Founded in Roxbury, MA in 1964, Dare Family Services believes that every child should be given an education and path to successful adulthood. Dare Family Services provides Intensive Treatment Foster Care; housing and support services to developmentally disabled adults and pregnant and parenting teens; and stabilization services to at-risk families. In 2017, Dare became the inaugural member of the My First Place™ Affiliate Network, a network of diverse data-driven providers who are trained to implement the My First Place program to disadvantaged transition-age youth in their community.

My First Place is an education and employment program developed nearly two decades ago by First Place for Youth. It is a well-codified program that has been operating with great success across six counties in California. Envisioning a future where the disparities between foster youth and their non-foster peers have been eliminated, The My First Place program will be expanding to communities across the country, starting with Dare’s implementation in Boston.

This position is an exciting opportunity to build a program and a team from the ground up while housed in a well-resourced organization (Dare Family Services) and receiving incredible support and training from California-based staff who have been implementing this program for years.

The Program Director is a dynamic, collaborative and results-oriented leader who will supervise Master’s level social work and multi-disciplinary case management staff and manage overall operations of an integrated services program including housing, employment and education for 18-24-year-old transition-age foster and former foster youth. 

The Director provides leadership to a staff team that s/he will grow to 8 professional and additional support staff.  The Director will ensure effective, accurate program implementation, excellence in participant care, adherence to Dare Family Services policies, and efficient operations.  The Director is responsible to monitor outcomes toward achieving program and individual youth outcomes.  The Director participates on the program leadership team and is responsible to coordinate with other programs and agency departments, hire and evaluate My First Place staff, develop resources, and implement training to ensure a well-trained high functioning team, and to provide direct oversight of all aspects of program to ensure quality and compliance.   

This position requires a clinical professional whose passion for Dare Family Service’s vision is matched with strong leadership, sound judgment in the face of complex challenges, and a proven track record of successfully managing direct-service teams.

Responsibilities

Program Staff Supervision

  • Hire, train, develop and supervise a multi-disciplinary team of social work and case management staff including Youth Advocates/Social Workers, Employment and Education Specialists, and Intake Specialists among others.  Lead team members in setting personal and program-wide work goals and in maintaining accountability for goal achievement.  Facilitate regular weekly program staff meetings.  Conduct annual reviews of direct reports.
  • Ensure fidelity to program model through weekly individual supervision with each staff person including routine field observations of staff.  Lead a supervision group for staff working toward licensure, as applicable.  Monitor staff effectiveness and support professional growth through review of outcome and practice data.
  • Provide training and consultation grounded in evidence based practice and Dare Family Service’s guiding principles including but not limited to trauma-informed care, positive youth development, motivational interviewing.  With management team, implement, train, and coach staff in best practice strategies. 
  • Ensure quality of services and accuracy and timeliness of all aspects of participant records including timely submission of all utilization, fidelity and outcome data.  Participate in meetings to review participant progress and utilize data to evaluate progress and consider strategies to recalibrate intervention to ensure success.  Include development of team based strategies and excellent collaboration among team members.
  • Ensure that all My First Place program staff are aligned with mission, values, and goals of Dare Family Services, capable of acting as ambassadors for the agency at all times, and focused on achieving outcomes, including integrated use of data and evaluative feedback. 
  • May provide direct intervention as needed including consultative support, crisis intervention, conflict mediation, or participation in or facilitation of meetings with youth, DCF workers, and others.

Program Operations

  • Oversee day-to-day operations and effective functioning of assigned team; track outcomes, manage budget and grants, implement case plans, contribute to and ensure compliance with program policy and ensure retention of youth in housing. 
  • Provide leadership and guidance to staff on all components and processes of Dare Family Services with particular emphasis on assigned program. 
  • Monitor intake and referral system, facilitate and guide interventions to ensure full census, low vacancy, and retention of youth in program.  Effectively manage team to ensure baseline assessments and summaries are timely and accurate. 
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with community partners including DCF and Probation staff and supervisors.
  • Participate in the implementation of Dare Family Services outreach and marketing strategy to promote referrals, education about services, and utilization of Dare Family Services programming and services as assigned.
  • Champion continuous quality Improvement and participate on other committees as assigned.

Leadership and Cross-Functional Collaboration

  • Work closely with the Vice President of Programs and other Dare leaders to provide leadership to the organization’s programs.  Support on-going development and evaluation of highly effective programs and organizational systems.  Collaborate to ensure that housing and support services are being effectively and cohesively delivered to all youth in the region. Contribute to the development of and ensure adherence to aggressive, measurable, and strategic operational and performance goals for each program.  Actively participate in regularly scheduled program and organization meetings, as well as individual supervision with the Vice President of Programs.
  • Work closely with the My First Place staff in California to ensure implementation fidelity and troubleshoot unexpected challenges that arise in implementing this program in a new state.
  • Provide strategic direction to My First Place program, utilizing data from assessments, reports and evaluations to recommend improvements to the program and interventions employed with youth participants. Incorporate performance management best practices in the management and delivery of services to improve retention and increase outcomes.
  • Ensure efficient and reliable program operations through compliance with Dare Family Services policies and protocols and all regulatory requirements.  
  • Work with referral agencies, community resource organizations and Dare Family Services staff to develop creative ways for participants to practice and strengthen their independent living skills. 
  • Work collaboratively with the Housing staff to ensure cohesive delivery of property management services according to Dare Family Services policies and guidelines.
  • Professionally and effectively represent the agency as needed at regularly scheduled meetings with collaborative partners, and at other meetings as deemed important to the advancement of Dare Family Services’ mission and goals. 
  • The Program Director must be able to handle situational crises in the program or in the community and be part of the on-call coverage.
  • Other duties as needed and assigned.

Qualifications

  • EXPERIENCE – Master’s and LICSW, LCSW or equivalent professional license preferred. At least three years’ years of full-time social work or casework employment in the field of family or child welfare services.  Milieu experience preferred. 
  • DIRECT SERVICE EXPERIENCE – at least 5 years’ experience working with underserved and disadvantaged youth, preferably current and former foster youth.
  • FIELD KNOWLEDGE – Excellent understanding of education and employment resources for youth as well as awareness of other services for young adults and young parents.  Knowledge of which local community referral resources will best meet the needs of youth at the Dare Family Services programs.
  • PEOPLE, PROJECT AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT SKILLS – Prior supervisory experience required. Exemplary people management skills, strategic leadership abilities, and the ability to link the development of people with achievement of organizational outcomes. Effective team leadership skills. Cross-functional collaborative capacity.  Ability to either take direction or work independently as the situation requires.  Strong supervisory skills and proven success supporting staff development and empowerment. Demonstrated success organizing, managing and evaluating programs, events, campaigns or productions.
  • STRONG COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to effectively present information to top management and program staff.  Professional demeanor and the ability to represent the interests of the agency with community stakeholders.
  • COMPUTER SKILLS – Proficiency with Office applications including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Experienced with data-base systems.
  • TRANSPORTATION – Dependable car, valid driver’s license and proof of insurance required.
  • AVAILABILITY for some evening and weekend work and for travel as needed.

Managerial Competencies

  • SYSTEM-WIDE THINKING – Builds vision guided by the Strategic Plan and the needs of youth being served · Uses role to champion Dare Family Services’ strategic vision internally and externally · Strategizes and implements rather than just completes tasks.
  • TEAM LEADERSHIP – Recognizes and hires the best people ·  Creates a strong sense of job satisfaction and passion within each staff person and team · Invests in staff using both collaboration and guidance · Models desired behaviors • Builds on strengths and facilitates growth in areas of weakness • Seeks input, assesses risks and makes decisions • Creative approach to challenges • Creates and communicates vision and then empowers team to carry out that vision.
  • PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT – Sets clear goals with staff and uses data to evaluate progress towards goals • Facilitates other people’s realization of their maximum potential • proactively addresses performance issues by diagnosing problems, developing solutions and monitoring progress • Celebrates accomplishments.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT – Develops and implements operational systems that support the organizational mission · regularly evaluates systems for effectiveness · Anticipates challenges and responds appropriately to unforeseen problems · Demonstrates good instincts regarding long-term impact and implications of action · Makes effective decisions and achieves results in the midst of change.
  • TIME MANAGEMENT – Concentrates efforts on Dare Family Services priorities • Ensures staff are focused on the right things • Develops efficient systems, processes and tools · effectively and efficiently uses their own and other people’s time and resources.
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