Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) is seeking a Youth Navigator to offer coaching and comprehensive service coordination to youth in crisis as they transition from homelessness to safe, stable housing. The Youth Navigator will serve as the young person’s primary point of contact and work closely with other providers and community partners to support youths’ access to resources and supports that help secure and maintain permanent housing. Day-to-day responsibilities will include relationship building, working with youth to set goals and engage in problem-solving activities, and facilitating referrals to community resources and natural supports to help youth achieve their goals. Youth Navigators will provide strengths-based services that align with Trauma-Informed Care and Positive Youth Development principles and best practices.
Youth will be connected to Youth Navigation services through Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Young Adult Case Conferencing and referrals from providers. Services will be voluntary, low-barrier and youth-led. It is expected that the Youth Navigator will typically start working with youth while they are connected to shelter or street outreach and continue providing support for up to 6 months after the youth is stably housed. 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 both virtually and in-person as needed. Local travel and field work required. Additional responsibilities will include:
Engagement, Assessment and Planning
- 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/family 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; 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.
- Consulting with Director’s Action Line (DAL), DHS staff and provider agency staff to resolve inquiries or concerns.
- Entering data into web-based information tracking systems in a timely manner.
- Preparing correspondence, reports and other materials as necessary; maintaining records, files and other documentation as appropriate.
- 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.
- Regularly participating in Young Adult Case Conferencing and Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program Community of Practice meetings.
- Participating in other trainings and meetings as required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Outstanding skills in building relationships with youth in a direct service environment.
- 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.
- Experience working with transition aged youth, preferably in roles that encouraged youth-directed problem-solving and self-advocacy.
- Ability to communicate using youths’ preferred platforms (texting, social media, etc.)
- Awareness of Trauma-Informed Care, Positive Youth Development, Equity/Inclusion, and Harm Reduction and commitment to applying these principles to work with youth.
- Knowledge of housing, education and employment pathways and resources.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Ability to assist youth to identify strengths and needs and to prioritize goals.
- Ability to work with providers to encourage youth-focused, strengths-based practice.
- Willingness to adjust work schedule to accommodate the schedules of the youth (may include some evenings and weekend hours).
- 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 degree from an accredited college/university in a human services field or Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college/university in a human services field, plus at least 1 year of experience working in the human services field performing direct practice. Valid driver’s license
and access to a reliable vehicle are required.
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=9a42e6fe-3608-4b0e-9d2c-3bf98f09ae9a
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
AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER – M/F/V/D