Higher Ground is hiring!
Parent Organizer and Advocate Position Description – July 2020:
Full-time, 40 hours per week, flexible hours
Start August 2020
Works closely with Higher Ground Education Advisor
Reports to Executive Director
Higher Ground seeks two full-time Parent Organizers to work as a team on initiatives to support and mobilize families to advocate for themselves, their children, and their community. While working as a team and supporting each other, each will be primarily responsible for one of two areas of Higher Ground’s work:
Higher Ground’s share of Family-Led Stability Pilot, a collaborative of eight nonprofit and public sector partners addressing homelessness in Boston schools.
Roxbury Dorchester Mattapan (RDM) Parent Coalition and the Parent-Teacher Advisory Group of the Resilient Families and Surround Care School Community Coalition.
Primary goal of Parent Organizers and Advocates:
Support network of parents in local schools and childcare centers to become more engaged with the education of their children and the governance of the schools their children attend.
Lead Higher Ground outreach at local schools to identify families interested in participating in programs listed below and others that Higher Ground may implement by itself or with collaborators:
Family-Led Stability Pilot (FLSP) launched by Higher Ground and several collaborators in January 2018 with the goal of housing families of homeless children in the four schools by the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
Resilient Families and Surround Care School Community (“Surround Care”) Coalition launched spring 2019 with a coalition of 14 members, including BPS, local schools, and nine nonprofit organizations, to improve children’s health equity.
Summer Learning Academy planned for summer 2020 to serve 30-74 students across 4 to 8 grades.
Tech-Equity Pilot at the David A. Ellis K-5 School in collaboration with One Bead to improve remote learning capacity and technology access for families.
The draft position description will be revised following review with interested candidates to build on the strengths and experience of the successful candidates. The positions will continue for the next three years and possibly longer subject to funding.
Education, Training, and Experience:
Any combination of education, training, and experience which demonstrates the ability to perform the duties described. Typical qualifying background would include an associate of arts or bachelor’s degree in human services, human development, child development, social work, or a related field; experience working with families in a home or school setting or social service agency.
Knowledge and Skills:
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, bi-lingual English-Spanish preferred; welcome candidates bi-lingual English and Haitian or Cape Verdean Creole.
Superb dispute and conflict resolution skills.
Solid organizational and IT skills and use standard software applications to enter and retrieve data and create reports.
Experience working with culturally diverse families, communities, and staff and interact and communicate effectively with children and adults from different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Ability to understand, formulate, and implement viable plans of action with families.
Available community resources and services.
Work independently with minimal supervision and organize and prioritize work and assignments.
Able to react with flexibility and sensitivity to changing situations and needs;
Knowledge of and experience connecting families to housing resources and to support families that are homeless or at risk of homelessness;
Possession of valid Massachusetts driver’s license and willingness to travel locally using own transportation, with mileage, reimbursed, as needed.
Details of responsibilities:
1. Roxbury Dorchester Mattapan (RDM) Parent Coalition
A. Support the RDM Coalition leadership in scheduling and facilitating meetings and conference calls, including arranging for meeting facilitation, childcare, and food, develop plans, and by-laws and leadership development.
B. Outreach to parents at local schools to become more engaged in meetings of their School Parent Councils (SPC), School Site Councils (SSC), and activities of the RDM Coalition.
C. Identify challenges in each school and support parents to organize and advocate to address challenges.
D. Attend meetings of School Parent Councils (SPC) and School Site Councils (SSC) at local BPS schools and Parent Advisory Council (PAC) at Crispus Attucks Children’s Center.
2. Family-Led Stability Pilot (FLSP):
A. Meet with principals, teachers, homelessness liaisons at four local schools – Higginson K-2, Higginson Lewis K-8, David Ellis K-5, and Trotter K-8 – and identify families of homeless students or at risk of homelessness.
B. Work with Education Advisor, attend planning meetings, prescreening homeless families to refer them to housing resources, and assist with data collection.
C. Assist families interested in FLSP with housing search, placement, and stabilization.
D. Check-in regularly with families and shelter case managers and track the progress of housing search and placement.
E. Attend FLSP meetings as needed.
3. Summer Learning Academy (SLA):
A. Maintain contact with families whose children will attend SLA 2020 focused on local schools with priority for homeless and recently housed students.
B. Monitor attendance and coordinate with teachers to ensure student participation in future SLA’s and by regularly communicating with and supporting parents.
4. Surround Care Coalition:
A. Support Parent Teacher Advisory Group by arranging for video conferencing and when safe for in-person meeting locations, childcare and food, and all pre-and post-meeting communications.
B. Help recruit at least 12 additional parents to join the 8 Parent members of the Parent-Teacher Advisory Group.
5. Crispus Attucks Children’s Center:
A. Support the Executive Director and staff at Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in reactivating its Parent Advisory Council (PAC), including the formation of a steering committee, development of plans, and agreement on by-laws and election of the leadership of the PAC.
B. Support PAC members to plan activities and engage all parents in activities of the PAC and to elect representatives to the Center’s Board of Directors and to join RDM Parent Coalition.
C. Assist Crispus Attucks staff in engaging parents participating in Parenting Circles facilitated by Families First as needed.
6. Higher Ground Social Work Interns Coordination
A. Maintain and update social work intern orientation and training to enhance their understanding of Higher Ground’s mission and to improve the effectiveness of the social work interns when conducting individual and group therapy with children.
B. Provide weekly coordination to improve communication and promote accountability for social work interns.
C. Collaborate with City Year to provide additional training for social work interns, identify students experiencing homelessness and to organize whole-school initiatives that will serve as recruitment of parents for the RDM Coalition and other Higher Ground programs and initiatives.
D. Support data collection initiatives with social work interns to effectively track the progress of clinical interventions with students.
A. Meet and communicate regularly with principals and staff at local BPS schools to see what they need and how Higher Ground can help.
B. Provide data, information, and individual stories for Higher Ground proposals, reports, and communications with stakeholders.
C. Attend Higher Ground meetings.
D. Receive weekly supervision from the executive director
E. Attend professional development training that will enhance Higher Ground’s capacity for community organization, including those listed below or others:
Parent Consultant Training Institute
Family Voices Massachusetts Workshops
Parent/Professional Advocacy League Training
F. Be knowledgeable about health and mental health services in the community and the city and be able to refer individuals or families to these services as appropriate.
Compensation and benefits:
Compensation based on experience and qualification of the candidate.
Tufts Health Plan.
Submit cover letter and resume:
Mossik Hacobian, Executive Director
384 Warren Street, 3rd floor
Roxbury, MA 02119
Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org