Strategic Planner to Design a Service Model that Supports High Needs Children within Families
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 collaboration with Schmidt Futures Foundation, we are developing partnerships with and building bridges between public child welfare and human service agencies to prevent family separations of children involved in child welfare. Fellows will promote equitable outcomes for kids who are or at risk of entering foster care, utilizing an adaptive strategy to improve agency policies and practices for finding, licensing, and supporting kinship caregivers. We are recruiting and placing well-supported Foster America fellows in three locations across the country, and building on existing approaches to ensure children are timely placed in family settings. This team of fellows will also share and leverage ongoing learning across the country as they discover solutions that promote equitable outcomes for children and youth.
About this Role: In partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services, we seek an exceptional systems thinker, strategic planner, and relationship manager to reimagine the service delivery system and model for children who who demonstrate high mental, developmental or physical health needs. While OKDHS has led incredibly successful efforts to keep kids in families, advancing the service continuum for children with high needs at-risk of entering or experiencing foster care has been challenging. OKDHS aspires to establish a system that seamlessly provides complicated services to keep kids in families, simultaneously incentivizing improved outcomes for kids, without limiting their permanency.
The fellow will utilize expertise in research and analysis to design and iterate on solutions that streamline services for children with high needs, while leveraging their relational skills to drive consensus and efficiently coordinate project rollout. A particular focus will be driving critical outcomes such as reduced congregate care placements, increased kinship and family-based placements, and improved wellbeing for children.
Over the course of 18 months, the fellow will:
- Conduct nationwide landscape analysis of systems effectively serving high needs children in or at-risk of entering foster care.
- Map statewide service availability and impact, identifying gaps in services and highlighting opportunities to better provide kinship and intensive resource families the services they need to thrive together.
- Develop strategic plan and business case for a system of partnerships, protocols, processes, workforce capacity building, as well as funding that promote access to the behavioral, medical, and social supports that allow kids who demonstrate high needs to thrive in family settings.
About the agency: Under the passionate leadership of Dr. Deborah Shropshire, The purpose of Child Welfare Services is to improve the safety, permanence and well-being of children and families involved in the Child Welfare system through collaboration with the families and their community. OKDHS’ Child Welfare Services team has taken a bold path towards truly serving the needs of children and their families. This team’s innovative and dedicated spirit has resulted in extensive system improvements that have revolutionized support for kids in care. While they have seen dramatic system-wide improvements, the agency seeks to advance outcomes for children who are in care or at risk or coming into care, who demonstrate high mental, developmental or physical health needs.
About the fellowship: The Foster America Fellowship is an opportunity to radically improve the lives of our nation’s most historically exploited by designing and implementing innovative solutions to some of the foster care 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 leadership, liberatory design, child welfare context, racial equity, innovation, and more
- An influential network of purpose-driven professionals including fellows, Foster America staff, and the child welfare field’s most innovative leaders as faculty
- Individualized project and leadership coaching, mentorship, and support
- Career development for alumni who pursue positions in child welfare and related sectors
- Reporting directly to Tricia Howell, join a team that is dedicated to ensuring children reside with a safe and loving family.
- Lead change efforts that have the opportunity to measurably improve outcomes for children who demonstrate high mental, developmental or physical health needs.
- Alongside families, internal experts, and partnering agencies, this role will design and iterate on evolving processes and practices.
- Work on the cutting edge of building a child welfare model focused on supports for sustaining families.
- Collaborate with a network of fellows and child welfare agencies working together to improve the broader resource family licensure process.
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
- Experienced in strategic planning and project management
- Able to navigate complex political environments, engage diverse stakeholders, and build collaborative coalitions
- Experienced in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work
- Creative in developing unique solutions to complex problems
- Results-oriented, with a track record of leading change
- Flexible, adaptable, proactive, and persistent
- Curious and eager learners
- Humble and self-reflective
- Fellows must have U.S. work authorization.
- Fellows must be able to work full-time for at least 18 months starting April 12th, 2021.
- 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.
Frequently cited statistics show that underrepresented groups apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. Foster America encourages you to break that statistic and apply. No one ever meets 100% of the qualifications. We look forward to your application.