Youth Support Specialist

Providence or Middletown, RI
Full Time
Independent Living Program
Entry Level

This position is eligible for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds which includes a one-time $750.00 sign-on bonus payable after the completion of 90 days of employment as well as a monthly stipend of up to $694.50 which is based upon the hours worked in the previous month. These funds are guaranteed through June 30, 2023.

Company Overview

At Child & Family, we hold two core beliefs. That individuals and communities thrive when supported by strong families and that a community works best when it accepts responsibility for all of its members. These beliefs influence everything we do and have guided our growth since we first opened our doors in 1866.

Job Summary

The Youth Support Specialist provides support and appropriate role modeling to participants in our Independent Living Program, a trauma-informed and therapeutic environment. This position is responsible for promoting the physical, mental and behavioral health of each participant. There is a focus on life skill development including, but not limited to: education, employment, household management, budgeting/saving, social-skill building, and maintaining mental and physical health needs. She/he will work as a part of a collaborative trauma informed therapeutic team, establishing open communication and support among co-workers. She/he will also provide case management services, support and advocacy for youth and young adults.  She/he will provide the ILP team with expertise in accessing and navigating a complex and under resourced system of housing. The Housing Specialist will be responsible for increasing housing availability within Rhode Island for our ILP client.

FLSA Status:  Exempt

Hours:  37.5 per week

Supervisory Responsibilities:  None

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Cultivate a trauma-informed environment by: understanding the short and long-term impacts of trauma and neglect; responding to the clients and their family/caretakers with empathy, sensitivity, and respect and; maintaining trauma-sensitive language and approaches in all interactions
  • Interview clients individually, assessing their situations, capabilities, and problems, to determine what services are required to meet their needs; Provide initial consultation to youth  to review the service planning process
  • Implement both agency and individualized behavior management practices utilizing appropriate trauma-sensitive techniques to monitor, assess and document situations and client status
  • Maintain positive professional interactions with individuals within the community (i.e., parents,  police departments, hospital staff, neighbors, DCYF, Child Advocate, schools, court personnel, etc
  • Assist clients with obtaining and maintaining employment and education, daily and monthly household management, budgeting/saving, healthy social skills, positive communication, accessing community resources such as DHS and housing authorities, setting and maintaining physical and mental health appointments, and other life skills as client’s individual plan directs
  • Understand and professionally represent the obligations, functions, programs, and services of the Agency and their relation to staff, clients, and the community
  • Abide by mandates regarding confidentiality and ethics as per federal, state and agency policy and procedures
  • Provide service to youth and young adults throughout the Rhode Island area, including Aquidneck Island, Providence and surrounding communities, and South County
  • Transportation of clients in a safe and secure manner following state and agency transportation policies; use of person vehicle as needed
  • Ensure that all appropriate notifications, incident reports, etc. are completed as necessary and required per state and agency policy and procedure
  • Assist with processing all client and/or program incidents and conduct investigations when needed and as instructed by supervisor
  • Develop and maintain positive professional relationships and collaborative communications with other supervisory staff, clients, families, the community (i.e., police departments, hospital staff, neighbors, DCYF, RI Child Advocate, other wrap-around services, schools, court personnel, and other collaborative resources)
  • Maintain positive communication and partnership with landlords/property managers at the homes in which occupants reside
  • Coordinate intakes with state agency personnel and participate in the client intake and support plan meetings
  • Complete Assessment Based Plan and develop self-sufficiency plans for each youth in conjunction with youth input
  • Provide case management services in support of the client’s Self-Sufficiency Plan
  • Assist in obtaining and coordinating relevant assessment data, i.e. school records, assessment summaries, and other documents
  • Consult with school personnel to determine causes of problems such as truancy and misbehavior, and to implement solutions
  • Utilize positive youth development framework to provide a wide range of assistance and resources to youth in establishing and maintaining his/her independence
  • Refer clients to community resources for services such as job placement, debt counseling, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, or financial assistance, and provide concrete information, such as where to go and how to apply
  • Provide in-home services and support to youth
  • Attend court reviews, compose court letters, and make recommendations to the court with regard to agency care, treatment and services as well as permanency and other transitions
  • Participate as a team member in the implementation, monitoring and evaluating of the Independent Living program
  • Ensure quality care and services in compliance with standards set by federal, state, accreditation and the agency
  • Engage in continuous safety and risk management identification and enforcement processes in accordance with federal, state, accreditation and agency safety policies and protocols
  • Participate in an on-call rotation
  • Participate in program initiatives, in-service sessions, and workshops pertaining to life skills
  • Documentation and Record Requirements:
    • Maintain resource file of printed program materials
    • Create and maintain all necessary case records statistics and other required paperwork
    • Ensure all required documentation is up-to-date, thorough and accurate
    • Ensure client intake and termination dates and demographic information is communicated to required parties
    • Ensure all clients receive goal-oriented assessments and self-sufficiency plans within established time frames
  • Available for emergency on-call response to crisis situations


  • Identify appropriate permanent housing options for clients such as subsidized housing and Section 8 with ILP clients
  • Develop and maintain positive professional and collaborative relationships with realtors, landlords and public housing authorities to assist clients in accessing resources and housing opportunities.  
  • Identify and facilitate clients’ access to safe, permanent and affordable housing as they age out of the state care.  
  • Establish, update, maintain and communicate a list of available housing opportunity.
  • Maintain positive communication and partnership with landlords/property managers at the homes in which occupants reside.
  • Mediate with landlords, obtaining utilities and making moving arrangement when needed.
  • Access to, and understanding of, eligibility for the respective housing programs.
  • Help clients develop a sustainable budget in support of the client’s housing Self-Sufficiency Plan.
  • Transport clients in personal vehicle as needed, in a safe and secure manner following state and agency transportation policies.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work, health, human services, education, psychology or related field +6  months of human service experience, particularly with adolescents and/or young adults, OR
  • Associates degree or 2 years of equivalent college experience + 12 months of human service experience, particularly with adolescents and/or young adults
  • Must be at least 21 years old

Benefits and Perks

All full-time and part-time employees are considered benefit eligible and are eligible for all Agency benefits. Temporary employees are considered not benefit eligible and are only eligible for paid time off under the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act.

Offers of Employment

All offers of employment are contingent upon the successful and favorable completion of:

  • Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI)
  • National fingerprint check
  • Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS)
  • Tuberculosis test
  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • For positions that require driving to/from client meetings and/or driving clients:
    • Valid drivers license
    • Motor vehicle record
    • Vehicle registration
    • Proof of insurance
  • For positions within our Sandpipers program as required by the Rhode Island Department of Health:
    • 1 dose of Flu vaccine every year
    • 2 doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
    • 1 dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccine
    • 2 doses of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Equal Employment Opportunity

Child & Family will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation), marital status, parental status, national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), political affiliation, military service, or any other protected category under local, state or federal law. These protections extend to all management practices and decisions, including recruitment and hiring, performance evaluation and management systems, promotions, training, and career development programs. Consistent with these obligations, the Agency also provides reasonable accommodations to employees and applicants with disabilities and for sincerely held religious beliefs, observances, and practices.

Affirmative Action

Child & Family strives to achieve a workforce that includes representation of qualified affirmative action group members in proportion to the qualified and available target group workforce in the community that we serve.


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