Be a part of our mission.
The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living. We rely on the expertise, passion, commitment and energy of our instructors and other team members to help us achieve our mission one child, one family, and one team member at a time.
The Sr. Outreach Specialist plays a key role in working directly with youth impacted by violence as a component of Youth Safety and Violence Prevention’s overall outreach and programming efforts. The target age for programming and services is youth ages 13-18. The Sr. Outreach Specialist will act as a mentor and case manager, handling a significant caseload of youth including identification of youth and coordinating resources, programming, and services. This also includes accountability for assessing the needs of youth and families and ensuring the proper referrals for advocacy, school enrollment, counseling, substance abuse services, employment, job training, etc.
The Sr. Outreach Specialist also manages all documentation and reporting as related to the services provided to the referred youth to meet program requirements. This role also participates in community development activities as needed to support program activities.
Scope and Responsibilities:
- Identify and recruit youth with a trauma history to participate in YSVP programming; practice relentless outreach to ensure continued participation
- Establish positive and constructive relationships and serve as a positive role model. This includes frequent contact with youth through home visits, relationship building activities and programming at YSVP program sites.
- Provide case management and mentoring services (i.e. observation, home visits, case notes, case reviewing, and dialogue with school, adults/ youth) for a large caseload guided by “youth-driven” services and goal plans
- Act as a general advocate for individual youth as it pertains the legal system and related subsidiaries
- Facilitate peace circles
- Facilitate curriculum-guided group sessions including supporting youth efforts to create and implement community based projects
- Provide structured recreational activities utilizing facilities such as the YMCA membership centers and other neighborhood facilities
- Prepare and submits weekly and monthly reports according to supervisor and program/contract guidelines
- Enter program information into appropriate data tracking system (CitySpan or other appropriate systems)
- Strengthen and increase knowledge and ability to utilize trauma informed practices and approaches to support youth in group and individual settings
- Provide transportation for youth to program activities using YMCA vehicles while adhering to YMCA policies and guidelines
- Support the mission and vision of the YMCA and YSVP as assigned.
Child Abuse Prevention:
Supports the YMCA’s commitment to child abuse prevention by:
- Reporting any items that may provide a health or safety hazard to staff, members or guests to your supervisor
- Following all policies and procedures related to keeping children safe in our facilities and programs, including those related to the monitoring and supervision of children
- Reporting any suspicious behavior and violation of policy and procedures to your supervisor
- Completing all child abuse prevention training as required
Commitment to Inclusion
Supports the YMCA’s commitment to inclusion of all members as required by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Job responsibilities may include implementing program modifications for persons with cognitive, behavioral or physical disabilities, including but not limited to the injection of medical glucagon to members with Type 1 diabetes in emergency situations. Appropriate training and development will be provided to YMCA team members based on your role and responsibilities.
Minimum and Preferred Requirements:
- Bachelors degree in Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice or related and/or equivalent experience
- Three or more years of experience in case management, youth advocacy, mentoring, and/or programming.
- Ability to handle a significant caseload providing appropriate programming, resources, services and interventions to meet the needs of participants. Understands impact of trauma on youth and trauma-informed practices and programming
- Must be minimum of five years older than youth served through the program.
- Passion and commitment to the YMCA’s mission and vision for Youth Safety and violence prevention.
- Strong community engagement skills with deep awareness of communities dynamics and resources
- Proficient verbal and written communication skills with the ability to adapt communication to multiple audiences
- Self-motivated with the demonstrated ability to set meaningful goals and take action
- Demonstrated critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Continuous learner who leverages opportunities for learning and applies new knowledge and skills
- Ability to travel locally within the Chicago area to multiple locations for home visits and program activities
- Valid driver’s license with clear driving record and the ability to meet necessary requirements to drive a YMCA vehicle.
- Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Y Team competencies in previous experience or practice
- Meets physical qualifications required as outlined in job description. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.