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Job Title: ISRS Family Support Specialists

Reports To: Health Navigator Department Manager

Classification: Exempt, Administrative

Position Time: 1.0 FTE; some evening and weekend work

Job Description for ISRS Family Support Specialists

Summary: Family Support Specialist (FSS) is responsible for providing in-home safety and reunification services to families. They work with families to assist them to make changes necessary to improve functioning and provide safely for their children, thus decreasing the risk for abuse and/or neglect. The FSS works as part of a team with the DHS case worker and other DHS personnel, Clackamas County Lead Navigator, NWFS Navigators, the STAR team, community providers, and the interagency collaboration to help parents navigate the different systems in order to strengthen their capacity to safely care for their children beyond their involvement with the Child Welfare system. Major goals are to establish safety and change. Safety services are sufficient to provide immediate child protection (e.g., the child will be safe while remaining in the home, re-abuse/abuse of children is reduced). Change services will help resolve safety threats so that no further DHS Child Welfare involvement is necessary at the close of the case (e.g., improved parental protective capacity built upon the family’s protective capacity, parents are involved in the interventions and assessing change leading to home safety, and reporting any improvement in parental capacity. Self-management: the family is able to meet their child’s basic needs through an established support system to reduce the causes of child safety threats.

Essential Functions:

  • Meet with eligible families: those with an open child welfare case where there has been a finding of neglect or threat of harm neglect (need to determine if new cases, any case, etc., and if there should be any other eligibility factors).
  • Be present and engaged with the DHS caseworkers at one of the District #15 Clackamas locations (e.g., North Clackamas or Oregon City). That means no less than weekly stop by one of the offices to check in personally with case workers.
  • Work with the family, in the home, to offer support in the following areas: safety (e.g., offer basic parenting assistance, social and emotional support, safe housing assistance), parent coaching through direct work with the caregiver and the child(ren), and basic home management skills.
  • Use the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting Assessment and curriculum to conduct a strengths and needs assessment with families.
  • Transport children to and from fostercare, if needed, for the parent coach sessions.
  • Engage families in a trauma informed approach.
  • Assist the family in understanding what changes the agency has identified as critical in meeting the safety and well-being needs of the child(ren).
  • Instruct family with in-home parent education using Nurturing Parenting as a basis.
  • Engage the family in identifying the barriers to their engagement and on-going participation in identified services.
  • Assist the family in overcoming the identified barriers through modeling or accessing additional services that will support their successful participation (e.g., development of social supports, school home, medical home, insurance home, and other essential needs for families.
  • Educate and support the parent/caregiver through the processes involved in the different service delivery systems that they will encounter.
  • Work with the parent/caregiver to identify their own goals for their family by incorporating Motivational Interviewing, collaborative problem solving, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and parent-child attachment coaching sessions.
  • Assist the family in developing a plan and identifying resources that supports their goals for their family.
  • Provide direct services to clients (home visits, community visits, and service team meetings)
  • Provide indirect services for clients (contacting caseworkers or service team members, family support)
  • Regularly communicate (no less than weekly and at close out) with the caseworkers using very thorough, descriptive notes about the progression of the case along with any recommendations.
  • Provide 30 billable service hours per week with at least 50% being direct involvement with the family with an average caseload of 25-30 families per month.
  • Timely and accurate completion of administrative documents such as timesheets, flex funds, monthly tracking, weekly tracking, and miscellaneous invoices
  • Attendance at staff meetings, DHS meetings, department meetings, and other meetings as required.
  • Crisis response/remain on-call to clients on caseload 24 hours per day, 7 days per week
  • Timely completion of assessments, case notes, and reports on all required systems.
  • Discreet use of available flex funds after exhausting other community resources.
  • Follow protocol to obtain services and resources through the Clackamas County Lead Navigator.
  • Meet or exceed the performance measures in specified project period.
  • Work within a strong system of collaboration with NWFS services and DHS (e.g., counseling, health navigation, employment services), Clackamas County services, and other community services and the local schools.
  • Assist with service connections which include but are not be limited to clothing and food resources including SNAP, a medical home, social-emotional supports, Oregon Health Plan application, parent training, addictions counseling, mentors, tutors, support groups, childcare, pre-school, housing, respite care, employment, healthy recreation, advocacy with schools, and parent–child relations coaching. 
  • Develop strong connections with referral sources for community social services, mental health, healthcare, and provide referrals as needed.
  • Frequent contact individuals and families in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions during the 8 weeks of intensive services.
  • Provide training for participants and school and other partner agency staff in the use of I&R systems such as 211, Babylink, CCRR, Parenting assistance, HINT, and
  • Collect information/data statistics help identify community needs
  • Maintain current participant information in all case files (i.e., paper, electronic), database, keep accurate records of phone calls, future appointments, and up to date participant information.
  • Create and provide data and written reports as required.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Meet regularly with Department Manager and program staff to insure program objectives are being met
  • Provide timely reports to Department Manager, Executive Director, and funder as required
  • Assure HIPAA and FERPA regulations for all participants (e.g., protect personal identifying information, maintain records in locked files). Ensure protection of confidentiality when data are collected, entered, discussed, translated, transmitted, and stored
  • Effectively communicate about NWFS, its mission, and programs to community partners and participants. Utilize NWFS communication plan. Document programs and activities for representation on behalf of Northwest Family Services to the broader community, including, but not limited, to the news media and social media.
  • Attend assigned trainings and educational/community meetings.
  • Comply with all NWFS policies and procedures.
  • Accept the guidance and supervision of the Supervisor and Executive Director in the spirit of establishing and maintaining an honest and professional working relationship.
  • Conduct other duties as assigned

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Pass all file audits with an average score of 80% or better
  • Weekly hours requirements are met 90% of the time
  • 90% of contractual paperwork is submitted prior to or by the deadline
  • 50% of services provided are direct

Job Qualifications:

  • BA or BS required unless significant social service experience.
  • Bilingual English/Spanish preferred but not required
  • Trained in Nurturing Parenting home visiting curriculum
  • Experience working in social service related field
  • Knowledge and skills specifically child & family development, parent-child attachment, childhood trauma & toxic stress, adolescent development assets & risk factors, health & learning trajectories – all impacting school readiness and success.
  • Substantial knowledge and experience with the human services interface with K-12 education; including healthcare, child welfare, social and emotional development, parent-child relations, literacy development, stabilizing families, school attendance, parent involvement and student achievement.
  • Substantial skill and experience with coordinating services for children, students, and families among schools, government agencies, health and social service providers, and other community supports.
  • Ability collect data and prepare reports
  • Must have excellent organizational skills and possess high-energy
  • Ability to work and communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and experience
  • Willing to work evening and weekend hours as required
  • The ability to resolve problems quickly and effective and determining appropriate courses of action
  • Ability to multi-task, accountable, flexible, self-directed, organized.
  • Able to work independently and take direction.
  • Experience with Office 2010.
  • Ability to work effectively within a team as well as independently.
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable car, and automobile insurance

Working Conditions:

This position requires frequent and lengthy standing and ability to lift at least 30 pounds. Must be available for flexible, non-standard work hours. Work is performed off site and involves home visits.

Salary range: $3,100 - $3,333 per month. Submit cover letter, resume, and application to: Northwest Family Services, 6200 SE King Rd., Portland, OR 97222,,