Transition Specialist

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About Us and Why We’re Hiring

The Dale House Project seeks several Transition Specialists to support our ministry among youth building independent living skills.  The Dale House is a Christ-centered community of and for broken people doing life together.  This position works closely in relational ministry with youth as they take steps towards living independently.  We are experiencing a rapid increase in the number of youth referrals, so we will hire several Transition Specialists through the Fall to meet the growing demand for our services.

Youth get involved at the Dale House to learn how to live on their own independently.  Many come from the Colorado Division of Youth Services, and they’re finishing a commitment to the State after having criminal charges.  Youth are also involved with the Colorado Department of Human Services - usually older adolescents who are ‘aging out’ of a foster care arrangement who need to live independently.  These Supportive Independent Living Placement (SILP) participants will move into our independent living apartments, so the relationship you help foster between the youth and the Dale House community is vital to their own success.  As is often the case with adolescents, many youth may be able to name worthwhile goals but they need help turning those desires into productive habits, routines, and practices.  That’s where our community comes in. Through relationships - and a great deal of support, guidance, and accountability - youth turn these dreams into daily decisions to go to work, attend school, make appointments, and continue making progress towards their adult commitments.

As the Transition Specialist, you make sure that youth navigate major transitions from where they live to their next living arrangement as an adult.  Rather than using rules or discipline to keep kids in line, you understand that your most important tool to help kids stay on track is your relationship with them.  You spend time getting to know each youth as an individual, you demonstrate genuine interest in them, while challenging in the decisions they are making.   You will help a youth find activities like tutoring, working with school counselors and resource specialists, and assisting them in finding positive social activities.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in related field, preferably in human services
  • One-year experience with youth: in juvenile justice or in human services.
  • Basic knowledge and understanding of Google and Microsoft platforms.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Ability to learn how to take notes and document progress made in treatment.

Who You’d Be Working With:

You’d report to our Clinical Director, Vicky Thomas.  Vicky’s an LPC (licensed professional counselor) and she has oversight in developing treatment plans for all the youth who come into our community. She also meets with staff to provide clinical supervision.  You will also work closely with Kaylee Burton, our Quality Assurance Manager, to ensure we are following best practices for documentation in accordance to Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) and Medicaid compliance.

You also work on a team of people who are in an intentional community of caring, mutual support, and Christian ministry. .  We commit to being honest and real with one another, to spend time together (and have fun together!), and, when we have issues, we clear the air with one another when we’ve let one another down. (We call that keeping “short accounts” with each other, so we don’t build long lists of grievances with each other.)  

This role also includes trainings, house coverage and future on call responsibilities. You’ll have regular participation in staff meetings, shift change meetings, devotionals and all-staff days.  

What you’ll be doing:

Most of your time will be either in meetings with youth, or in setting up meetings with youth.  You’ll spend most of your time hanging out with youth - filling the ‘relational bank’ with them and talking about their plans.  You’ll be diligent in connecting with them - sending reminders and making up missed appointments with the youth forgets you were meeting, which may happen often.  You’ll need to develop a variety of tools and strategies to connect with kids.  You’ll talk about the life changes that are coming up and get them to open up about their hopes and about their plans.  You’ll share tools, resources, and strategies with them.  

You’ll spend a lot of time traveling around town.  You’ll visit youth in DYS secure facilities.   You’ll visit foster homes and Independent Living Arrangements to observe how youth are interacting with their environments.  You’ll find time to hang out with them, bring them to larger Dale House activities like group gatherings and intramural sports.

You’ll also be an expert on each youth for the rest of the staff.  You will share the key lessons and approaches for our team as a whole to work with this youth.  You’ll make sure that other Dale House staff have a good picture of who this youth is and what motivates them.  You’ll be the “DHP expert” on resources like: employers who work well with our youth, on how to navigate bureaucratic educational institutions, and lists of resources for tutoring and educational advancement.  You’ll continue to grow and manage that list for the Dale House community to use as a whole.

Your job is fully dependent on documenting each of your encounters to submit for billing.  You will write entries for each visit, logging hours and types of services provided.  You will always be no more than a week behind on submitting billing both into the Dale House database and to our state partners.

Transition Workers may be required to serve youth who are in a locked facility.  There may be times spent meeting with youth who are still in jail, going through curriculum to prepare for the wide variety of choices they’ll face when they parole.  Sometimes you’ll take youth out on passes and return them to their facility by the end of the day.  

What Success Looks Like:

  • It’s the first time you’re meeting a youth who has been assigned to you.  You drive to Spring Creek to meet with them.  You can tell that he is trying to give you answers that you want to hear, so you change the conversation - “Come on, let’s be real.  You don’t really believe that, do you?”  He laughs and starts to be more honest about what he wants.
  • It’s Wednesday and the first Family Night for a new youth.  You decide to join them for the activity to help them get more comfortable.  Knowing this activity - karaoke night - can be a bit overwhelming, you decide to stay close to the youth to be a reassuring presence.  You encourage them to think about when they’ll pick a song.  
  • A new youth has come to the Dale House and they have several hours to get settled in.  You create a “Job Hunt sheet” online for you and other staff to log job searching activities - where they applied, when they should call back.  You send a note out to our residential staff showing them how to fill out the sheet if they work with this youth when they are next on shift.
  • A youth out in the community decides that you’re too much in their business and they try to ‘ghost’ you.  So, you decide to be as annoying as possible to get them to re-engage. You ask them what they plan on doing and you stay persistent in getting them to reply.  
  • A new youth is coming to the Dale House next week.  You create a presentation of who the kid is, their main motivations and struggles, and give tips on what may be helpful to know about this kid while they’re here.  In the following weeks you continue to highlight how his own life experiences shape his outbursts and struggles while in the house.

Compensation:

This is a full-time position.  Salary Range: $36,000 to $40,000, with a full benefit package.

Dale House covers the cost for health coverage (monthly premiums) at no expense to you.  Other benefits come from Young Life, including: dental, vision, basic life insurance, and a match on 401(k) contributions up to 4%.  

How to apply: **Please submit your resume and cover letter as PDF attachments to transitionspecialist@dalehouse.org. For the email subject heading line type: Transition Specialist, Your First Name, Your Last Name.