinship providers over their time as a caregivers with a focus on the first two years of licensure as well as others requesting mentorships o Volunteers providing caregiver support groups as facilitators, child care providers and overall support to paid staff providing support groups • Serve as CaRES lead to develop and sustain a network of in person and virtual support groups in local communities throughout the state; facilitate support groups; coordinate training events and guest speakers ; gather survey and other data and use data to improve support group processes and outcomes; market and promote support groups; coordinate child care for support groups in collaboration with the CaRES Child Care Coordinator; develop and implement kinship specific support groups meeting the unique needs of kinship providers; support the development of "While You Wait" support groups in collaboration with the CaRES Licensing Coordinator • Directly supervise volunteers. Ensure that volunteer services are culturally relevant and represent the values of belonging, respect and strength-based practices that reflect caregiver communities and the communities of relevance for the children in their care • Build and maintain resource guides for communities throughout the state to support caregivers and the children they serve including; used clothing stores; food banks; DCYF Licensing Division licensors by office; dependency and family court locations; Women, Infant and Child (WIC) offices; foster parent and foster child advocacy organizations; Kinship Navigators; early learning centers; Tribal resources for children and youth to access cultural events; connections and a variety of other resources • Approach local businesses and organizations to support caregivers with donations to support respite activities • Develop and implement various caregiver engagement strategies to better support and retain caregivers and community • Assist in the coordination and facilitation of local foster parent recognition and appreciation events • Represent the Alliance and DCYF in a positive and strength-based manner • Coordinate with sub-contractors who are providing pre- and post-foster parent licensure and kinship care mentoring and other supports • Support the development of licensed foster parent and kinship caregiver welcome packets • Work in collaboration with other CaRES staff to receive, review and respond to DCYF lists of kinship caregivers within established time frames.
Approximately 35%; • Enter, maintain and report on high volumes of data related to volunteer services provided throughout CaRES programs and services; produce monthly, quarterly and annual reports as assigned, with a focus on the position’s areas of specialty • Generate aggregated data to create dashboards and summaries for program analysis and program improvement • Develop and implement standard operating procedures for all aspects of volunteer-based CaRES support services • Provide reports on observed trends, strengths and needs of volunteers providing on-going care for caregivers and those they serve • Direct caregivers to resources that may help resolve issues between caregivers and DCYF • Provide support for other CaRES services as needed, including staffing for licensing support, initial license and first placement support, attendance at Orientation and RDS meetings, the "Warm Line" and FIRST program services, as assigned • Collaborate with the entire CaRES team and Alliance Partnership to better meet the needs of the caregiver community • Support caregivers to work with biological parents in a strength-based manner that actively supports family reunification
Approximately 5%: Other duties as assigned
REQUIRED: Bachelors degree in Social Work, Education or related field, Recent licensure as a state licensed foster parent and/or experience as a kinship care provider, and two years of relevant work experience • Experience supporting licensed foster parents and kinship providers • Experience building and maintaining volunteer-based services and programs • Experience working with at-risk populations • Experience entering, managing and assessing data • Working knowledge and experience working with programs that address child safety, permanency and well being and working with families that may have multiple stressors • Ability to approach direct service and program development from a strengths-based perspective and to view caregiver families and families of origin in a family-centered, strength-based manner • Demonstrated skills in building and maintaining relationships with internal and external stakeholders and community engagement within diverse communities • Demonstrated organizational, oral, written and interpersonal skills • Ability to develop trusting relationships • Ability to work a flexible schedule which includes evenings and at least one weekend a month • Excellent listening, case management, and conflict resolution skills • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Teams, etc.)
Equivalent education and/or experience may substitute for minimum requirements.
DESIRED: • Experience working in collaboration with DCYF Licensing Division and other DCYF leadership • Public speaking skills • Experience developing and managing statewide programs and services • Experience working within university-based programs and policies; ability to work collaboratively with faculty, staff and university administration • Bilingual/Multilingual
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