Program Director - Friends of the Children

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Friends of the Children has recently expanded to Antelope Valley and we are looking for a passionate, committed Program Director to take the lead in coordinating, implementing, and sustaining programming in Antelope Valley.  Our model is proven to break the cycle of generational poverty for children who face the most barriers by providing paid professional mentors to thousands of youth across the country.  The Program Director will be relentlessly driven to establish and expand our innovative, evidence-based model in Antelope Valley. They will be a fierce advocate for children coming into contact with the foster care system, and will be effective at communicating the urgency of our mission and success of our outcomes.  The Program Director will work with community leaders, the foster care system, and emancipated foster youth to have a significant foster care prevention impact in Antelope Valley.  They will lead and inspire mentors, implement the child selection process, and cultivate and maintain relationships with schools, families, and community.

The ideal candidate will have a smart head for business, and be an innovative leader deeply connected to the communities we serve.  They will be proactive, results-driven, and possess a sense of urgency while at the same time look to focus their entrepreneurial talents to make a real difference for children facing the highest risks.  The Program Director will work closely with the Executive Director, and will help guide the organization through our planned implementation and expansion.  The right leader will be fiercely committed to equity and will ensure that every aspect of the organization’s mission is executed with full engagement of communities impacted by our work.

Are you this amazing leader? Here’s what we have to offer you:

  • A committed Executive Director who will partner with you to establish and grow the organization.
  • The ability to implement and supervise a proven evidence-based mentoring model.
  • A strong, cohesive National team committed to innovation and high standards.
  • A team of talented employees who are passionate about working together to create an extraordinary organization.
  • Respect for work-life balance. You’ll work hard, and we expect you to recharge your batteries.
  • A comprehensive benefit package.
  • Most of all, you get to lead an exceptional organization that helps children facing incredible odds change their life story every day.

At Friends of the Children –Antelope Valley you get to think globally and act locally. We are a new chapter within a growing, established national network.  As Antelope Valley Program Director, you’ll receive expert support from our National team, which is located in Portland, OR.  You’ll also work with a talented team of leaders from the other sites, who collaborate to support the award-winning National scaling plan.

Are you ready to be part of an organization committed to changing the the way we treat and view youth who are facing the most obstacles? Want to know more? See below.

The following statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by individuals assigned to this position.  They are not intended as a comprehensive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified.

Basic Function/Position Objective:

The Program Director must exhibit perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit in their pursuit of establishing and growing the Friends of the Children program in Antelope Valley.  The Program Director is responsible for the management of programming for Friends of the Children – Antelope Valley, (“Friends - Antelope Valley”) including designing, coordinating, implementing, and sustaining programming, as well as program research, proposal generation, and presentations, as required.  The Program Director is also responsible for supervising, guiding, developing, and evaluating the efforts of all professional mentors (“Friends”), and for the overall integrity of the program.  The Program Director is responsible for coordinating, implementing, and sustaining the child identification and selection process, and for the overall cultivation and maintenance of relationships with schools, families, and key community members.

The Program Director is a member of the senior management team and is expected to keep other members of senior management informed about the status of the program.  The Program Director is expected to interact constructively and proactively with members of the community, with partner schools, and, when asked by the Executive Director, with potential donors and other third parties. 

Essential Functions/Core Job Accountabilities:

  • Strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management, delegation and follow-up skills.
  • Ability to cultivate and sustain relationships and work effectively with a wide variety of constituencies, including staff, program children, parents, schools, organizational supporters, Board members, and community partners.
  • Ability to represent, effectively and professionally, the organization to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Ability to research, analyze data, design/develop, propose, implement, and sustain programming.
  • Ability to solve problems, work in a team environment, manage several issues concurrently, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced constantly changing work environment.
  • Strong project management skills. Proven ability to manage multiple deadlines, responsibilities, and competing priorities.
  • Ability to influence the behavior of others to achieve necessary results.
  • Strategic planning and budgeting skills.
  • Ability to work in diverse work environments.
  • Knowledge of child development and child issues, particularly those most relevant to our program youth.
  • Awareness of community resources, and the ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with these resources.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with children, families, school personnel, organizational supporters, and community partners.
  • Enthusiasm for helping to plan and manage the anticipated growth of Friends - Antelope Valley, and commitment to developing personal skills and knowledge as appropriate to that growth.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the recruiting, selection, and hiring of new Friends or other staff as required.  Assist with trainings.
  • Develop trusting, supportive relationships with families, and guardians of the children we serve.
  • Oversee the coordination of critical issues that arise with youth.
  • Responsible for the quality, integrity, and timely entry of program data.  
  • Ensure compliance with and accountability to organization’s policies, procedures, and practices as outlined in the Employee Manual and Friends Handbook.  Contribute to the development of any of these as required.  Help move the organization to one of increased accountability and zero tolerance.
  • Understand and inspire others to buy into the organization’s mission, vision, values, and principles and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.
  • Serve as effective, compelling spokesperson for the organization.
  • Collaborate with and benefit from National team resources.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in social work or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Seven to ten years’ experience working with child-related programs in progressively responsible roles.
  • Three to five years in leadership or management role with significant supervisory duties and responsibilities.

Friends of the Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity. The equal employment opportunity policy of Friends of the Children provides fair and equal opportunities for all employees and job applicants regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, or genetic information, in compliance with applicable federal, state and local law. Friends of the Children hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.

Friends of the Children is growing rapidly as communities across the country are experiencing the power of how “One” changes a child's story: One Friend. One Child. 12 ½ years. No matter what. #ThePowerOfOne

To learn more about Friends of the Children go to:

Location: Antelope Valley, CA
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