Find Your Purpose!
Family Support Specialist Opportunity with our Early Education and Childcare Team at the North Lawndale YMCA!
The Family Support Specialist, in collaboration with the site director, ensures that the program serves the number of eligible children for which it is funded. In partnership with parents, the Family Service Worker develops mutually trusting relationships, acts as an advocate for families and provides support services as needed. The Family Service Worker will assist families in determining their needs and in identifying and developing goals to address those needs. Additionally, the Family Service Worker will identify, develop and maintain community partnerships and resources that address health, social service, mental health, and disability needs of families.
Our staff is the Y's greatest asset. Our teams provide valuable skills, knowledge, and passion that is essential to the contribution and positive impact in our communities, which is why we offer Y employees numerous perks and benefits, including:
- Comprehensive benefits package for eligible employees
- Opportunity for eligible employees to participate in the Y's retirement fund
- Do meaningful work and contribute to the advancement of the YMCA vision by meeting the needs of the people in our communities
- Complimentary Family YMCA membership and a 25% employee discount on select programs
- Career advancement opportunities - grow your career at the Y!
Scope of Responsibilities:
- In cooperation with the Site Director, develop and implement recruitment plan to assure maximum enrollment, and maintain an up-to-date waiting list. Complete all related recruitment tracking instruments and reports, as required.
- Determine children’s eligibility for all program models assigned at the site (EHS/HS/PI/PFA/CCAP).
- Complete and maintain all required documentation for enrollment, per funding sources.
- Provide case management services to families in the program, including direct services to families by assisting them in determining family strengths, needs and goals.
- Conduct initial and ongoing assessments of family needs; develop resources; provide referrals and supportive services to assist families in meeting identified needs; and document and report on all social service activity, as required.
- Encourage and support parent development through volunteer and parent training opportunities. Develop and participate in parent development activities and meetings.
- Implement the Parents as Teachers curriculum, providing monthly individual and group socialization activities for families of infants, toddlers and two year olds.
- Provide leadership to the child health, mental health, and disabilities functional areas and to the Family and Community Partnership Content Area, ensuring the provision of appropriate and required services including screening, assessment, testing, treatment, follow up, and transition services to all identified children and/or parents.
- Identify and develop resources to meet identified health, social service, mental health, and disabilities service needs; develop effective working relationships with related and relevant resources.
- Maintain professionalism in attire and demeanor; observe and respect issues of confidentiality, ethics, and best practices of the Early Childhood and Social Work Professions.
- Maintain required program records in accordance with YMCA procedures, funding source and program performance standards, and applicable licensing and accreditation standards.
- Maintain current and up-to- date family and child information in the COPA data system.
- Participate in regularly scheduled team meetings to plan for and deliver collaborative services across all components.
- Meet regularly with parents and other staff regarding each child’s status and progress.
- Conduct home visits for purposes of assessment and support, and to share information on parenting, educational strategies, and classroom progress.
- In conjunction with team members, plan and conduct regular parent meetings and parent engagement activities.
- Discreetly handle sensitive information and maintain confidentiality at all times
- Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Human Services or a related field.
- Parents as Teachers Certification preferred. Must be obtained within three months from date of employment.
- Prior experience in casework, in community organizations, and working with families from diverse backgrounds.
- Prior experience working with children ages 0 – 3 with special needs/ disabilities preferred.
- Commitment to, and a passion for, the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s mission.
- Intermediate to advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel), email, database software; ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
- Ability to be flexible with time for evening home visits, meetings, and possible weekend parent activities.
- Must carry adequate automobile insurance and provide proof of insurance.
- Ability to relate to children with special needs/ disabilities in high risk families and communities.
- Demonstrates evidence of YMCA Leader competencies in previous experience or practice.
- Meet physical qualifications required as outlined in job description. The YMCA will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities.
- Ability to obtain DCFS background check clearance and provide pre-employment medical screening documentation
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.