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The Independent Living Specialist provides life skills services for youth group homes and foster care. The Independent living Specialist coordinates and carries out life skills services for the Group Home Department and foster care Department. The Independent living Specialist is responsible for delivery of services according to agency policies and state and federal law for all youth eligible for independent living services throughout the agency. Independent living specialist serve as team participants assisting social workers, foster parents, Childcare staff, caseworkers, other agency or community representatives, and youth in coordinating and delivering the services of the life skills program.
About Abbott House
Abbott House is an innovative community-based organization that helps children, families, adults and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with complex needs build lasting foundations for a promising future. We operate programs in the New York Metropolitan area and Hudson Valley.
Establishing collaborative relationships with youth and the youth’s treatment team
Participating as a member of the youth’s treatment team, including attending service plan reviews, bi weekly team meetings, FTC Meetings or other meetings involving the youth development.
Performing Life Skills assessments for all eligible youth using standardized assessment tools; oversees and approves life skills assessments as required.
Developing goals and tasks with the youth, family, and treatment team.
Documenting and reports on progress by required time frame in Bi weekly team meetings, foster care reviews
Building on youth’s strengths by locating opportunities in the community for youth experiences, special interest activities and skill building, leisure, recreation, education, employment.
Developing and delivering a series of group or individual learning opportunities using life skills curriculum.
Arranging and provides support for youth participation in youth activities, and groups such as Youth Speak Out, including notifying and engaging youth and their caseworkers, foster parents, parents and mentors, accompanying youth if necessary.
Managing distribution and accountability of stipends.
Providing individualized support for youth to help the youth learn to save/manage money; may assist youth with opening bank accounts or managing finances.
Managing education and training vouchers; completing related tasks for ETV program. Supports youth in accessing the education and training voucher once it has been approved.
Identifying youth leaders and develops leadership skills with foster care youth and former foster care youth to mentor other youth in foster care.
Builds relationships and working agreements with community service providers in order to access services for youth in the community.
Assisting youth in establishing a Life Skills Portfolio with all pertinent documents needed for Adulthood, including written career plans, photo ID, Birth Certificate, Social Security card, Drivers/Non-drivers licenses, Certificates of Accomplishments, and Learning assessments;
Visiting youth in foster homes or other residences, identifying practices of learned skills.
Documenting youths progress in their Connections record according to agency and state requirements.
Assuring that each eligible youth locates and accesses appropriate housing when needed.
Attending trainings as assigned by supervisor.
You are the ideal candidate if you have a passion for empowering underserved communities and supporting children and their families. Being energetic, customer service oriented, responsive and resourceful are critical attributes to be successful in this role.
You have a minimum bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university AND at least 4 years of full-time experience working with high risk youth (i.e., emotionally disturbed (SED), Juvenile Delinquents (JD), or Persons in Need of Supervision PINS) in a residential setting or in a community based program specializing in services for high risk youth and their families.
You have a valid Driver's License
You are able to work a flexible schedule
Working knowledge of the modern principles and practices of social work with youth.
Working knowledge of researching and engaging community services;
Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships.
Ability to communicate effectively with SED population.
Ability to plan and collaborate with youth and their team.
Computer literacy and familiarity with Connx;
Ability to plan, lead, conduct groups with youth and adult training sessions.
Ability to make oral and written reports.
Very Good judgment.
Ability to model and present professionally.
Good assessment and interviewing and counseling skills.
Any other related duties as required.
What We Offer:
Professional growth opportunities
Medical, Dental, Prescription Drug and Vision Care benefits with premiums substantially paid by for employees, employee families and domestic partners
Generous vacation, holiday, sick time and personal time off benefits
Company paid life insurance and long-term Disability Insurance
Employee Assistance Program
Short-term disability and Workers Compensation benefits
Paid Family Leave Program
Employee Recognition Awards
Employee assistance program
Paid sick time
Paid time off