Job Title: Director of Advocacy
Reports to: Chief Program Officer
Employment Status: Full-time/Salaried
To be considered for this posting, potential candidates must send a cover letter and resume to [email protected]
CASA of Los Angeles mobilizes community volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in foster care. The organization envisions a Los Angeles where every child has an advocate and the opportunity to thrive. CASA of Los Angeles is on a path over the next five years to expand services to vulnerable children in foster care so that it provides services to a meaningful number of the 30,000 children in the dependency court system every year. Key to these efforts is growth in the number of volunteers trained each year, the number who stay active in a year, and in revenue raised from community partners and other donors.
The director of advocacy reports to the chief program officer and provides leadership and consistency of program implementation for CASA/LA. The position is based in our Monterey Park office and supports the satellite offices in LA County. The director of advocacy directly supervises the advocacy team managers (currently 4), program managers (2) and the advocacy operations manager. This individual will be dedicated to CASA’s mission and responsible for the overall success and outcomes of the advocacy program. The position will partner with the CPO and director of volunteer services to implement a long- term strategy to build capacity and growth of CASA/LA. The director of advocacy will provide leadership of program implementation through the positive engagement, coordination, supervision, training, and coaching of staff and volunteers toward the provision of quality advocacy work. The advocacy framework is to be supported from a best practice approach in the child welfare field.
- Facilitate inter-department communication to ensure effective collaborations between advocacy department and other CASA departments.
- Serve as member of CASA’s senior management team and provide overall programmatic leadership and vision of advocacy team.
- Provide succinct and timely updates and reports on the status of advocacy program areas including successes and challenges as they occur, in meetings with the CPO, CEO and Board of Directors.
- Provide technical assistance on case-related issues to advocacy team staff.
- Oversee caseload assignment process for advocate supervisors and advocacy team managers.
- Collaborate with advocacy staff to respond to community feedback on CASA program.
- Collaborate with advocacy staff to support CASAs on challenging case issues and instances of a CASA’s violation of code of conduct
- Exercise leadership, independent decision making and professional judgement in day-to-day problem solving with team members and CASA staff.
- Provide effective communication regularly and consistently with staff including individually and monthly group supervisory team meetings to provide a safe and supportive space for team members to dialogue about case issues, share best practices, discuss performance challenges and address individual team member needs.
- Provide staff with constructive and positive feedback timely throughout the year in reference to the performance of their duties, competencies, and accomplishments that focus’ on motivating, learning, coaching, mentoring, and if needed, intervention.
- Collaborate with HR manager and CPO on staff needs and challenges.
- Administer 6-month and annual reviews.
- Engage and actively support the team members’ development opportunities that promote professional growth for the team member by creating/administering IDPs (Individual Development Plans) which identify continuing education and training/development activities.
- Promote team member self-care and general well-being.
- Model positivity and collaboration in working with CASA volunteers, staff and community partners.
- Champion an approach to working with children/youth and families that emphasizes relationships, collaboration and the challenging of social injustices.
- Be motivated towards professional development and complete at least 12 hours of continuing education per year to increase knowledge regarding needs of children/youth in the child welfare system.
- Communicate and collaborate with other stakeholders to gain community support for the program and solicit input toward program quality improvement.
- Represent CASA at local/state/national meetings, task forces, and interagency trainings as assigned.
Program Development and Implementation
- Create and update, as needed, program policies, procedures and protocols for program manuals, and staff and volunteer handbooks.
- Coordinate the implementation and delivery of new program initiatives that support the strategic direction of CASA. Develop and implement long-term goals and objectives for programs.
- Partner with director of volunteer services on transition of new CASA graduates to advocacy program and in ensuring that CASA pre-training and in-services reflect current advocacy practice and new programming. Attend pre-service training as appropriate.
- Collaborate with director of strategic initiatives and CPO to identify and pursue funding opportunities that match CASA program initiatives.
- Collaborate with CPO and data and reporting manager to provide consistent and quality reporting on program outcomes to be utilized for Board and grantor reports. Be fully knowledgeable of grant deliverables, track and provide quality assurance toward successful outcomes.
- Coordinate, manage and provide training to staff on new program initiatives. Assist in facilitating staff in taking a lead role in carrying out program initiatives. Foster healthy working relationships within the team and across CASA/LA.
- Ensure that staff and volunteers utilize the database case management system (ETO) in accordance with policies and procedures. Create and monitor effective system of ongoing quality assurance for electronic charts and staff and volunteer accountability to basic standards.
- Ensure that program activities are implemented within the policies and procedures of the organization and are compliant with AOC, National CASA and California CASA standards.
- Attend and actively participate in one on one supervisory meetings and team group meetings as scheduled.
- Travel required on an as-needed basis, including occasional evening and weekend work.
- Other special projects as assigned.
- Master’s degree in the areas of human services, social work, psychology or a related field.
- Strong management experience with staff and volunteers. Experience in change management a plus.
- Minimum of ten years’ experience in the field of child welfare, juvenile law and/or volunteer program management. Prefer progressive leadership experience with a non-profit focused on children and youth.
- Ability to provide best practice guidance from a bio-psycho-social perspective in assisting advocates in their work on cases.
- Experience with advocacy work, campaigns, outreach, public education and communications.
- Knowledge of program operations, quality assurance and continuous quality improvement systems and data management.
- Ability to think strategically and establish goals and priorities that will be included in a multi-year work-plan for the program.
- Knowledge of federal, state, and California agencies relating to foster care and juvenile court system.
- Multi-cultural fluency; demonstrable desire and capacity to reach underserved populations.
- Experience with grants management: private, federal, and state contracts.
- General understanding of budgeting and accounting.
- Highly proficient in MS Office, and ability to work with new systems.
- Excellent organizational skills and ability to multi-task.
- Ability to work within a multicultural environment serving children and families of diverse backgrounds.
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills in English.
- Ability to pass a Livescan background check.
- Behave in accordance with all competencies required of a leader that demonstrate the following:
- Actively listens to concerns and exhibits patience even if in disagreement
- Responds and communicates constructively and positively to others and their opinions with a collaborative and non-judgmental approach
- Conveys the point of the discussion clearly, providing supporting information
- Effectively cascades information to the team and actively inquires their opinions and input
- Exhibit emotional control during all encounters whether in agreement or not and while taking difficult stands
- Proactively takes responsibility for self and team.
- Builds professional, positive, and respectful relationships
- Adapts leadership style to build engagement based on individual needs of team rather than using a ‘one style fits all’ approach
- Exemplifies leadership skills that proactively address and exceed internal and external needs/expectations
Physical Requirements and Work Environment
- Time will be spent in the office and out in the field and could involve intermittent physical activities, including standing, bending, reaching, sitting, speaking, and walking.
- The CASA office is an open office layout. Candidates will be working in a shared space with varying levels of noise and foot traffic.