Professional Mentor (Friend) — Tacoma

Tacoma, WA

Friends of the Children – Tacoma is a vibrant, active chapter of a 30-year-old national professional mentoring organization. Our model is proven to break the cycle of generational poverty for children who face the most barriers, by providing paid professional mentors to work with youth for 12+ years, from kindergarten through high school graduation

Friends - Tacoma is looking for passionate, committed, professional mentors (who we call Friends) to support our mission. We impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles, through relationships with trained full-time professional mentors—12+ years—no matter what. Eligible candidates will be fierce advocates for children that come into contact with the foster care system, and will be equally effective in working with parents and caregivers to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Are you looking to make a difference in the lives of children who need it most? 

We will hire an extraordinary individual who has knowledge of Tacoma and Pierce County and is looking to develop intensive, long-term, trusting relationships with children in our innovative program. A Friend will work with eight (8) children and will:

  • Set positive expectations
  • Nurture and promote the child’s individual strengths, talents, and abilities
  • Help assure physical and emotional well-being
  • Teach life and academic skills
  • Provide enrichment activities
  • Model responsible behavior
  • Simultaneously manage multiple priorities to ensure goals are met in a timely manner

Friends spend approximately four (4) hours per week with each child and will report directly to the Program Director.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A bachelor's degree or associate degree* (*with two-plus years of professional experience)
  • Significant experience working with youth who face obstacles
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the child welfare system  
  • Cultural competency and experience with trauma-informed care
  • Experience with utilizing social and emotional learning curricula
  • Superior scheduling and time management skills
  • Data entry and database management skills

What you'll experience:

  • You’ll start on the ground floor of a small nonprofit, then grow with us.
  • You’ll be part of a dynamic and supportive national network, with a proven, evidence-based mentoring model.
  • You’ll have new challenges daily. We commit to supporting you in every way, helping you serve our kids, and keeping your batteries charged.
  • You’ll be part of a friendly and collaborative workplace, where work-life balance is respected.
  • Most of all, you’ll play a critical role in helping Tacoma’s children facing great barriers change the trajectories of their lives!

Work hours are flexible and will vary depending on the needs of the youth. Friends must provide their own child-safe vehicle and insurance; we reimburse for mileage. 

If you are this amazing person, here’s what we have to offer:

Position Details

Salary: $50K

Comprehensive Benefits Package including healthcare, dental, paid vacation, sick leave, and 401(k)

Intrigued? Want to know more? To learn more about the position’s responsibilities and qualifications, 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.

Core Job Accountabilities:

  • Develop and sustain a long term, caring, trusting, and accepting relationship with each child
  • Spend time with children, one-on-one and in the classroom
  • Develop positive relationships with families, teachers, and others involved in each child’s life
  • Set realistic expectations and goals based on each child’s strengths, talents, abilities, and needs
  • Teach life skills and healthy habits to contribute both to basic development and learning, and to contribute to building positive self-esteem
  • Develop a talent/skill/area of interest with each child to help develop positive self-esteem and experience growing confidence
  • Provide enrichment resources and activities which include opportunities for cultural awareness, diversity, and community service
  • Contribute to children acquiring behavioral management skills, tolerance, respect for others, courtesies, and compassion
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with teachers, administrators, and others involved in each child’s life
  • Work closely and assess parent’s needs and link families and children to community resources as appropriate
  • Reinforce basic academic skills and learning
  • Model and promote good problem solving and decision-making skills to children and families
  • Participate in the programming and resources available through the organization, effectively utilizing program resources to meet the needs of each child and their families;
  • Maintain spending within budgetary guidelines
  • Complete, distribute and collect time summaries, activity journals, short term plans, expense reports, and evaluation materials accurately and in a timely manner
  • Attend and actively participate in team meetings, staff functions, and training
  • Provide information and support to the development team and related activities as needed
  • Partner with parents/caregivers to provide concrete and social-emotional supports for the family
  • Fulfill other responsibilities as required

Essential Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to relate to children and to develop and sustain trusting, supportive relationships with them
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work with children in varied capacities and settings to help them learn and grow
  • Ability to cultivate trusting relationships with children, parents, teachers, and community members
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and communicate appropriately within the workplace
  • Ability to use creativity and initiative in planning activities to continually develop children
  • Ability to work independently in diverse environments with limited supervision
  • Ability to work as a team player
  • Ability to manage several concurrent issues and solve problems effectively exercising appropriate discretion and judgment
  • Ability to set goals and develop plans to meet those goals to ensure the development of each child
  • Ability to complete administrative tasks accurately and on time
  • Ability to handle high mobility and driving demands safely and with good judgment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; organizational and time management skills
  • Basic computer and keyboarding skills, proficiency with e-mail systems, familiarity with MS Outlook and Teams (or other database applications)
  • Ability to exercise good judgment independently, in various situations and environments, and under varying levels of stress

Additional Job Requirements:

  • Maintain current driver’s license, good driving record, and vehicle insurance
  • Maintain First Aid/CPR certification
  • Transport children in personal vehicle as required for mentoring activities
  • Bilingual Spanish preferred

Working Hours:

This is a full-time, 40 hour per week, non-exempt position. Due to the nature of a Friend’s role, the work hours are somewhat non-traditional and include late afternoon and evening work. We recognize that each Friend’s daily work schedule will vary due to the uniqueness of the role and the needs of the individual children being served. Each Friend is expected to exercise appropriate discretion in this regard. The Program requires that you see each of your assigned children both in and outside of school, for an average of four hours each week (although how you accomplish that is at your discretion within established Program guidelines).

Education and Experience Required:

Bachelor’s degree preferred. Associates degree required, plus two to three years of professional experience working with children. Mentoring experience with children and understanding of the child welfare system preferred.

Location: Tacoma, Washington

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 this job and Friends of the Children - Tacoma, please visit our website at