Program Director- Friends of the Children – Twin Cities

Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN

Friends of the Children has recently expanded to Twin Cities. We are looking for a passionate, committed Program Director to take the lead in coordinating, implementing, and sustaining our program in Twin Cities. 

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 youths across the country.  The Program Director will be relentlessly driven to establish and expand our innovative, evidence-based model in Twin Cities. They will be a fierce advocate for children facing systemic and institutional barriers and will be effective at communicating the urgency of our mission and success of our outcomes. They will also develop close relationships with caregivers and the partner organizations who serve them, maximizing our program impact across both generations. The Program Director will work with community leaders and partner with organizations to change the way the world treats and views our most vulnerable youth.  They will lead and inspire mentors, implement the child selection process, and cultivate and maintain relationships with schools, families, Tribes, and our diverse community.

The ideal candidate will have a smart head for data, an innovative leader and understand the unique challenges Black and Indigenous youth and families face in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. 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. The Program Director will ideally have background and experience in working with Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander and Native American populations. 

We are an equal opportunity employer, and we welcome interested candidates to apply for this role. 

Are you this amazing professional? 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.
  • Salary range: $75K-$90K, depending on experience
  • Most of all, you get to join an exceptional organization that helps children facing incredible odds change their life story every day.

At Friends of the Children – Twin Cities, you will get to think globally and act locally.  You will be part of an established growing national network that provides professional mentors to thousands of children across the country.  As the Twin Cities Program Director, you’ll receive expert support from our National team, which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.  You’ll also work with a talented team of leaders from the 36 other sites across the country, who collaborate to support implementation of the model and our award-winning national scaling plan.

Friends of the Children is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to addressing discriminatory practices, and to working toward racial equity and inclusion. 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. Are you ready to use your skills to make an impact in Twin Cities?

Want to know more? See the job description 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 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, with Tribes, and, when asked by the Executive Director, with potential donors and other third parties.

Essential Functions/Core Job Accountabilities:

  • Actively participate as a member of the senior management team in leading the organization, participating in strategic planning and budgeting, and making, implementing, and upholding decisions or policies related to the operations of the organization.  Effectively lead organizational change.
  • Establish priority partnerships and programming that are responsive to the needs and goals of our children and families.  Utilize all resources that provide feedback, e.g. ETO reports and annual caregiver and youth evaluation assessments.
  • Lead efforts to effectively reach children and families in urban centers as well as outlying rural and tribal communities.
  • Hire, supervise, inspire, develop, and evaluate efforts of Friends.  Serve as role model and mentor for Friends, ensure that they have resources necessary to perform their jobs, act as team facilitator and organizational motivator, and facilitate effective communication in all directions.  
  • Manage the performance of Friends, including completing and conducting annual and semi-annual performance appraisals.  Hold Friends accountable for work performance, adequacy of time spent with children, quality and diversity of activities with children, and administrative/reporting responsibilities.  
  • Work with National program staff to implement initial Friends training, as well as ongoing training and other required professional development and performance improvement activities.
  • Understand, prioritize, and apply multicultural ways of knowing in the role. 
  • Know and understand the needs and issues of the families served.  Meet with each Friend one-on-one each month, and review Road Map goals for each child on a monthly basis.  Assure that each Friend has helped to identify and develop a specific area of interest or talent for each child.
  • Lead and facilitate effective, weekly staff meetings ensuring focus on child and Friend successes, setbacks, issues, concerns, and ideas.  Ensure focus on the communication of organizational information or issues to team and solicit feedback from team.
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately in all directions regarding organizational data, issues, concerns, policies, and procedures.  Raise and resolve issues appropriately. 
  • Solicit and obtain feedback from a minimum of two parents/caregivers of children per month.  Document and maintain all feedback and include in Quarterly Report.
  • Participate in regular conference calls with Program Directors in the network, and otherwise communicate with personnel at the National office and other chapters about the program. Research, develop, implement, and sustain best practice programming to serve current and future needs of the organization as required.
  • Manage the child identification and selection process; including developing and sustaining a robust, formalized process, and training and supervising process participants.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with partner schools and/or other community partners to allow for effective program implementation and sustainability.  Design and implement a process to ensure others are trained/developed to work in this capacity as well, to further strengthen our efforts to cultivate and maintain these critical relationships.
  • Utilize program data to help develop, implement, and sustain enrichment activities and program excellence.  Ensure the quality of program delivery at all levels.
  • Development and implementation of culturally appropriate programing that supports positive identity growth of children and families in the program. 
  • Develop, implement, and oversee other projects as required.
  • Be relentlessly committed to ensuring that youth and caregivers achieve their goals and our long-term outcomes.
  • Work with Executive Director to ensure compliance with budgets and program guidelines.
  • Communicate regularly and effectively with Executive Director about key aspects of the program, including status of children, performance of Friends, recommendations for improvement of the program, and potential issues with particular staff members or children.

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.
  • Create professional development opportunities for Friends to increase their capacity to provide culturally appropriate programming and interventions for children and families
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

  • 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, Tribes, 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 culturally grounded 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.
  • Knowledge of Indigenous lifeways and culture.
  • 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.
  • Working knowledge of Twin Cities communities with an understanding of the multiple ethnic communities coupled with our unique geographic dynamics.
  • Enthusiasm for helping to plan and manage the anticipated growth of Friends of the Children – Twin Cities, and commitment to developing personal skills and knowledge as appropriate to that growth.

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.

Offices will be located in Minneapolis– Saint Paul

Compensation: $75K-$90K 

Applications without cover letters will not be considered; please use this as an opportunity to convey why you want to be the Program Director for Twin Cities chapter at Friends of the Children!

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+ years. No matter what. #ThePowerOfOne

To know more about Friends of the Children go to:  

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.