Foster America Fellow - Organizational Strategy & Human Centered Design

Posted by
Foster America
San Mateo, CA

Foster America

Published 23 days ago

April 26, 2021
March 5, 2021
$80,000 - $90,000The Foster America Fellowship is an 18-month commitment ($120,000 - $135,000, depending on location).

Organizational Strategist to Design Integrated System of Supports for Foster Youth 

Foster America fellows leverage their diverse professional backgrounds as they assume leadership roles at child welfare agencies, improving outcomes for our nation’s most vulnerable children and families. In collaboration with Tipping Point, we are recruiting and placing well-supported Foster America fellows across the Bay Area to build bridges between public child welfare, education and human service agencies. This team of fellows will promote equitable outcomes for kids who are or have been in foster care, and develop infrastructure to improve public sector collaboration. Fellows will promote innovation within their host sites while contributing to a team structure that develops ongoing learning across counties to create more equitable outcomes for Bay Area foster youth. 

About this Role: In partnership with the San Mateo County Children & Family Services, we seek an exceptional change manager, systems thinker, and relationship builder to lead the implementation of a bold effort to align supports that promote equitable outcomes for foster youth. This person will work with the leadership team to develop an underlying strategy that unites multi-system initiatives under a shared vision and implementation plan with a special focus on the Foster Youth Education and Employment Services Program (FYEESP).

The fellow will utilize their expertise in organizational development, project management, and communication to develop the strategic plan for CFS’s youth supports alignment, ensuring efforts are on track with all the required structures, people, and processes in place. The fellow will be skilled in participatory stakeholder engagement, with a demonstrated ability to quickly build trusted relationships, synthesize ideas into plans for action, and hold others accountable for their commitments. 

Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:

  • Develop fluency in the many initiatives under development, including but not limited to Families First, Trauma-informed Care, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) work, connecting the dots and pathways between and across.
  • Work with FYEESP partners to develop program infrastructure and coordination to improve client experience, including the provision of technical assistance to partners and developing performance evaluations.
  • Lead the integration of the FYEESP work with the agency’s broader systems change initiatives, ensuring system-wide alignment.

About the agency: Under the progressive leadership of John Fong, San Mateo’s Children and Family Services works to protect the welfare of children; improve the lifelong stability of children and youth; and improve the health and strength of families. The Foster Youth Education and Employment Services Program (FYEESP) seeks to improve the educational and employment outcomes of foster children, youth, and young adults. Through a collaborative approach between partner agencies and community organizations FYEESP provides education and career services with the goal of supporting successful transition into adulthood. 

About the fellowship: The Foster America Fellowship is an opportunity to radically improve the lives of our nation’s most historically exploited by designing and implementing innovative solutions to some of the foster care system’s most complex problems. Fellows apply the skills they have cultivated in other sectors as they transition to full-time, 18-month positions at child welfare and human service agencies. In their roles, fellows focus on high-impact reform projects to create better and more equitable outcomes for children, families, and communities affected by child abuse, neglect, trauma, and poverty. Each role is designed to have an immediate and lasting local impact while also informing solutions that can be scaled nationally. Foster America fellows receive extensive training and professional development with a cohort of peers, positioning them to thrive and grow as social change leaders during the fellowship and beyond. 

Fellowship support includes:

  • Cutting-edge training focusing on leadership, liberatory design, child welfare context, racial equity, innovation, and more
  • An influential network of purpose-driven professionals including fellows, Foster America staff, and the child welfare field’s most innovative leaders as faculty
  • Individualized project and leadership coaching, mentorship, and support
  • Career development for alumni who pursue positions in child welfare and related sectors 

Position Highlights:

  • Reporting directly to Director John Fong, the fellow will work within the executive leadership team.
  • Join an inspirational team dedicated to improved ways of supporting vulnerable youth.
  • Alongside providers, internal teams, and agency leadership, this fellowship will greatly influence the long-term structure of youth programming.
  • Lead the full systems design process from generating insights from existing services, piloting new structures, to systematizing efforts for streamlined scale.
  • Collaborate with a network of fellows and child welfare agencies working together to improve outcomes for older youth across the Bay Area. 

Compelling Candidates are:

  • Committed to our mission of improving the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children, families, and communities
  • Experienced professionals, with at least 7 years of progressive leadership roles
  • Able to see the forest AND the trees, holding many moving aspects of a project while sifting through the weeds of policy / data
  • Able to engage and influence diverse stakeholders, building effective and unified coalitions
  • Able to synthesize complex information and turn it into concrete action.
  • Results-oriented, with a track record of leading change
  • Flexible, adaptable, proactive, and persistent
  • Curious and eager learners
  • Humble and self-reflective 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Fellows must have U.S. work authorization.
  • Fellows must be able to work full-time for at least 18 months starting April 12th, 2021.
  • Fellows must work on-site at their host agency.
  • Fellows must travel quarterly to attend training sessions that last from three to five days.
  • Fellows must pass all host agency employer requirements, which may include background checks, drug screening, and civil service exams. 

Frequently cited statistics show that underrepresented groups apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Foster America encourages you to break that statistic and apply. No one ever meets 100% of the qualifications. We look forward to your application.

Organizational Strategist to Design Integrated System of Supports for Foster Youth 

Foster America fellows leverage their diverse professional backgrounds as they assume leadership roles at child welfare agencies, improving…

Details at a glance

  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional


Competitive health benefits, dental, vision, 401k, commuter benefits, parental leave, twelve federal holidays observed

Competitive health benefits, dental, vision, 401k, commuter benefits, parental leave, twelve federal holidays observed


San Mateo, CA

How to Apply

Please apply on our website,

Please apply on our website,

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