Youth Advocate -Contra Costa County

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with Experience




United States


Position Title: Social Worker - Youth Advocate

Reports To: County Manager/Social Worker Supervisor

Compensation: Full-time, Commensurate with experience. Full benefits.

Schedule: Monday through Friday, evenings and weekends as needed

FLSA Designation: Exempt

About First Place for Youth

Founded in 1998, First Place for Youth was the first program in Northern California dedicated to

providing critical support to transition-age foster youth and has grown to become the state’s largest

provider of housing for this highly vulnerable population. The organization is recognized nationally for

developing high-impact and efficient programs to serve current and former foster youth, ages 16-24.

First Place provides youth with access to safe, affordable housing, intensive case management,

individualized education and employment support, job development and a rigorous school-to-career

program. Our programs consistently produce high outcomes: when compared to the general population of former foster youth, First Place participants are eight times less likely to experience homelessness, twice as likely to graduate from high school and nine times more likely to enroll in college, three times as likely to be employed and three times less likely to give birth before age 21. In Fiscal Year 2012, First Place served more than 2,000 youth in five California counties and has experienced a 70 percent growth in the last four years.

JOB SUMMARY: The Youth Advocate/ Social Worker is responsible for case management, psychosocial assessment, development and implementation of intervention strategies. The YA SW provides clinical leadership to multi-disciplinary team and direct youth supports and coaching to support each youth to achieve goals of housing stability, sustainable and sustaining employment, and educational achievement. The YA SW is active in developing, supporting and implementing an individualized, strength ‘based, culturally competent, youth-centered approach. Successful YA/SW's understand how to motivate, influence, and mentor young adults to achieve goals while launching adult lives from foster care.

Essential Job Functions:

Provide youth with individual counseling, crisis intervention, referrals, advocacy and life skills training.


Direct Care and Interventions:

  • Develops partnership strategy with each youth
  • Gathers and analyzes on-going information to ensure youth safety, well-being and progress
  • Provides clinical leadership to multi-disciplinary teams consisting of youth, family and other natural
  • supporters, county case managers, Employment and Education Specialists, Housing Specialists, and Intake Specialists to ensure seamless and effective service delivery
  • Organizes, schedules, and facilitates youth and team meetings
  • Provides on-going assessment of youth well-being and develops plans to ensure safety and
  • deescalate crisis as needed
  • Provides direct support, coaching, mentoring and intervention to increase youth self-sufficiency and goal attainment.
  • Participates on a rotating basis to provide on-call coverage
  • Provides crisis counseling as needed.

Case Management/Coordination:

  • Collaborates with community providers including county workers, courts, professionals, vocational and independent living skills programs, schools, family members and significant others
  • Keeps key team members informed and communicating
  • Works with team members to identify and engage appropriate natural supporters.

Documentation/Administrative Duties (30%)

  • Completes documentation including but not limited to Care and Services plans, needs assessments, and progress notes.
  • Ensures all needed paperwork and consents are completed for each client at time of entry.
  • Participates in agency committee as assigned.
  • Provides on-going orientation and training to staff as assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned by Supervisor


  • Master's Degree in a discipline to be eligible to register with the BBS as an ASW, MFTi, or LPCi and working toward professional licensure.
  • Professional License preferred.
  • Experience working with transition age youth with complex presentations including chronic trauma preferred. Experience does not substitute for professional degree and certification.
  • 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
  • Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently
  • Must be able to pass a Community Care Licensing background check

Physical Demands:

Physical requirements include the ability to lift and reach for light objects; close visual acuity to prepare and analyze data, text, and figures; ability to type utilizing a computer keyboard; ability to travel to outside locations; and the ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time as a primary job function. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Must have a valid driver’s license and have the ability and skill to drive a vehicle.

Competency Requirements

 ATTENTION TO DETAIL – Ability to work with high level of detail, work has high level of professional polish down to smallest details, documents and products are well thought out and clear, database is organized and up to date.

 DRIVEN BY ACCOMPLISHMENT – Clarity on project goals and the personal drive to wake up every morning ready to accomplish goals, finished projects are thorough and delivered on time. High level of personal accountability for the quality and impact of work

 COMPUTER SKILLS – Proficiency with Office 2000 applications including MS Word, Excel, Access, and

PowerPoint, Project and Outlook. Experience with database systems. Strong capacity with Raisers

Edge preferred.

 STRONG COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to research, assimilate, and analyze information, compose engaging messages, and present data in a clear and inspiring manner.

 HIGH LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM – a high level of professionalism in work and interpersonal

interactions with both internal and external contacts, presents to others as organized, informed, and


 DECISIVE NATURE - Well-honed ability to independently anticipate and analyze situations, define

problems and objectives, recognize viable alternatives, and formulate rapid solutions, with

understanding of the inherent risks and the implications of making tough decisions.

 AVAILABILITY for occasional evening and weekend work and some travel as needed.

Core Competencies - required of all staff for successful performance at First Place.

 RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE - Intentional use of data to improve performance  Possesses strong drive, initiative and motivation  Detail and results orientation • Demonstrates good work habits • Resiliency in persisting through setbacks  Demonstrated success, with the ability to think strategically while executing tactically within a resource-constrained environment.

 STRATEGIC THINKING - Seeks and utilizes resources to inform and contextualize own work  Thinks interdependently, framing the goals of one department/project within the entire vision •

Synthesizes information to make astute recommendations and/or decisions • Prioritizes goals for


 INVESTMENT IN OTHERS - Creates an environment that maximizes the return on investment in

others • Collaborates to set and achieve goals that comport with First Place’s mission, strategic plan

and desired measurable outcomes • Creates and utilizes development opportunities to address

individual needs and capacity to accomplish performance objectives • Creates and identifies

opportunities for recognition of success • Provides supportive environment to learn from mistakes.

 EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION - Courageous, strategic, clear and direct communication that resolves discrepancies and overcomes challenges and obstacles to organizational success  Ability to respectfully ask questions, challenge, and communicate both positive and difficult messages to

subordinates, superiors, peers and youth  Sound judgment regarding the appropriateness of

guarding confidentiality to protect the privacy rights of colleagues or youth  Strong verbal and

written communication skills.

 COURAGE - Asks questions in order to learn and encourage dialogue • Willing to make mistakes and to be accountable for own work • Speaks about issues truthfully and without blame • Leads by

example, displaying behavior that respects the mission, youth and First Place • Holds high

expectations for self, one another and for our youth.



• Competitive salary commensurate with experience

• Generous paid vacation and holidays

• Medical, Dental, Vision, Employee Assistance Plan. 

• Benefits coverage for employee and dependents

• 401 (k) Retirement plan

• LTD and Flex Spending Account

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree