JOB NOTICE: Policy Specialist - 2 Positions Available
Looking for a role where you can contribute to changing life in foster care for young people across the country? Consider joining the team at FosterClub, the national network for young people in foster care.
FosterClub seeks an energetic, organized, and adaptable person to fill the role of Policy Specialist stationed in Washington, DC. The Policy Specialist works to advance FosterClub’s mission to ensure that the expertise of youth who have experienced foster care is elevated, understood and prioritized in legislation and administrative policies that govern federal and state child welfare programming. The Policy Specialist will work closely with the Policy Manager and Members of our Young Leaders Network to expand our bipartisan coalition of youth, families, legislators, care-providers, federal and state child welfare administrators, funders, and concerned citizens working for a more equitable and youth-centered child welfare system.
Reports to: Policy Manager, Angel Petite
- Annual salary range of $35,000 - $40,000, depending on qualifications
- Housing provided (see Housing information below)
Start Date: Feb 1
Term Length: 2 terms available: 1-2 year length
Location: Positions are sited in Washington DC.
A three-month probationary period applies; quarterly performance and compensation evaluations are standard throughout the organization. The regular work schedule will be 8:30AM - 5:00PM Monday through Friday with a 30 minute lunch; some extended hours and/or schedule changes may occur, primarily during the months of May-August.
FosterClub offers generous paid time off, 10 paid holidays plus a birthday holiday each year, fully paid medical and dental coverage for full-time employees, and participates in the OregonSaves retirement program. Information about our work environment and culture can be found in the FosterClub Culture section of this job notice.
What You’ll Do
- Cultivate and manage relationships with policymakers, including tracking relationships and priorities of key Members of Congress (including the Senate and Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth), their staff, Committees (such as Senate Finance and House Ways & Means), and Federal Administration (ACF and Children’s Bureau).
- Cultivate network of policy and child welfare contacts while maintaining existing relationships with key child welfare organizations and partners in DC and nationally. Attend regular, relevant meetings, participate in workgroups and attend Congressional briefings and partner events in DC and across the country.
- Monitor federal legislative or administrative policies to determine impact on young people in foster care and keep our staff and membership informed. Provide youth-friendly education (including policy briefs) for young leaders to actively engage, organize and respond.
- Work with identified staff and partner to organize youth perspective, such as the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign, the Human Rights Campaign, the Family First Partnership, CHAMPs partnership, to effectively engage constituents in policy initiatives.
- Coordinate the placement of young leaders from foster care at the policy table, including engagement, training and support of youth in Congressional visits, briefings, and meetings with Federal officials and stakeholders
- Work closely with Policy Manager to manage projects, coordinate and implement FosterClub’s Policy Initiatives
- Other duties as assigned and as skills demonstrate capacity (this list is not meant to be exhaustive).
Who You Are
- You are excited about supporting the voices of lived experience in policy and system change.
- You know how to work in a team and understand that your success is measured by the team’s success.
- You are organized and care about the details. You’re the person who catches things that would otherwise fall through the cracks.
- You are a good listener and a good writer.
- You can juggle multiple tasks or projects and prioritize them accordingly. You meet your deadlines, often with time to spare.
- You are thoughtful when giving feedback and are open and receptive to receiving it in kind.
- You are able to engage with a diverse team of staff and young leaders, especially youth of color and youth who may identify as LGBTQ+, or otherwise gender-nonconforming; and are committed to reducing the impacts of structural and interpersonal forms of racism, homophobia and related oppressions. It would be really great if you have worked directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Even better if you know something about anti-racist organizing principles.
What You’ve Already Done
- Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, Social Work, Public Policy or a related field that could contribute to improving the foster care and child welfare system. (A Master’s Degree is even better!)
- You have a minimum of three years of experience (work and/or volunteer), with progressively responsible experience in youth development, public policy and system change, advocacy, education or a related field.
- You have worked directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Even better if you know something about anti-racist organizing principles.
- While lived experience is not required, this is an excellent opportunity for candidates with experience in foster care.
- You are able to show a satisfactory equivalent combination of education, experience, and training which demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job successfully.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to:
- Sitting at Desk, Keyboarding – Frequent
- Walking and Climbing Stairs - Frequent
- Lifting at 35 lbs or less - Occasional
- Frequent air travel
- Drive or Public Transit- Frequently, especially during summer internship season.
- Up to 40% of time spent traveling or otherwise out of the office
- Employee will be expected to adhere to Travel Policy.
- Staff will be provided with a private room in a FosterClub-leased apartment, which will serve as live/work space, in Washington DC.
- The apartment will be shared with 2-3 staff members. Staff members will be responsible for cleaning duties and upkeep of shared living areas. Each staff will have a private bedroom.
- Furnishings will be provided, including desk space in the shared living area.
- The cost for all basic utilities will be covered by FosterClub (water, garbage, electric, gas). Internet will also be provided.
- Pets cannot be accommodated due to unknown policies for rented space, and/or unknown allergy issues for roommates.
- Staff may seek reimbursement for metro costs - and, when necessary, other transportation costs to travel to meeting sites for work. FosterClub will not pay for auto costs (including parking space) beyond reimbursement for mileage, per FosterClub policy.
- A resume and cover letter, submitted in PDF format, are required. Please submit these to Angel Petite, Policy Manager, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Due to limited resources FosterClub will only contact shortlisted candidates
- Any offer made will be conditional on receipt of two satisfactory references (from a recent employer or supervisor and a character reference)
- Upon receipt of a conditional offer of employment the applicant will be expected to undergo a criminal background check and motor vehicle records check
The FosterClub Culture
Our team actively engages in both individual and collective work to support meaningful diversity, full inclusion and equitable outcomes. We provide consistent and ongoing opportunities for collaboration, innovation, and coaching. Regularly scheduled 1:1 staffings, full staff meetings, and/or program team meetings are held to allow for conversations that then lead to improved individual, team, and organizational performance. Yearly staff retreats offer time to refocus and strategize as well as space for team-building activities, shared meals, and fun.
Our days are routinely fast paced and our to-do lists can be unpredictable. We may find ourselves working long hours in order to welcome a new session of All-Star interns, complete a grant application or report, get a project across the finish line, or to assist youth as they prepare to share their experiences and recommendations with others who are committed to improving the child welfare system. We expect staff to strategically prioritize multiple tasks or projects in order to bring an assignment or program vision to life. We value a growth mindset, a can-do attitude, and the willingness to dig in to create space for “FosterClub Magic.” Our work is sometimes difficult, but always rewarding. FosterClub strives to create an environment in which high levels of professional performance and accountability are the norm, balanced with the benefits and flexibility that support healthy work/life harmony.
Equitable Employment Opportunity Statement
FosterClub is committed to building a more just, diverse, inclusive and accessible work environment. We strive to be a workplace where people of color, LGBTQ+/2S, and those with non-traditional career paths can thrive. As an Equal Opportunity Employer we are also committed to upholding applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations prohibiting unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of age, ancestry, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or the presence of a physical, cognitive, or sensory disability. Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+/2S folx, women and people with lived experience in foster care are urged to apply.