Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking a Youth Navigation Lead to provide youth-centered, culturally aware, and empathetic leadership to help launch and grow a new Department of Human Services (DHS) initiative known as Homeless Services and Supports Coordination for Youth (HSSCY). The Youth Navigation Lead will play a critical role in ensuring that initial project goals and milestones are achieved, and that service delivery aligns with the vision and guiding principles of Allegheny County’s Coordinated Community Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness. Key responsibilities include supporting and coaching staff, collaborating with partnering service providers and internal DHS departments, and performing administrative functions necessary for the project to be successful. A portion of the Youth Navigation Lead’s time will be spent providing direct service to youth. This is a grant funded position slated to end no later than June 30, 2022. Although the grant is expected to end no later than June 30, 2022, sometimes additional funding can be obtained to extend a grant beyond the end date. If that would occur, one’s employment under the grant might also be extended.
To be effective in this role, the candidate must be comfortable delivering services and supervision both virtually and in-person as needed. Local travel and field work is required. Additional responsibilities will include:
- Working with internal and external stakeholders to identify youth who are a good match for services and assigning clients to Youth Navigators.
- Supervising Youth Navigators, providing coaching, offering timely feedback on performance, and identifying professional development and growth opportunities.
- Reviewing all case plans, offering constructive feedback and ensuring timely flow of case management activities.
- Working with the Youth Navigators, DHS Housing Navigation unit, and other Continuum of Care (CoC) partners to identify and cultivate a community of youth-friendly landlords.
- Helping Youth Navigators problem-solve challenging or complex situations involving clients.
- Establishing business practices to ensure effective internal and external operations; as the project evolves, identifying areas for improvement and strengthening procedures accordingly.
- Representing the HSSCY team at DHS Young Adult Case Conferencing meetings (bi-monthly) and Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Community of Practice meetings (monthly or bi-monthly).
- Ensuring timely and accurate reporting of project data into Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and DHS case management software application.
- Coordinating purchase orders for project materials and supplies.
- Collaborating with and regularly seeking feedback from the DHS Youth Action Board to ensure the project is rooted in authentic youth voice.
- Producing programmatic updates, data and lessons learned from the field to satisfy HUD grant requirements and to contribute to DHS learning.
- Identifying, recommending and supporting implementation of system-level improvements in partnership with YHDP stakeholders and DHS departments.
- Consulting with Director’s Action Line (DAL), DHS staff and provider agency staff to resolve inquiries or concerns.
- Participating in other trainings and meetings as required.
Direct Service Responsibilities
The Youth Navigation Lead will dedicate a portion of time to providing direct service, which could vary depending on the number of youth requiring assistance and project staffing levels. The direct service component will mirror that of the Youth Navigator and will include the following responsibilities:
- Engaging the youth in a way in which they are comfortable.
- Asking the youth what immediate needs they have (in addition to housing needs), and assisting the youth with addressing those needs.
- If applicable, helping the youth maintain connections to services, supports and/or systems in which they were participating prior to becoming homeless.
- Using discussion with the youth, as well as DHS tools (i.e. ClientView) to review the youth’s history with DHS services and supports to inform a conversation with the youth about what worked and did not work in the past, and what they think might work in the future.
- Using DHS common assessment tools to engage the youth in a conversation that will identify their strengths and needs.
- When needed, advocating on the youth’s behalf and when appropriate assisting the youth to advocate on their own behalf.
- Advocating on a system level to ensure timely access to services and supports for youth.
- With youth consent, assisting the youth with finding natural supports/youth members and with making connections/re-connections to those they find.
- As approved by the youth, checking in with them about their progress and satisfaction and scheduling additional meetings and revising their service plan as needed.
- At a timeframe approved by the youth, checking in with them about their strengths and needs, the effectiveness of services and supports they are using and their attainment of outcomes; revising goals and plans as needed.
- Completing and maintaining Conferencing and Teaming facilitator status by holding regular conferencing and teaming meetings with youth and taking the lead on coordinating this method of collaboration with the youth’s support.
- Completing DHS common assessment certification training and maintaining annual re-certification requirements.
- Attending DHS sponsored Family Finding training.
- Additional duties as required.
This job has direct supervisory responsibilities over 2 Youth Navigators. The Youth Navigation Lead is expected to exercise initiative and independent judgement in the supervision and direction of this staff:
- Providing technical assistance and individual supervision to staff.
- Assigning deliverable job priorities and reviewing work produced for quality and efficiency.
- Verifying staff time and attendance for accuracy and approving staff time, schedules (vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time) and travel requests.
- Preparing, completing and signing staff performance evaluations.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Outstanding skills in teambuilding and staff development in a direct service environment.
- Experience working with transition aged youth, preferably in roles that encouraged youth-directed problem-solving and self-advocacy.
- Deep knowledge of Trauma-Informed Care, Positive Youth Development, Equity/Inclusion and Harm Reduction and an understanding of how to align service delivery with these principles and best practices.
- Comfortable with the physical aspects of working in the field, which may involve meeting with youth in encampments and other outdoor spaces, in emergency shelters, and a variety of other residential and public spaces.
- Excellent organizational skills and a strong command of details.
- Ability to produce reports, summarize data and present lessons learned.
- Extensive knowledge of housing, education and employment pathways and resources.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Ability to work in a changing environment that may include some ambiguity.
- Ability to utilize web-based and PC software and e-mail.
- Ability to work as part of a high-performance team.
- Ability to handle multiple, simultaneous tasks within time constraints.
- Lived experience with homelessness is desirable, but not required.
Master’s/Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in a human services field, plus 1/3 year(s) of experience working in the human services field performing direct practice. Valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle are required.
Salary range: $48,000-$52,000 per year plus comprehensive benefits package.
Interested candidates should complete an application and submit a resume and cover letter at:https://recruiting.ultipro.com/ARI1008ATLLC/JobBoard/75369c8d-5006-4f09-b0a5-68f3a719d6b2/OpportunityDetail?opportunityId=a84251af-bbed-4fc7-b8f3-79431f7884f7
If hired for a position, candidates would work for Allegheny County, Department of Human Services and be employed by Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute.
About Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)
In Allegheny County, we appreciate people who think big, act boldly, and care about making a difference. You don’t have to be from here to feel at home, or to make your mark. With only 1.3 million people in the County, it’s small enough for motivated people to get things done. Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services (DHS) is a perfect place to get things done that directly affect people in need in a positive and lasting way. We help children grow up safer and healthier, older adults remain able to live independently, and neighborhoods to thrive. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of people in Allegheny County.
DHS is the largest agency in Allegheny County government, with a budget of nearly $1 billion. DHS serves over 200,000 people a year through services that include: Protecting children and youth from abuse and neglect and preventing future occurrences of maltreatment; improving child wellness through family support, home visiting, early intervention and in-home services; providing treatment for behavioral health issues such as substance use disorders and mental illness; managing the care of adults with intellectual disabilities; preventing unnecessary nursing home stays; and services that prevent homelessness and provide shelter and housing for families and individuals.
- It is innovative. Most recently, the national attention and awards we’ve gotten are for how DHS integrates data and uses them to improve the safety and well-being of children through tools that support front-line staff in making decisions (using predictive analytics).
- DHS is diverse, but we strive to be even more inclusive. Our director has made it his top priority that DHS is “the kind of place where a diverse group of talented people want to come, grow, and do their best work.” This includes equity in hiring and advancement, as well as in unleashing the creativity and ideas of staff at every level of DHS.
- It has strong, assertive leaders. We do not hire yes-people.
You can make a big impact here. We stand out as one of the best human services organizations in the country. But we need problem-solvers, innovators, and terrific leaders to make sure we are smart in how we use our funding so that we reach the people who most need our help to make their lives better.
“At DHS we have a clear vision: to be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to grow and do their best work.”
-From the organization’s statement on Equity and Inclusion