FAMILY ADVOCATE AT STAMFORD HIGH SCHOOL

JOB OVERVIEW AND REQUIREMENTS

Are you ready to transform the educational experience of incoming and repeat 9th grade students at Stamford High School who haven’t yet found academic success?  Do you want to help develop a cutting edge program that has the opportunity to ensure disengaged students are on track to graduate? Do you want to be challenged, have fun, work hard, and incorporate student feedback into the model as we develop it? Domus is looking for two Family Advocates to implement a pilot program in its second year for disengaged students.

Our story: In light of the recent Parthenon report “Untapped potential:  Engaging all Connecticut youth”  (http://cdn.ey.com/parthenon/pdf/perspectives/Parthenon-EY_Untapped-Potential_Dalio-Report_final_092016_web.pdf ), we know that there are 39,000 disengaged and disconnected youth in Connecticut and the need to re-engage them is urgent if we want our state to succeed and our graduation rates to rise. If we were able to cut this number in half, the economic value to the state would be over $3 billion in additional gross state product.

To that end, in the 2017/8 school year, Domus launched a 2 year pilot program aimed at re-engaging disengaged 9th grade students (48 students year 1 and 96 students year 2). In Year 2, the Family Advocates will help refine the program model, working directly with a caseload of 25 young people and school staff being coached by the Directors of Family Advocacy.

REPORTS TO: Directors of Family Advocacy, Chris Arenas and Erica Newton

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Relentless Relationship Building with youth (50%)

  • Engage youth in 1-1, positive, life changing relationships and become a trusted go-to resource
  • Utilize teachable moments to teach/model interpersonal communication skills
  • Provide therapy on the hoof
  • Use method of assertive friendliness-actively seeking contact with young people rather than waiting to be greeted, or for a young person to ask for help
  • Address youth’s past and current traumas and stressors as they relate to the underlying drivers of current behavioral challenges
  • Utilize Domus’ core principles to build relationships, most importantly never giving up and giving many chances

Skills Building with Youth (20%)

  • Create Student Success Plans (long and short term academic, social/emotional, behavioral and career goals) for young people
  • Oversee tutoring for those students who require it
  • Develop and maintain relationships with outside community supports and connections as appropriate for young people
  • Oversee mentoring program
  • Oversee weekly “Ketchup” program—class during the school day where students finish incomplete assignments
  • Develop and implement skills building classes

Collaborating with school staff (20%)

  • Conference with teachers to monitor progress of youth and troubleshoot
  • Provide crisis intervention in the classroom
  • Find out from teaching staff any missing class/homework of the student and work with student to complete work and hand it in
  • Attend any student meetings including PPT meetings, SST meetings, staff meetings, etc.

Data Collection and review (10%)

  • Document daily face to face interactions with youth, as well as any behavioral and attendance challenges the youth may have
  • Document on a weekly and monthly basis all skills building opportunities
  • Document 3x per year SSP goals and progress toward those goals
  • Document any interactions with school staff in support of program youth
  • Review and respond to the data on a daily, weekly and monthly basis

OUR HIRING PROCESS & TIMELINE

  • We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. That being said, we will review all applications received by June 20th. We would like to host interviews on June 20th, 22nd and June 25th, with final interviews (tentative date on June 29th), for your planning purposes.
  • To apply, please send a brief letter of interest to Julie D. @ jdegennaro@domuskids.org .  Please fully read this job description, the attached program model, the attached work schedule, the Parthenon report (see link above) and address the following:
    1. Briefly address what about this program speaks to you and why you think you are a good fit;
    2. Briefly address your ability to achieve the program components and expected outcomes;
    3. Please tell us (briefly) how your personal values and beliefs do or do not align with the core program beliefs
  • Finalists will be invited to a second-round interviews, and finalists will also be required to meet with Stamford High School staff ; we will make an offer shortly thereafter;
  • We would like to have the selected candidate start mid-July/beginning of August.
  • PLEASE:  if you have any questions or concerns, or are interested in having a conversation about whether or not this job is a fit for you before you apply, reach out to me @ jdegennaro@domuskids.org or 203-415-2232.  Start with a text or email, and we can always set up a time to chat about anything you would like to in regard to this positon.

Domus is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, especially those from Stamford, are strongly encouraged to apply.

ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • A great sense of humor!
  • A strong work ethic
  • Ability to work in a new program, where we will be learning together as we build our model.
  • Able to about one evening per month (4pm-8pm), and some weekends and other non-traditional work times (see attached draft schedule)
  • Commitment to our mission, values and core program beliefs
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Willingness to work within systems, with a nuanced understanding of the balance of building relationships and advocating within an institution that is not operated by Domus
  • Ability to collect required data and respond to the data
  • Flexibility and adaptability, able to shift styles to fit the needs of a wide range of cultures, people, and organizations
  • High emotional intelligence, able to easily develop deep, trusting relationships with diverse individuals from many different backgrounds
  • Impeccable written and oral communication skills
  • Love of young people, especially young people others consider unlovable
  • In order to work for us in this position, you MUST be able to pass a V endorsement on your license.  You don’t have to have when applying, but need to apply for and pass within first 30 days of employment.  Check it out here:  http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=805&q=244782

COMPENSATION

  • Salary range of $38,000 to $50,000 based on experience
  • Full-time, non-exempt position, working a minimum of 40.0 hours per week. We believe in work-life balance, and there will be times when the balance tips to work and when the balance tips toward life.  We will frequently work more than 40 hours when school is in session and less than 40 hours when school is not in session (see attached work schedule).

CORE PROGRAM BELIEFS

  • We believe that within each of us is a desire to move towards health and achievement, under the right conditions.  It is our job to provide young people with those conditions.
  • We believe that every young person wants to love and be loved.  It is our job to love these young people, and to help them learn to love themselves and others.
  • We believe in the power of belonging.  It is a core human condition to want to be missed when we are gone.  We will miss young people when they are absent and we will express that: “We didn’t see you yesterday. We missed you.  We are glad you are back”. We will make sure every young person belongs in our community.  No matter what.  “She drew a circle to shut me out. Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle that took her in”(Edwin Markham)
  • We accept young people for who they are.  Right here. Right now.  They do not have to change to be respected and loved and valued and be a member of our community. Behavior is not a condition of their worth as human beings.
  • We believe that every young person wants to be in charge of their own life.  To that end, we will give young people a voice in this program, and choices of how to best accomplish their goals.
  • We are hungry to understand if our interventions are having the intended impact.  We will be meticulous in our data entry, and ruthless in our hunt to understand the data and learn from it. If what we are doing is not working, we will set aside our egos, intentions and preconceived notions and we will change what we are doing.
  • We believe that the young people with whom we work deserve our full attention and our best selves.  Therefore, we will:  NOT allow our personal beliefs or baggage to interfere with our work; we will commit to doing excellent work all the time on behalf of our young people; we will be honest and transparent with ourselves, our colleagues and our partners. To be very clear, by working in this program we are committing to:
  • Working out our personal issues outside of work;
  • Committing to a monthly professional group counseling session with our FA colleagues to address any internal issues;
  • Refraining from gossiping at all costs—bringing all issues directly back to the person OR to the group session;
  • Learning our craft before practicing on our youth;
  • Giving and receiving honest feedback, even if it is uncomfortable to hear or say