Foster Care Family Specialist

The Foster Care (FC) Family Specialist will assist with licensing foster homes according to the Child Placing Agency regulations and provide family support and case management services to foster families and children placed in their homes. The FC Family Specialist will maintain a caseload of 14-16 licensed foster families. The FC Family Specialist will act as a liaison between the Department of Social Services and other school/medical/community organizations and will advocate for the needs of the foster families and children placed in foster care. Extensive driving is required and mileage is reimbursed at Thornwell’s established rate. The FC Family Specialist will ensure the provision of quality services to the foster families and children through the use of established Thornwell, Teaching-Family Association (TFA), Trust-Based Relational Interventions (TBRI), Council of Accreditations (COA) standards and state and federal guidelines. The FC Family Specialist will assist with pre-service and on-going training to ensure foster family retention and high quality of care for children placed in Thornwell foster homes.

Core Responsibilities

  • Assist with screening and logging prospective foster family calls.
  • Assist with screening child placement calls from referral agencies, parents and community and provide appropriate referrals when on-call.
  • Assist with interest meetings and orientation and interact with prospective foster families.
  • Process foster family applications within required time frames (references, SLED, CPS check, medicals, fingerprinting, inspections by Fire Marshall)
  • Conduct Home Study for foster care applicants at the time of licensure and re-licensure.
  • Facilitate training events and speakers for regional foster parent meetings/support groups and coordinate volunteers needed for support for the event (i.e. child care, snacks/meals, directions/greeting/sign-in).
  • Schedule and visit each foster home in your caseload every 4 to 6 weeks. Provided unannounced/limited notice visit 2 times per year.
  • Maintain foster parent files with required documentation and case notes using electronic system and hard copy files as appropriate.
  • Maintain contact with biological family and DSS worker as needed and document visitation arrangements, court orders and services requested and provided.
  • Participate in child/case planning, appointments, Foster Care Review board and court hearings as needed.
  • Discharge planning with foster families, DSS, schools and medical/mental health connections.
  • Ensure each licensed home is regularly in compliance with licensing procedures.
  • Complete re-licensing packet every 2 years and meet annual licensing requirements for each home and provide State DSS Office with necessary documentation.
  • Provide support for foster parents and be an advocate for children.
  • Assist with planning Family Fun Events, Regional Trainings/Support Meetings and Annual State Wide Conference
  • Assist with recruitment events and activities.Assist in establishing quarterly and annual goals and objectives for Thornwell Foster Care Program. Assist in providing monthly activity reports with data collection for grants and outcome measures.
  • Participate in Foster Care Team Meetings.Communicate regularly with the Community Based Programs Coordinator and the Foster Care Director to ensure that any concerns regarding foster families and children are addressed in a timely manner.
  • Assist with pre-service training and on-going training for foster and respite families.

Working Conditions

The Foster Care Family Specialist will work remotely from a home office and a church/community office. A minimum of 24 hours of office time is expected in order to communicate with Foster Care Team, work on foster families files, and participate in trainings and event/support meetings.  Other hours will be spent in the foster family’s home, DSS offices, and court/Foster Care Review Board. The FC Family Specialist will travel daily using their own car and will be reimbursed at Thornwell’s defined standard rate.  The FC Family Specialist will utilize their personal cell phone device and will be reimbursed at Thornwell’s defined standard rate.  Limited overnight travel for staff meetings, special events and training is required.  The FC Family Specialist will be required to use computers with the most frequent applications to include:  Word Processing, Excel Spreadsheets, Power Point, Video Conferencing and Electronic Note taking system (Best Notes).  The FC Family Specialist will work a flexible schedule to meet the needs of the families and church/community organizations we serve. Most Special Events will be scheduled in the early evening hours and on Saturdays. This position will require the following physical activity level: sitting, standing, walking, driving, setting up/taking down meeting space/exhibit space materials (tables, chairs, presentation equipment, screens, and banners), and game playing at Family Fun Events and some public speaking & technical writing.

Qualifications

The FC Family Specialist must be committed to supporting foster families that are devoted to establishing a healthy home environment through the use of Trust-Based Relational Interactions (TBRI) and the Teaching-Family Model. The FC Family Specialist will have a willingness to share their personal calling to work with foster families as appropriate. The FC Family Specialist must be or will become a South Carolina Certified Adoption Specialist. The FC Family Specialist must possess strong communication skills; have the ability to organize, prioritize, and implement work activities independently; strong team building skills; and desire to grow professionally.  The FC Family Specialist must have direct experience working within community based case management field and direct foster care experience is preferred.  The FC Family Specialist must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The FC Family Specialist must have a valid driver’s license in the state they reside.

Skills

  • Experience working with youth with emotional and behavioral challenges and their families.
  • Effective problem solving and creative resolution skills.
  • Possess strong organizational strategies to manage own work flow and prioritize.
  • Strong capacity to build positive relationships with community stakeholders and market the Foster Care program to appropriate sources within the state.

Thornwell Home for Children is an independent, non-profit religious organization affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and prefers to employ individuals who are Christians and who possess a Christian commitment, as well as concern, for children and families in need.

How to Apply:

For consideration, please submit the following to HR@thornwell.org

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter in which you specifically address why you wish to serve in this role, how your skills and experience have uniquely qualified you for this position, and salary requirements.

Please no faxes, phone calls, or recruiters. Qualified candidates in whom we have further interest will be contacted. Please note our process for hiring qualified candidates will involve the following, as per agency policy and in order to comply with all federal and state laws and licensing requirements:

  • Phone and in-person interview, drug testing, background checks, academic degree and licensing verification, and reference checking.

Position open until filled.

 

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