Now Hiring: 9 Parent Advocates at NYC Foster Care Agencies, with Rise Training and Support

Graham and Rising Ground are hiring a total of 9 parent advocates who will support parents with children in foster care to understand and navigate the foster care system, make decisions for their families, remain hopeful, and address family challenges so that they can accomplish their goal of reunification. The focus of this job is building connections with parents and working collaboratively with case planners.

This initiative is built upon the premise that Advocates with their own personal prior lived experience of the child welfare system will be effective in informing and supporting parents with children in foster care, and help to improve outcomes for children and families.  

This is a full-time role with the potential for a flexible work schedule.

Attend an Open House with Parent Advocates to Learn More

To learn more about these Parent Advocate positions, please join us in an Open House to hear from current NYC Parent Advocates about their roles and ask any questions:

  • Nov 17 11-12pm
  • Dec 17 4-5pm

RSVP to:

You can apply to either Graham or Rising Ground, or to both agencies.

NYC Parent Advocates Together in 2018

Intensive Support for Parents

Each Parent Advocate will be assigned to a case planning unit and will support parents and bring their experience to the foster care agency decision-making process so that children are more likely to quickly and safely return home. The Advocates will be part of the Parents Supporting Parents initiative recently launched by the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), in conjunction with Rise, a parent-led NYC advocacy organization, and other important child welfare stakeholders.

Training and Support Through Rise

All advocates will be trained and supported through Rise as part of a group of parent advocates newly hired to work in foster care agencies, with a focus on healing and self-care; building knowledge of child welfare law, policy and practice; building relationships for support and mentorship with other advocates; and creating an ongoing support and advocacy network.

Ideal Candidates

The ideal candidate for the Parent Advocate role is a parent with previous life experience being impacted by the child welfare system as a parent including having had a child placed in foster care or having had a court-ordered supervision case. Other prior child welfare involvement such as having personally experienced child welfare investigations may also qualify.  Previous child welfare cases must be closed for at least one year.

You Are:

  • A natural collaborator
  • Warm, enthusiastic, able to engage and positively impact individuals 
  • Someone who has a sincere appreciation for people and how they are each uniquely motivated 
  • Skilled at working in a fast-paced environment on multiple projects occurring simultaneously
  • Someone who will uphold the mission and values of the agenecy
  • Able to maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Able to work flexible hours
  • Able to travel extensively to all NYC boroughs

You Have:

  • Experience holding challenging conversations
  • Strong interpersonal skills to assist with parent engagement and are geared towards working sensitively on topics involving trauma, stress and healing
  • Writing skills 
  • Computer skills conducting Google searches and using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Passion for parent leadership and preventing child welfare involvement

It Is A Plus If You:

  • Have experience as a Parent Advocate in foster care, preventive, mental health, or family defense agencies, or in any coaching or support roles in community organizations, schools, etc.
  • Have experience facilitating meetings
  • Are bilingual
Parent Advocates Samantha Ruiz and Jovonna Frieson at a 2019 panel on parent advocates

Intensive Support for Families

Advocates will:
● Build relationships and support parents in coping with the trauma of foster care involvement, making decisions for their families, communicating effectively with those involved in their case, and maintaining relationships with their children during foster care placement;
● Prepare parents and participate in Family Team Conferences including but not limited to Transitional, 20 Day, Six Month Service Plan Review, Trial Discharge and Final Discharge conferences;
● Report to a foster care unit supervisor, work alongside case planners and all service providers directly responsible for case outcomes;
● Acquaint parents with the child welfare process and learn to use Rise’s TIPS handouts and resources to inform and support parents;;
● Be trained to facilitate Restorative Justice Peacekeeping Circles to support parents through weekly circles (meetings) at the agency and/or in community;
● Become a partner in Rise’s Reunification Collaborative, working with 6 foster care agencies to improve case practice and engagement with parents in the first 90 days;
● Contribute to defining and achieving success for this effort to build effective and meaningful roles for parent advocates in foster care agencies;
● Recognize and celebrate parents’ progress toward reunification;
● Encourage parents to engage in supportive interventions that will strengthen their families;
● Help families navigate resources;
● Coach parents to strengthen problem-solving skills while discovering their strengths, hopes,
dreams and priorities;
● Perform all other related duties as assigned.

To Apply

You can apply to either Graham or Rising Ground, or to both agencies.

Please include a cover letter.  Your cover letter should briefly explain why you would make a good Family Advocate, why you are interested in doing this work, how your work history or volunteer work has prepared you for this work, and just one sentence noting the type of child welfare involvement you previously experienced. 

Anticipated hire date: December 1, 2020 but position will remain open until it is filled. Candidates will be contacted for virtual interviews on a rolling basis.

A writing assessment will be included in the hiring process.

Salary commensurate with experience. Please see each agency’s job announcement for benefits information and specifics about each organization.

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