Foster America Fellow - Human Centered Design

Posted by
Foster America
Contra Costa County, CA

Foster America

Published 2 days ago

April 26, 2021
March 5, 2021
$80,000 - $90,000The Foster America Fellowship is an 18-month commitment ($120,000 - $135,000, depending on location).

Program Design Specialist to Grow Education Support Program for Foster Youth

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 collaboration with Tipping Point, we are recruiting and placing well-supported Foster America fellows across the Bay Area to build bridges between public child welfare, education and human service agencies. This team of fellows will promote equitable outcomes for kids who are or have been in foster care, and develop infrastructure to improve public sector collaboration. Fellows will promote innovation within their host sites while contributing to a team structure that develops ongoing learning across counties to create more equitable outcomes for Bay Area foster youth.

About this Role: In partnership with the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), we seek an equity-driven program designer, coalition builder, and/or organizational manager. CCCOE is dedicated to a collective vision of educational success for youth in foster care. The fellow will execute across agency boundaries, engaging a broad group of stakeholders from government agencies, schools, and nonprofits that serve youth, to build out an educational case management pilot. Leading efforts to evaluate the pilot, the fellow will build a model to expand and institutionalize what works, identifying ways to ensure sustainability of the program across the county.

The fellow will utilize their expertise as a skilled facilitator and change leader, switching hats between strategist, analyst, and program ambassador. We are looking for a strategic thinker and program designer that has both the operational skills to develop robust program plans, and the relationship building skills to promote cross-sector support for sustainable implementation. Imperative to this process is working to solve complex issues with and alongside staff, schools, and youth to ensure that stakeholder needs are met. 

Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:

  • Convene school staff, district education liaisons, and county leadership to identify lessons learned from pilot in service of full program design.
  • Conduct best practices research to define foundational elements of educational support programming, forecast program budget and staffing needs, and develop program evaluation plan.
  • Build relationships across school districts, county and school boards, and other stakeholders to garner support for long-term program investment.
  • Identify innovative, low-cost opportunities to improve educational supports for foster youth in partnership with the Youth Services team. 

About the agency: Contra Costa County has the 11th largest public school student population in the state. The County Office of Education supports 18 school districts as well as provides direct services to some of the county's most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless or in foster care. The fellow will join the Youth Services Team, a small but mighty group of passionate professionals under the leadership of Youth Services Manager, providing a broad range of coordinated services for youth who are experiencing barriers and need support to finish school and pursue a career path. 

About the fellowship: The Foster America Fellowship is an opportunity to radically improve the lives of our nation’s most historically exploited by designing and implementing innovative solutions to some of the foster care 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 other public child-serving 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 leadership, liberatory design, child welfare context, racial equity, innovation, and more
  • An influential network of purpose-driven professionals including fellows, Foster America staff, and the child welfare field’s most innovative leaders as faculty
  • Individualized project and leadership coaching, mentorship, and support
  • Career development for alumni who pursue positions in child welfare and related sectors 

Position Highlights:

  • Reporting directly to the Youth Services Manager and working alongside school district staff, join a team that is deeply dedicated to innovative practices towards increasing equitable education outcomes.
  • Work on the cutting edge of building an educational support model for foster youth, with the opportunity to scale successful results.
  • Lead change efforts through the full program design process from pilot, iterating on solutions, and packaging efforts for scale-up.
  • Work to improve outcomes for kids in foster care from the outside of child welfare.
  • Collaborate with a network of fellows and child welfare agencies working together to improve outcomes for older youth across the Bay Area 

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 see the forest AND the trees, holding many moving aspects of a project while sifting through the weeds of policy / data
  • Able to engage and influence diverse stakeholders, building effective and unified coalitions
  • Able to synthesize complex information and turn it into concrete action.
  • Results-oriented, with a track record of leading change
  • 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 April 12th, 2021.
  • 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. 

Frequently cited statistics show that underrepresented groups apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Foster America encourages you to break that statistic and apply. No one ever meets 100% of the qualifications. We look forward to your application.

Program Design Specialist to Grow Education Support Program for Foster Youth

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

Details at a glance

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


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


Contra Costa County, CA

How to Apply

Please apply on our website,

Please apply on our website,

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