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Foster Care and Adoption Resource Specialist (FCARS)

Adoption Exchange Association and AdoptUSKids

January 2018

The Adoption Exchange Association (AEA) is accepting applications for the full-time position of Foster Care and Adoption Resource Specialist (FCARS). The position is located in Baltimore (Linthicum), Maryland and conveniently close to BWI airport.

AEA (www.adoptea.org) is a nonprofit membership organization of adoption exchanges and child welfare professionals. AdoptUSKids (www.adoptuskids.org) is a project funded through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Children’s Bureau and AEA. It is currently funded through September 2022. The mission of AdoptUSKids is to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children and youth in U.S. foster care and to provide tools and technical assistance to states, tribes and territories to support their efforts to recruit, engage, develop, support and connect families with children and youth.

Primary Position Responsibilities:

A member of the AdoptUSKids National Adoption and Foster Care Information Exchange System (NAFCIES) Team, consisting of six (6) FCARS and the National Recruitment Response Director, the FCARS:

1. Engage and support prospective foster and adoptive families, and child welfare professionals with an unyielding commitment to customer service by:

· Understanding that each engagement with a prospective family or professional could result in a positive outcome for a child or youth.

· Serving an audience of “1”, meaning excellence in customer service in the very moment of engaging a prospective family or professional.

· Engaging prospective families and professionals as a resource with humility, patience, and appreciation.

2. Support and expand the AdoptUSKids established FAMILY element of NAFCIES by:

· Raising the awareness of inquiring families about the specific characteristics of the children who need foster and adoptive families and the specific qualities of families who have demonstrated success as foster and adoptive parents of the children with these characteristics.

· Assisting prospective foster and adoptive families – about 25,000 each year -- who contact AdoptUSKids to understand the history and needs of the children in foster care and the effect that trauma has had on them.

· Assisting inquiring families to self-assess their capacity to moderate the impact of trauma on the children they seek to foster and/or adopt.

· Providing information to inquiring families about where to locate additional information related to children’s characteristics and needs.

· Making and following up on the connection of inquiring families to appropriate services in their local jurisdiction.

· Maintaining a state-specific log of issues related to each state’s engagement with referred families for use by the AdoptUSKids Capacity Building and Engagement Team to proactively reach out and offer technical assistance to those jurisdictions for which recruitment and response improvements may be indicated.

· Referring successful adoptive families to the AdoptUSKids Fulfillment Team for follow-up for potential inclusion in the AdoptUSKids Speakers Bureau.

3. Maintain, support and enhance the PROFESSIONAL element of the established AdoptUSKids National Adoption and Foster Care Information Exchange System (NAFCIES) through active, intentional engagement of the public and private agencies that comprise it to raise public awareness and assist states, territories and tribes in recruiting foster and adoptive parents whose strengths and characteristics align with the characteristics and needs of children in foster care by:

· Developing and continuously building expertise about the foster and adoption recruitment and response policies and practices of states, territories and tribes to which the FCARS are assigned. This will be accomplished by proactively establishing positive relationships with each state and tribe’s identified recruitment and retention contacts.

· Drawing on information and data developed by the AdoptUSKids Evaluation Team and the Capacity Building and Engagement Team, FCARS continuously update and enhance state-specific information for assigned states about the characteristics of children who need families.

Qualifications:

Applications will be accepted only from candidates who clearly demonstrate passion and commitment to adoption and foster care, and in addition have:

· Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or closely related field plus 2 years of professional experience in public child welfare, adoption, foster care or kinship care.

AEA will also consider candidates with experience in the child welfare system as a former foster or adopted youth, foster or adoptive parents (currently or in the past), who have adopted children from US foster care, and who have experience with related services and supports that have helped them to expand their own knowledge and perspective to include those of other foster and adoptive parents.

· Experience and a track record of engaging families with a focus on customer service (patience, great listener, solutions oriented, and humility) is a major plus.

· Excellent written and verbal skills in English.

· Competencies to engage prospective foster and adoptive parents through telephone, email, online chat and social media.

· Ability to provide information to prospective foster and adoptive families in a warm, nurturing and customer-service focused manner

· Proficiency in Microsoft Office products

· Strong organizational, time management and interpersonal social skills

· Passion for adoption and foster care

· A self-starter with the ability to work collaboratively as part of a professional team in a close knit office-based environment.

This position is located in AEA’s office in the Linthicum/BWI area of Baltimore, Maryland. Each of the six (6) FCARS typically works 37.5 hours per week, with the FCARS team together providing telephone and online (email, chat and social media) response access to the public generally between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Time, Monday – Friday. This position is currently funded through September 30, 2022. Continuation beyond that date is dependent on additional federal funding.

This is a salaried, non-management position. Competitive salary plus a generous benefit package including agency contributions to retirement plan after the first year of employment and an excellent healthcare plan.

Interested candidates must submit a resume, cover letter with salary requirements, and contact information for three professional references. This position will be open until 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, February 23, 2018.

Direct all correspondence, including submission of application materials to Craig Powell by email at cpowell@adoptuskids.org. Incomplete applications and applications submitted after the stated deadline will not be considered.