Interim Advocacy Counselor (Whittier Sites)

Full-time, Exempt

Organization Overview

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.

Founded over 40 years ago, United Friends’ is a leading provider of youth development services to current and former foster youth in Los Angeles County. Through its housing and education programs, the organization has helped thousands of young people imagine and actualize their own dreams and futures. All programs are grounded in a relational model. At United Friends, youth build long-lasting, developmental relationships between young people and caring adults, as well as connections to nourishing peer and community support systems. Around those relationships, United Friends wraps an array of supportive services to help youth successfully transition to adulthood. Operating 11 housing sites around the county, United Friends’ housing program provides current and former foster youth with a stable place to live and targeted services that promote their long-term economic stability and wellness. Serving students from the sixth grade through college competition, United Friends’ education program reverses abysmal educational outcomes for foster youth by ensuring they graduate from high school and college. As a result of services, United Friends alumni have greater housing and economic stability, higher educational attainment and a stronger sense of community and emotional wellbeing.


Position Overview

United Friends of the Children’s Pathways Housing Programs provides residents, ages 18-24, with housing and support services as they seek to obtain stable and secure housing and employment. Reporting to the Community Manager, the Advocacy Counselor (AC) carries a caseload of up to (15) 18–24-year-old former foster youth. The AC’s primary objectives are to build meaningful relationships with youth and other Advocacy Counselor Team members that help them reach their educational, career, and personal goals, and to assist with program development.

  • Duties and Responsibilities:
    • Create individual case plans for youth tailored to their needs and goals towards education, employment, and stable housing.
    • Provide intensive case management that includes removing barriers and linking youth to relevant community resources and services.
    • Establish rapport and maintain a high level of engagement to provide quality services and support.
    • Develop a transition plan to thoroughly guide and support youth into stable housing.
    • Coordinate weekly case management meetings to provide coaching and guidance on goals related to housing, employment, education, mental/physical health, and basic life skills, including budgeting and finance.
    • Assess ongoing information to ensure youth safety, wellbeing, and progress towards case plan goals.
    • Coordinate and facilitate tasks related to apartment and program readiness for youth move-ins and exits.
    • Lead conversations with youth and their care team concerning their progress and needs in program.
    • Monitor site safety and cleanliness, including youth units inspections.
    • Provide de-escalation and crisis intervention as needed.
    • Facilitate and attend community building activities, life skills workshops, and events for youth.
    • Attend required agency and department meetings.


    Documentation and Administrative Duties

    • Meet all due dates for data entry and documentation requirements.
    • Document all service efforts on Apricot and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) within the required timeframes.
    • Attend agency required trainings and expand knowledge of services relevant to our population.
    • Track youth progress towards goals and required outcomes.
    • Analyze outcome data to improve service delivery.



    • Other duties as assigned.


    General United Friends Responsibilities

    • Act as a role model within the organization to uphold and implement United Friends’ organizational values:
      • Embrace program evaluation that leads to excellence and impact
      • Build effective and empowering partnerships with the youth, community, and each other
      • Create a fun and exciting environment that inspires learning and innovation
      • Communicate openly, honestly and with humility across all groups
      • Work together as one organization
  • Required Qualifications:
    • Master’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or equivalent preferred.
    • 1-2 years of experience in case management or related experience required.
    • Experience providing direct services to high-risk population or youth experiencing homelessness preferred.
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
    • Highly motivated to engage in problem-solving and research innovative solutions.
    • Ability to provide crisis management and de-escalation techniques.
    • An ability to work in a fast-paced environment that requires effective collaboration with a multi-disciplinary service team and to work independently.
    • High level of accountability and responsibility for role expectations.
    • Passionate about United Friends’ mission and values.
    • Must have a valid California Driver’s License and an insured and reliable vehicle.
  • Preferred Qualifications:
    • Oral and written fluency in Spanish
United Friends currently implements a hybrid work environment – schedule is determined at the discretion of management and the needs of the program and/or agency. This position will work full-time hours, Monday-Friday. Weekend and evening support may be required, on occasion. The Advocacy Counselor will work primarily from the Whittier housing cluster sites. The Advocacy Counselor will work four days per week at the housing site, and work remotely one day per week. Minimal travel between United Friends’ housing sites across Los Angeles County is required.
About United Friends of the Children
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