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Foster America Fellow - Human-centered Design

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Foster America | Santa Clara County, CA
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Foster America


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Published 8 days ago

October 5, 2020
August 1, 2020
$75,000 - $90,000Fellowship is 18-months, range is $112,500 - $140,000.

Design Strategist to Leverage Family Voice for More Equitable Services

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 Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services (OKDHS), we seek an experienced human-centered designer and/or participatory community engagement expert to develop a constituent engagement platform that elevates the voice of the people OKDHS serves. The state agency provides diverse services to holistically support vulnerable Oklahomans with the goal of reducing systems-involvement and ultimately improving outcomes for children and families. The Foster America fellow will build tools, systems and capacity to engage local families to better understand and address their needs, ultimately infusing more equitable practices into the agency. 

About this Role: The fellow will utilize expertise in design thinking, strategy, and facilitation to uplift family, community, and tribal voices to help prevent systems-involvement for vulnerable families across Oklahoma. While OKDHS has sought to leverage the voice of those with lived experience in decision-making, implementation has been limited. OKDHS is dedicated to increasing equitable outcomes, which is driving their mission to ensure that the families they serve are involved in every decision the agency makes. This role will help make that a reality! 

The fellow will lead the creation of agency-wide community engagement infrastructure to promote and facilitate the co-designing of solutions alongside families. This role will elevate an understanding of what families need and how to remove the barriers that prevent them from receiving effective support, in service of enabling the agency to make more meaningfully and equitable program and service decisions. A particular focus will be to build the agencies capacity to continue this work long-term.

Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:

  • Design a platform and corresponding strategy that raises the voice of families, building tools and frameworks for community engagement
  • Foster trusting relationships with diverse communities and partners, encouraging families to collaborate with the agency
  • Model the facilitation of meaningful community and partner participation, translating voices to inform program planning and service design
  • Support OKDHS’ culture shift towards one that is rooted in actively engaging the voice and needs of the communities it serves
  • Support the design of OKDHS’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts  

About the Agency: Led by the innovative Justin Brown, OKDHS is the largest state agency in Oklahoma. OKDHS has the mission to improve the quality of life of vulnerable Oklahomans by increasing people’s ability to lead safer, healthier, more independent and productive lives. OKDHS provides help and offers hope to vulnerable Oklahomans through stronger practices, involved communities, and a caring and engaged workforce. Specifically OKDHS provides a wide range of assistance programs including: food benefits; temporary cash assistance; services for persons with developmental disabilities and persons who are aging; adult protective services; child welfare programs; child support services; and child care assistance, licensing and monitoring; and eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program offering health care to families with low incomes. 

About the Fellowship: The Foster America Fellowship is an opportunity to radically improve the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children by designing and implementing innovative solutions to some of the child welfare 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 results-driven leadership, human-centered design, child welfare context, racial equity, innovation, and much more.
  • An influential network of purpose-driven, like-minded professionals including fellows, Foster America staff, and the child welfare field’s most innovative leaders.
  • Individualized coaching, mentoring, and support.
  • Career development for alumni who pursue leadership positions in child welfare and related sectors.

Position Highlights:

  • Reporting to Jami Ledoux, current Chief Innovation Officer and previous Child Welfare Director, this role will operate out of the Executive Leadership team.
  • Join an inspirational team deeply dedicate to new ways of truly preventative support for children and families.
  • OKDHS embraces an innovative spirit, curious to test new ideas and strategies to improve outcomes for children and families. 
  • Phenomenal opportunity to envision and build a model for equity-driven human service community engagement delivery from the ground up, in coordination with state and local stakeholders.
  • Work on the cutting edge of bringing human-centered design to the field(s) of child welfare and human services.

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 authentically engage diverse constituents, such as youth, families, caseworkers, etc.
  • Experienced in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work
  • Skilled in strategic planning - setting priorities, focusing energy, and executing action plans towards intended outcomes
  • Results-oriented, with a track record of leading positive change 
  • Creative in developing unique solutions to complex problems 
  • 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 October 5, 2020.
  • 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.

Design Strategist to Leverage Family Voice for More Equitable Services

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

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • 4-Year Degree Required
  • Managerial

Benefits

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

Level of Language Proficiency

Human-centered Service Design to Prevent Foster Care Placement

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 Santa Clara County Social Services Agency, Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE), we seek an experienced human-centered designer and/or participatory community engagement expert to help inform and shape strategies that meet the needs of kids and families. The agency’s mission is to provide resources and opportunities in a culturally responsive manner to enhance the quality of life, with ORE serving as the evidence generating and disseminating function. The Foster America fellow will develop approaches to collect and learn from consumer feedback, using findings to develop and test improvement strategies that amplify impact.

About this Role: The fellow will utilize expertise in design thinking, facilitation, and quality improvement to uplift youth, family, and community voices to help prevent child welfare involvement. While the Office of Research and Evaluation has built impressive evidence generating and sharing mechanisms, there has been limited community engagement to

inform programming. ORE is on a mission to ensure that the families and partners they serve are involved in the evaluation of services, and informing quality improvement strategies. This role will help make that a reality! The fellow will lead a county-wide community engagement process to enable the Social Services Agency to make more meaningfully program and service decisions. This role will engage child welfare and other social service leaders to discover what types of services are most effective in helping vulnerable families keep their children safely at home and out of foster care placement. A particular focus will be to discover and define additional research questions in response to initial insights identified.

Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:

  • Facilitate meaningful participation of community members and partners in program evaluation and co-designing service improvements
  • Develop systems for ongoing engagement of families to collect real-time feedback assessing the performance and impact of services
  • Foster trusting relationships with diverse communities and cross-sector agencies, encouraging collaboration among families and providers
  • Support agency culture shift towards one that is rooted in actively engaging the voice and needs of the communities it serves
  • Highlight emerging issues to further explore, as identified by communities

About the Agency: Santa Clara County experiences a unique juxtaposition of wealth and inequality. While Santa Clara County provides more than a quarter of all jobs in the Bay Area and boasts one of the highest median family incomes in the country, income and housing inequality has reached historic highs. At the same time Santa Clara County is becoming increasingly diverse, being named one of the first minority-majority counties in the nation. Residing within this national hub for innovation and technology, the Social Services Agency has the capacity to invest in robust research, providing the opportunity to translate findings into tangible practice, system and organizational changes. As a long-standing partner of Foster America, working within Santa Clara County offers the opportunity to collaborate with two Foster America fellow alumni serving in permanent agency roles.

About the Fellowship: The Foster America Fellowship is an opportunity to radically improve the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable children by designing and implementing innovative solutions to some of the child welfare 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 results-driven leadership, human-centered design, child welfare context, racial equity, innovation, and much more.
  • An influential network of purpose-driven, like-minded professionals including fellows, Foster America staff, and the child welfare field’s most innovative leaders.
  • Individualized coaching, mentoring, and support.
  • Career development for alumni who pursue leadership positions in child welfare and related sectors.

Position Highlights:

  • Reporting to Kristine Frerer, PhD, this role will operate ou of the innovative Office of Research and Evaluation
  • Work within an agency where Foster America alumni continue to lead work
  • Collaborate with another Foster America fellow who will bring complimentary data analytics expertise to the same challenge
  • Join a team that embraces a data-driven and evidence-based culture
  • Phenomenal opportunity to envision and build model for community engagement from the ground up, in coordination with cross-sector agencies and diverse local stakeholders
  • Work on the cutting edge of bringing human-centered design to child welfare

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 authentically engage diverse constituents, such as youth, families, caseworkers, etc., allowing them to share their experiences and ideas
  • Experienced in lifting community or end-user voice in the identification and design of solutions
  • Results-oriented, with a track record of leading positive change
  • Creative in developing unique solutions to complex problems
  • 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 August 24th, 2020.
  • 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.

Human-centered Service Design to Prevent Foster Care Placement

Foster America fellows leverage their diverse professional backgrounds as they assume leadership roles at…

How to Apply

Please apply on our website.

Please apply on our website.

Location

Santa Clara County, CA

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