Professional Mentor - Los Angeles (Fall 2023)
Friends of the Children – Los Angeles (Friends LA) is looking for a passionate, committed, professional mentor, who we call Friends, to support our mission to 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. 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.
A Friend works intensively with eight (8) children and their families as a positive adult role model to develop a caring, trusting and sustained relationship with the whole family. A Friend will set positive expectations; nurture and promote their strengths, talents and abilities; help assure physical and emotional well-being; teach life and academic skills; provide enrichment activities; and model responsible behavior. A Friend will fully document activities and participate in an ongoing evaluation process. Friends will work primarily one-on-one with their children, and link and support their families to resources as appropriate. A Friend must also know, understand, honor and support the organization’s mission, vision, values, principles and policies, and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.
Core Job Accountabilities:
- Develop and sustain a long term, caring, trusting and accepting relationship with each child and their families;
- Spend time with children, one-on-one and in the classroom;
- Develop, maintain and follow a Roadmap or Transition Plan for each child;
- 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;
- Develop positive relationships with families, teachers and others involved in each child’s life;
- Work closely with teachers to support each child’s academic journey;
- Reinforce basic academic skills and learning;
- Model and promote good problem solving and decision-making skills;
- Participate in the programming and resources available through the organization, effectively utilizing program resources to meet the needs of each child;
- Maintain spending within budgetary guidelines;
- Complete and distribute enrollment forms, activity journals, monthly and quarterly reports, expense reports and evaluation materials accurately and in a timely manner;
- Attend and actively participate in team meetings, trainings, and staff functions;
- Provide information and support to development team and related activities as needed;
- Develop positive relationships with caregivers and engage them in their child’s development;
- Link children and families to resources, as appropriate;
- Work closely with your supervisor and program team to assess parent’s needs, develop family goals, and link families and children to community resources as appropriate;
- Support caregivers in the home with positive role modeling, creating structure and discipline for their children;
- 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, caregivers, 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 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 ETO (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;
This is a full-time, non-exempt position. Due to the nature of a Friend’s role, the work hours may include late afternoon and evening work. We recognize that each Friend’s daily work schedule may 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:
Associate’s degree required; Bachelor’s degree preferred, plus two to three years’ experience working/volunteering with children. Mentoring experience with children and understanding of the child welfare system preferred.
Friends LA cares about our employees as whole people. We offer a generous vacation and sick leave policy, quarterly reset days, 12 paid holidays, summer half days, a summer recess the first week of July, and an annual winter recess during the last week of December. Employees are eligible for medical benefits (including vision and dental), 401k retirement plan, EAP, and ongoing professional development opportunities.
Employees can add optional plans, at employee expense, which include medical coverage for dependents, Flexible Spending Accounts, supplemental life insurance, and more.
Friends LA requires COVID-19 vaccines for all employees. As of March 1, 2022, we will be expanding our in-person vaccination requirement to include booster shots. Accommodations or exceptions can be requested for medical or religious reasons.
Friends of the Children – Los Angeles 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 – Los Angeles hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled.