Foster America Fellow - Strategy & Partnerships

Posted by
Foster America
Denver, CO

Foster America

Published 18 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).

Visionary Strategist to Advance Statewide Collaborative that Supports Strong Families

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 partnership with the Colorado Partnership For Thriving Families (“The Partnership”), we seek an exceptional systems thinker, strategic planner, and relationship manager to lead the local implementation of a bold effort to end child maltreatment and child fatalities across Colorado state. The Partnership is Colorado’s implementing partner for the national Thriving Families, Safer Children effort to fundamentally rethink child welfare by creating the conditions for strong, thriving families where children are free from harm.

Building on the Partnership’s year-long stakeholder engagement and planning process driven by a diverse coalition of public and private entities, the fellow will coordinate efforts with local demonstration sites to operationalize and ensure alignment with efforts to promote strong and healthy families across Colorado. The Partnership specifically focuses on strengthening families during pregnancy and through the first year of a child’s life, with the goal to expand up to age five.

About this Role: The fellow will work across organizational boundaries to implement a shared vision for statewide child maltreatment and fatality prevention. Leveraging strategic planning and systems thinking skills, the fellow will collaborate with a diverse coalition of county and state partners to draw on varied sources of information including stakeholder feedback, outcome measures, and financial data to drive decisions. This role will translate between child welfare, public health, and other social service leaders to discover and implement what types of supports are most effective in helping vulnerable families keep their children safely at home. 

The fellow will utilize expertise in partnership management, facilitation, and relational skills to provide project and change management support for demonstration sites in key counties, while developing mechanisms to engage all 64 counties in their efforts to launch prevention programming. The fellow will be skilled in 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: 

  • Support the implementation of at least three county-level demonstration projects that advance family wellbeing, while guiding all counties to advance their local efforts. 
  • Establish a system for outreach to recruit and engage all partnering sites across Colorado’s 64 counties.
  • Work with local demonstration sites to elevate family and community voice in all activities. 
  • Collaborating with Director of Strategic Initiatives, inspire cross-site learning and support vision alignment across The Partnership.
  • Develop plan to sustainably expand the movement for children <5.

About the agency: Under the inspiring leadership of Jade Woodard, ​​​​​​Illuminate Colorado’s mission is to strengthen families, organizations and communities to prevent child maltreatment. Illuminate harnesses the power of government, business, philanthropy and the non-profit sectors to effectively strengthen families. Illuminate serves as the backbone to the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families. This partnership works collaboratively across the state to create the conditions for strong families and communities where children are healthy, valued and thriving. The Partnership aims to significantly reduce child fatalities and child maltreatment for all children zero to five by positively and proactively supporting strong and healthy family formation. 

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 Executive Director Jade Woodard, this role will work closely with both the Illuminate Colorado and The Partnership leadership teams.
  • Join an inspirational team that is deeply dedicated to new ways of supporting children, families, and communities, ensuring counties are able to prioritize family wellbeing.
  • Alongside families, internal teams, and collaborating cross-sector agencies, lead county-level change efforts with the opportunity for statewide scale-up
  • Join the national Thriving Families movement, working on the cutting edge of building child and family wellbeing systems. 

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 
  • Experienced in strategic planning and complex project management
  • Able to navigate political environments, authentically engage diverse stakeholders, and build collaborative coalitions 
  • Experienced in continuous quality improvement, using data to understand and drive impact
  • Creative in developing unique solutions to complex problems 
  • Results-oriented, with a track record of leading change 
  • Flexible, 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 26th, 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.

Visionary Strategist to Advance Statewide Collaborative that Supports Strong Families

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.


Denver, CO

How to Apply

Please submit your application and cover letter on our website,

Please submit your application and cover letter on our website,

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