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Foster America Fellow - Data Science and Predictive Analytics

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Foster America | Santa Clara County, CA

Foster America

Published 12 days ago

October 5, 2020
August 1, 2020
$75,000 - $90,000The Foster America Fellowship is an 18-months ($112,500 - $140,000) depending on location.

Data Analytics to Identify Strategies that 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 data scientist to develop a predictive analytics model that helps keep families together. 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 fellow will lead a process to integrate datasets and create statistical models that identify families at high-risk for child welfare involvement and poor outcomes such as homelessness, using findings to recommend strategies that amplify impact.

About this Role: The fellow will utilize strong problem-solving skills and expertise in analyzing, modeling, and interpreting data to understand and better address the needs of children and families. While the Office of Research and Evaluation has built impressive evidence generating and sharing mechanisms, there is an increased need to generate future-facing models that help the agency know where to invest resources. ORE is on a mission to continue developing cutting-edge ways of understanding complex datasets. This role will help make that a reality! 

The fellow will conduct multivariate regression and factor analyses on administrative data, ultimately building predictive statistical models to inform evidence-based prevention strategies. This role will examine data trends to predict what types of services are most effective in helping vulnerable families keep their children safely at home. A particular focus will be to partner with public agencies across the county, sharing recommendations regarding how to target the right families at the right time.

Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:

  • Conduct robust literature review to identify key covariates for exploration
  • Integrate large-scale data systems within the agency and across other county agencies, utilizing data sharing agreements and/or MOUs
  • Conduct statistical analysis of administrative datasets, using findings to develop and test service improvement strategies
  • Build and deploy predictive analytics model, continually monitoring its performance and improving its’ effectiveness 
  • Inform the agency's decision-making practices by presenting clear and meaningful information to facilitate strategic data-driven discussions

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 out 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 human-centered design expertise to the same challenge
  • Join a team that embraces a data-driven and evidence-based culture
  • Phenomenal opportunity to envision and build predictive analytic models from the ground up
  • Work on the cutting edge of innovative predictive data analytic solutions that have the potential to advance the child welfare sector

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 analyze and interpret results from merging complex administrative datasets
  • Experienced in predictive analytics, using results to make strategic decisions
  • Skilled in presenting data in understandable and convincing ways to diverse stakeholders
  • 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.

Data Analytics to Identify Strategies that 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…

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


Santa Clara County, CA

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