The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the position of Deputy Program Director to be based in Los Angeles. The Young Center’s mission is to promote the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. The Young Center is a children’s rights organization dedicated to bringing a holistic child welfare lens to children in the immigration system. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem) for unaccompanied immigrant children. The Young Center also conducts policy advocacy at the federal level, advocating for reform of the immigrant justice system, in which children are treated as adults, into a justice system that recognizes children as children, with rights and protection needs all their own.
To that end, the Young Center engages in written and oral advocacy on behalf of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children. Young Center attorneys and social workers advocate for the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children, applying federal law, domestic child welfare law, and international human rights law, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and UNHCR Guidelines for Determining the Best Interests of the Child. The Young Center’s best interests recommendations focus on the child’s safety, permanency and well-being. A Child Advocate may recommend that a child be released from detention and reunified with a parent, be stepped down to a less restrictive setting, or not be repatriated to his/her home country because that child will not be safe. The Young Center does not serve as the child’s direct legal representative and the role of a Child Advocate is distinct from that of the child’s attorney.
The Young Center team is a passionate and interdisciplinary group of professionals—attorneys, social workers, and administrative staff—committed to ensuring that immigrant children are recognized as children, first and foremost, and receive the full protection they deserve under the law.
This position will be based in Los Angeles, overseeing the Los Angeles and Phoenix offices; it is a unique opportunity to lead two of the Young Center’s newest offices, which opened in 2016. This position is best suited for individuals who are self-starters, excited about building a relatively new program. The Deputy Program Director will be responsible for educating local stakeholders about the Young Center’s work, building relationships with sister organizations, and mentoring and developing staff in those offices. The Deputy Program Director will directly supervise all staff and casework in the Los Angeles office. In the Phoenix office, whose casework is supervised by a Managing Attorney, the Deputy Program Director will supervise the Managing Attorney and the site’s Volunteer Coordinator. Extensive travel—including site visits to the Phoenix office, an annual retreat, and regional meetings—will be required.
The Deputy Program Director will join a team of three other Deputy Program Directors. Under the supervision of the Child Advocate Program Directors, they work as a team—along with the National Social Work Director—to establish consistent practices across sites and to foster the growth and development of the Child Advocate program.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Oversee the Los Angeles and Phoenix offices, including developing stakeholder relationships (with ORR Federal Field Specialists, facility directors, immigration judges, ICE officers, etc.), ensuring the sites meet case goals and produce creative and high quality work, identifying trends and areas for advocacy across both offices, managing site budgets, and serving as the primary point of contact for high-level matters affecting both offices.
- Manage hiring and onboarding for both offices, in collaboration with the Phoenix Managing Attorney for Phoenix hires.
- Supervise performance, work flow, and professional development of individual supervisees.
- Serve as the first point of contact for senior stakeholder relationships and community engagement, including speaking about the Young Center’s program and mission at stakeholder and community events, in collaboration with the Phoenix Managing Attorney.
- Ensure timely and accurate production of monthly reports to the Office of Refugee Resettlement regarding children served, case outcomes and trends observed.
- Run the Los Angeles office, including leading staff meetings and case rounds and oversight of any facilities-related needs.
- In Los Angeles, oversee all case work, including review and oversight of case strategy, development and editing of best interests recommendations in coordination with the Senior Attorney for Written Advocacy, oversight of weekly case rounds.
- In Phoenix, supervise the Managing Attorney, including final review of case strategy and best interests recommendations for high-level cases.
- In both sites, supervise the Volunteer Coordinator, including overseeing the recruitment, training, and retention of volunteer Child Advocates, as well as each site’s twice-annual volunteer trainings.
- Work closely with the other Deputy Program Directors and the National Social Work Director to ensure consistency and high quality of work across offices; assist in developing agency protocols; and run the Young Center’s program retreat and other program trainings
- Other duties as assigned.
- J.D. and appropriate authorization to practice law.
- A valid driver’s license.
- Minimum of six years practicing law and at least four years practicing in the area of child welfare, immigration, or a related field.
- Minimum of 3 years supervisory experience in a professional setting, including experience reviewing and editing legal writing.
- Excellent writing, time management, and organizational skills.
- Ability to take initiative and work collaboratively.
- Passion, tenacity and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families and an enthusiasm for working with volunteers.
- Spanish preferred.
Physical Demands: Physical demands include regular attendance; keyboarding; sitting for long periods (at least 5 hours a day); driving. Ability to use computer, telephone, and copy machine. Ability to travel by plane, car and other conveyances within U.S.
The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and actively seeks a diverse applicant pool. Young Center encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veterans’ status. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
Job offer is conditioned on clearance of fingerprint criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANTS) and tuberculosis test.
Salary is commensurate with experience. The Young Center provides excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance (employee & dependents) at no cost to the employee, paid vacation and sick time, and a 401(k) plan.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required