Children’s Corps is a program of Fostering Change for Children that recruits, trains and supports individuals of all backgrounds who are passionate about working with children and families involved in the child welfare system. Its mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable children by building a highly-skilled and dedicated workforce that has the potential to become leaders in the field. The program offers an employment opportunity for individuals (with either BA or MA degrees) who want to work on the frontlines in New York City’s child welfare agencies, gain valuable experience, and make a difference in the lives of families.
Graduating students, alumni, and career changers are encouraged to apply. Once accepted into the program, Children’s Corps members are required to participate in a 4-week Summer Training Academy, which is held at Columbia School of Social Work. The training brings together “real world” experience and classroom child welfare training in order to provide a foundation of knowledge and skills before beginning work in the field. It also allows Corps members to begin to form their peer-to-peer support network. After completion of the training, members are placed in full-time frontline positions at agencies in New York City and Westchester, working in foster care, preventive services, or residential settings. Children’s Corps partners with 15 foster care and preventive agencies that employ the Corps members and provide them with a full salary and benefits. The available positions vary, but typically include:
1. Foster Care or Preventive Case Planner (BA & MA degrees) - provides support, advocacy, and care management services to children, parents, and foster parents to work towards positive permanency for every child.
2. Therapeutic Foster Care Socio-therapist (BA degree) – provides support, advocacy, and care management services to children, and foster parents to work towards positive permanency for every child. Children who qualify for therapeutic foster care services have behavioral, mental health, medical or other special needs.
3. Therapeutic Foster Care Social Worker (MSW required) – provides support, advocacy, and care management services to children, parents, and foster parents to work towards positive permanency for every child. Children who qualify for therapeutic foster care services have behavioral, mental health, medical or other special needs.
4. Preventive Evidenced-based Family Therapist (MSW or MHC degrees required) – provides family support following the structure of the evidence-based model and in-home therapy sessions to address concerns and build upon family strengths. These positions will include additional training on the specific evidence-based model such as Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Family Connections, or Family Functional Therapy.
5. Preventive Evidence-based program Interventionist (BA level) – provides family support following the structure of the evidence-based model and offering in-home therapy sessions to address concerns and build upon family strengths. These positions will include additional training on the specific evidence-based mode, typically Family Functional Therapy.
6. General Preventive Case Planner or Social Worker (BA or MSW degrees) – provides support, advocacy, and care management services to children and their families in order to help sustain safety and well-being and prevent the need to place the children in foster care.
*Please note that sometimes positions in other programs open up. Updated information will be shared at the beginning of the placement process.
All positions would entail providing support and managing services for children and their families (parents and other caretakers) to ensure children’s safety, permanency, and well-being. It is not essential to have prior knowledge of the child welfare system, but rather the openness, patience, and persistence to learn.
Children’s Corps requires its members to commit TWO years to working at their placement agency, with the opportunity to continue the employment beyond. While in the program, members receive ongoing personal support and professional development, which includes: monthly meetings and trainings, peer-to-peer support, individual staff support, professional mentors, an online resource group, and networking opportunities. The program strives to fully support its members and enable to them to grow professionally and personally as they undertake this rewarding and challenging work. Children’s Corps, its members, and alumni are building a community of leaders committed to advocating for and leading efforts to create improvements in the child welfare system and improve outcomes for children.
• A very close and supportive network of professionals, peers, and alumni.
• A dynamic and comprehensive pre-service training and on-going support.
• A full-time job in NYC with salary and benefits.
• An environment to accomplish personal and professional goals and to develop your skills as the next leader in child welfare.
• Clinical supervision hours for MSWs or Mental Health Counseling degrees.
Job responsibilities/activities vary depending on the specific placement, but may include:
• Overseeing a caseload of children and/or families (typically 8-15, but depends on program of placement).
• Visiting parents, kids, and families in their homes at least once per month, or more frequently for some placement programs that include home-based clinical treatment sessions.
• Researching and referring parents and children to appropriate community based services to support families, e.g. mental health programs, DV programs, education, employment preparation, activities for adolescents etc.
• Advocating for families’ needs and efforts to secure important services.
• Accompanying families to required programs or service appointments as necessary (i.e. drug treatment, medical, school, housing, public assistance, immigration, etc.).
• Conducting assessments for safety and risk, for specific evidence-based model components, and/or for other requirements.
• Engaging and collaborating with families, other key participants, and relevant systems in goal setting, treatment, and/or specific evidence-based treatment practices.
• Coordinating and supervising family visits at the agency and/or in the community in order for children and parents in foster care to maintain contact.
• Participating in family team conferences, agency meetings and trainings.
• Attending and testifying at court hearings.
• Responding to crisis when it arises and following agency protocols.
• Participating in any agency training or consultation.
• Working into the evenings at times to accommodate families’ schedules.
• Maintaining clear documentation on all case activity.
• Commuting across NYC’s boroughs as necessary in order to meet needs of families.
• May include other tasks as needed.
Please note that traveling to families’ communities/homes and other agency offices is required in all weather conditions. This entails commuting via subways, buses, and by foot, and at times by car (if you have your driver’s license). Walking up stairs or hills is necessary to get to some locations.
• Completion of a bachelor’s or Master’s degree before June 2018.
• US citizenship, permanent residency or valid work authorization.
• Ability to commit 2 years to the work, starting in July 2018.
Children’s Corps seeks candidates who:
• Are interested in a career in the non-profit/social justice sector.
• Passionate about and dedicated to supporting at-risk families.
• Compassionate, energetic and self-motivated.
• Able and willing to work with families in the home, school and other settings.
• Flexible in a changing work environment.
• Not afraid of facing challenges or asking for help.
• Resilient and persistent.
• Very organized, able to set priorities and multi-task.
• Have good verbal and written communication skills.
• Are computer literate.
• Eager to learn and grow professionally and personally.
• Confident and motivated to make a 2-year commitment to working in child welfare.
Full salary and full benefits. $34,000-42,000 for BA degree; $43,000-47,000 with MSW or MHC degree
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
First, please read more information about the program on all the pages dedicated to Children’s Corps at: http://fosteringchangeforchildren.org/index.php/CC. To apply, visit the “How to Apply” webpage: http://www.fosteringchangeforchildren.org/index.php/CC/apply and follow the online application instructions. Please note that resumes will not suffice as an application. Application deadline is March 30th, 2018.