United Friends of the Children empowers current and former foster youth on their journey to self-sufficiency through service-enriched education and housing programs, advocacy, and consistent relationships with a community of people who care.
United Friends has been an integral part of the Los Angeles foster care community since our founding by Nancy M. Daly in 1979. Our early advocacy efforts helped establish the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and pass the Foster Care Independence Act. Innovations in direct services span from co-founding the first transitional housing program in the nation for former foster youth to the creation of an 11-year education support continuum that follows foster youth from the seventh grade through the completion of a bachelor’s degree.
Pathways Housing Program provides transition-aged youth with housing and support services as they seek to obtain stable and secure housing and employment. Using a relational approach, the Intake Specialist will provide direct services to residents, and play an instrumental role in supporting the Pathways Program through a period of development. Reporting to the Transitions Manager, the Intake Specialist will guide incoming residents through the intake process and support their transition into the program, as well as, collaborate with the larger Transitions Team in setting up residents for success as they exit.
The Intake Specialist will work full-time during standard business hours, Monday-Friday and weekends and evenings as necessary. While based out of United Friends’ downtown office, the Intake Specialist will also work remotely on occasion from United Friends’ housing sites across LA County.
Duties and responsibilities
Intake and Engagement
▪ Facilitate residents’ entry into program including conducting intake interviews, completing intake documentation, coordinating resident orientations, and consulting with Pathways Team.
▪ Participate in ongoing Youth Coordinated Entry System (CES) Care Coordination Meetings to link youth with housing programs.
▪ Provide services with incoming and current residents using an engaging, strengths-based, and trauma-informed approach.
▪ Coordinate linkages with community partners for applicants seeking housing and resources.
▪ Support residents with transitions throughout their participation in the program by providing case management services, workshops, and events.
▪ Maintain accurate entry/exit logs and document service provision in ETO database within one week.
▪ Complete written assessments and move in paperwork within established timeframes.
▪ Plan, organize, and coordinate all meetings and material related to residents’ program entry and exit.
▪ Provide intake reports to internal and external stakeholders on a weekly basis and as requested.
Outreach and Partnership
▪ Act as initial point of contact for United Friends’ Pathways program by engaging all inquiring youth and referring agencies with professionalism and respect, and respond to individuals seeking information about housing in a professional, prompt, and timely manner.
▪ Maintain an overall understanding of program opportunities, contracts, and funding sources, and communicate about them effectively to internal and external partners.
▪ Build and maintain strategic partnerships with community partners to enhance the opportunities available to United Friends’ program participants.
▪ Participate in team meetings and weekly individual supervision.
▪ Other duties as assigned.
General United Friends Responsibilities
▪ Act as a role model within the organization to uphold and implement United Friends’ organizational values:
o Embrace program evaluation that leads to excellence and impact
o Build effective and empowering partnerships with the youth, community and each other
o Create a fun and exciting environment that inspires learning and innovation
o Communicate openly, honestly and with humility across all groups
o Work together as one organization
▪ MSW or related degree with 2+ years post-graduate experience in a related setting
▪ Strong assessment skills and ability to build rapport quickly
▪ Ability to establish and cultivate respectful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds
▪ An understanding of and sensitivity to issues concerning former foster youth and homelessness
▪ Ability to be organized and balance multiple priorities, and effective written and verbal communication skills
▪ Strong problem-solving and crisis intervention skills
▪ Working towards clinical licensure
▪ Experience working with substance use and mental health needs
▪ Experience working with homeless individuals and/or DCFS and Probation systems