West Michigan Partnership for Children (WMPC), in collaboration with the five private foster care agencies in Kent County (Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, Samaritas, and Wellspring Lutheran Services) is recruiting parents with lived experience to be Parent Engagement Specialists (PESs). As part of a Parent Engagement Program (PEP), the PES will provide active, hands-on peer support to parents with children ages 0-5 within the Kent County foster care system, ultimately contributing to successful reunification and the prevention of reentry to foster care. A part-time role (20 hours per week), WMPC and its partners are recruiting five PES positions to be employed by each of the five foster care agencies in Kent County.
HOW YOU WILL SPEND YOUR DAY
The Parent Engagement Specialist will have lived experienced in the child welfare system and will engage, involve, and equip birth parents through the provision of active, hands-on peer support. The position aims to assist families in successfully reunifying and ultimately reducing reentry to foster care through the following activities:
- Have regular face-to-face visits with the parents, as well as other (email, phone, web) communication and contact
with the parents.
- Encourage the parents to fulfill their case plan activities.
- Empower parents to advocate for needed resources.
- Support increasing engagement between the parents and the caregiver and foster care case manager.
- Connect the parents with community resources.
- Help the parents connect with the community.
- Coach the parents on communication strategies.
- Support the parents at FTM, court, treatment, other gatherings.
- Coach the parents on what to expect throughout the child welfare process.
- Ensure proper and thorough documentation of engagement activities; submit documentation to Parent
Engagement Coordinator in timely manner.
- Assist Program Engagement Coordinator in identifying individuals to serve on Parent Advisory Committee.
- Contribute to Parent Advisory Committee, parent interviews and focus groups, and participate in a Parent Feedback
Project in coordination with WMPC’s Performance and Quality Improvement (PQI) team.
- Attend required agency meetings and trainings.
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
High School Diploma or equivalent required. Bachelor's degree in human services or a related field from an accredited four-year college preferred. The following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
- Excellent administrative, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
- Must be able to work independently and follow through on tasks without monitoring.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office 365, Word and Outlook.
- Good verbal and written skills.
- Ability to interact positively and objectively with co-workers, service providers, and families from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and with widely divergent levels of educational attainment and social skills and abilities.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
**As noted above, one Parent Engagement Specialist will be employed by each of the five private foster care agencies, meaning there are five part-time positions, each independently employed by one of the five agencies. The employee is not an employee of WMPC.
If interested please submit your resume and cover letter and request for an application at email@example.com.**