My First Place is an education and employment program developed nearly two decades ago by First Place for Youth. Envisioning a future where the disparities between foster youth and their non-foster peers have been eliminated, the My First Place program will be expanding to communities across the country, starting with HopeWell’s implementation in Boston. Through My First Place, youth receive stable, safe and affordable housing, community-based case management, and individualized education and employment support. A team of staff including a Youth Advocate, an Education and Employment Specialist, and a Housing Specialist, support a youth in working towards healthy living, education, employment, and housing goals that the youth sets for himself/herself.
The Education and Employment Specialist is a dynamic, collaborative and results-oriented service provider who will partner with 18-24-year-old transition-age foster youth to support them in their path to independence. This position requires a professional whose passion for HopeWell’s vision is matched with sound judgment in the face of complex challenges, and a proven track record of successfully supporting transition age youth.
The Education and Employment Specialist provides targeted employment and education support to foster care youth in our supported housing program. The Employment and Education Specialist must understand what it takes to support youth skills and resources to secure employment and retain employment along with a solid understanding of the traditional school, post-secondary, and alternative education systems. The Specialist must be able to influence, teach, and motivate youth. The Specialist performs both one-on-one support and group based work. This position maintains a caseload of 36 youth. The Specialist works closely with the Youth Advocate position to coordinate targeted support to youth.
Support youth to identify and work toward employment and educational goals that support their long-term goals and promote self-advocacy. Teach classes and workshops related to career education, job seeking skills and other pre-employment related classes, resumes, development and interviewing skills. Meet with clients regularly to assess educational and employment status and interest; support youth with exploring careers of interest and identifying, enrolling in and pursuing degree programs, vocational programs, and stackable vocational certifications.
Complete documentation including but not limited to initial and regular assessments, Care and Services plans, needs assessments, and progress notes. Work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization and within respective department. Establish and maintain external collaborations with individuals and businesses to develop employment opportunities for young adults. Attend required team meetings and trainings.
The ideal candidate will possess: Bachelor’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, education or related field required. Two years of full-time social work or casework employment in the field of family or child welfare services. One year of experience working with youth in career development and job placement capacities. Excellent knowledge of education and employment resources for youth in the Boston Area. General knowledge of the issues facing transitioning foster youth. Must be comfortable working in community settings. High level of personal accountability for the quality and impact of work. Excellent communication skills, professional demeanor, sound judgment, and strong organizational skills. Strongly prefer a candidate that will have a demonstrated understanding of and competence in serving culturally diverse populations. Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently. Computer skills sufficient to perform essential functions.
Daily access to an automobile is required.
A valid MA State Driver’s License.
Remain current in all DCF required trainings.
Clearing of background checks as required by state and federal law.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, military status, veteran status, or genetic information. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Level of Language Proficiency
Spanish speaking preferred but not required.
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply