Permanency Specialist/Adoption

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $42,000.00
Maximum: $48,000.00




2515 Wabash Avenue
Saint Paul
United States



Ampersand Families recruits and supports permanent families for older youth, and champions practices in adoption and permanency that restore belonging, dignity and hope. We are seeking experienced professionals who understand the profound impact that child welfare intervention has on the lives of children, youth and families. A successful candidate for this position will be curious about the many ways permanency work can restore belonging, dignity and hope. 


Ampersand Families is proud to be an employer of choice with an organizational culture of excellence that embraces humor, learning and collegial support. We employ professionals who are accountable for learning the skills, building the relationships and investing the time required to achieve and support real outcomes for youth, families and excellence in the programs designed to support them. 


Ampersand Families is committed to doing our part to create a more equitable child welfare system. To that end, Ampersand Families provides equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, nationality, ethnic background, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, marital status, socio-economic status, status with regard to public assistance, political affiliation, veteran status, other non-visible differences and other protected attributes. 



Ampersand Families’ programs and services focus almost exclusively on achieving permanency for older youth (10 years and older) in Minnesota’s child welfare system. Our approach to permanency work invites both prospective adoptive families and waiting youth to be deeply engaged in their own process. For youth, in particular, being part of decisions made on their behalf is a key component to meaningful permanency work. Permanency Specialists are the frontline to achieving permanency for youth and families. The rest of the agency supports the work of Permanency Specialists by strategically addressing systemic barriers to permanency for older youth, youth of color and sibling groups. An orientation of professionalism and humility that values continuous learning and commitment to give and receive consultation are requirements for successful employment at Ampersand Families.


Permanency Specialists provide the full spectrum of adoption services, including recruitment, training, home study and support of families as well as a broad array of child-specific recruitment, preparation and support services for youth. This is a professional position requiring significant amount of self-direction, irregular hours and travel throughout the state of Minnesota. 



  • Provide child-specific recruitment services using strategies that prepare and engage youth to find their voice in permanency decisions being made on their behalf.
  • Provide the full spectrum of adoption services to families, including recruitment, training, home study, comprehensive matching and transition services and post adoption support.
  • Engaged participation an initial on-boarding period, which will include partnering with more experienced peers in order to develop a deep understanding of the role and the practice orientation of Ampersand Families. For the first six months to twelve months, the Permanency Specialist is expected be present in the office whenever s/he is not in the field meeting with youth, families or professional partners.
  • Frequent and in-depth consultation with peers to develop strategies, promote creativity and maintain balance in this position which has a potential for high stress and emotional investment.
  • Build relationships with the other professionals involved in the lives of each youth, and leverage those relationships to achieve permanency. 
  • Commit to taking time and asking questions in order to develop a deep understanding of the social and systemic influences that contribute to disparities and over-representation of older youth and youth of color in the child welfare system.
  • Establish positive relationships with foster parents and other care providers, providing tools for them to act as a bridge for youth during the adoption process.
  • Permanency Specialists spend most of their time in the field – up to 30% of their time involve visits that require driving to meet with youth and families who may be in virtually any part of the state.


  • Master’s Degree in social work or related field or Bachelor’s Degree and three years’ experience in child welfare, children’s mental health, adoption or foster care required.
  • Experience working in permanency in Minnesota, direct family support and crisis intervention, children’s mental health and/or trauma-informed care preferred. Men and persons of color are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Valid driver’s license, insurance coverage, and clean driving record.
  • Skills identified by youth for prospective Permanency Specialist: “They have to be able to connect with teens, ability to listen to youth, to be articulate. They can’t be scared of teenagers, and be willing to see ‘the dark side’ like when a teen is angry or stubborn or don’t want to listen or say stuff they don’t mean. They have to have the ability to persevere for permanency even when others on the team don’t believe it.”
  • Ability to communicate effectively and develop partnerships with wide range of community members, social service professionals, families and youth.
  • Ability to be flexible, take personal initiative, and be self-directed while embracing a work environment that demands collegial support and consultation and accountability.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Well-organized, strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task.
  • Available and willing to travel throughout Minnesota, including occasional overnight work trips.
  • BCA and social services background check required.


Heath, Dental, Vision, Life

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Resume and Cover Letter should be emailed to Al Willig, or mailed to Al Willig, Ampersand Families, 2515 Wabash Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55114