From our friends at CYC:

Title:                Policy Director (Full-Time Exempt)

Location:         Sacramento

Salary:             Competitive based on qualifications. Generous vacation, medical, dental, and vision benefits; optional life insurance; and 401 K plan. 

Supervisor:     Executive Director

California Youth Connection (CYC) was founded 27 years ago by former foster youth and has evolved into a vibrant statewide youth leadership, advocacy and training organization with 34 regional chapters, four satellite offices, and a budget close to $3 million. CYC empowers, and educates current and former foster youth providing them with leadership and advocacy opportunities to be the lead agents of change for system improvements throughout the state through policy and practice reform.

Position Summary
CYC is seeking a full-time Policy Director to assist with the overall strategic coordination of CYC’s statewide policy agenda. This position will lead all statewide oversight of implementation of emerging policies as identified by CYC youth. This is a senior management level position; supervising two other Policy Team positions.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Works with Executive Director and Management Team to ensure that CYC’s policy work is coordinated and connected to the organization as a whole. Provides strategic vision and leadership for translating youth identified policy recommendations into legislative or other strategies for achieving broad system reform at both the statewide and county level.
  • Works closely with the Director of Programs to effectively implement statewide organizational policy strategies, develop capacity with CYC chapters to pursue local policy strategies, and ensure coordination between statewide efforts and local chapter/county advocacy efforts. 
  • Builds and sustains strong networks with other government and child welfare stakeholders and provider organizations in accomplishing broad system improvement inspired by CYC’s youth led and informed constituency.  Represents CYC and the foster youth community agenda at key government, and stakeholder forums.
  • Works closely with the Director of Development to pursue funding for the organization’s policy work, to ensure that policy deliverables are met, and to ensure that grant reporting on policy work is accurate and timely. 
  • Develops strong communications structures to share information within CYC as well as external communications to allies, stakeholders, and decision makers.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervises and coordinates the work of the agency Policy Team consisting of two FTE in Sacramento, as well as youth interns, and works collaboratively with the agency’s Leadership Team in connecting the policy agenda with all aspects of organizational programming and training across the state.
  • Helps manage relationships with external stakeholders and partners in the child welfare policy community. 
  • Manages budget for the Policy Team.  Coordinates the use of the CYC credit card and works with bookkeeper to ensure billing is accurate and timely. 
  • Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training staff; planning, assigning, and directing work, appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees, addressing complaints and resolving problems.


  • Collect, analyze, and manage policy data to measure the impact of various strategies.
  • Prepare and submit expense reports in a timely manner on a monthly basis.
  • Create and review program budget.
  • Work coherently with other programs on a needed basis
  • CYC reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The preferred capabilities listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or experience: Five years’ experience in a nonprofit management role including staff supervision, Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience with foster care issues or youth issues strongly preferred. Experience working with government and legislation preferred. Experience working with and building partnerships with external stakeholders. Former foster youth are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Management skills and/or experience: Experience managing grants over $100,000 or multi-year grants. Project management skills required. Experience managing teams and managing volunteers preferred.
  • Language skills: Ability to read, analyze and interpret state and local legislation and policy proposals. Ability to translate complex policy issues into youth-friendly language and materials.  Ability to read, analyze and interpret grant applications and contracts. Ability to read, analyze and interpret budgets. Ability to write articles and public announcements that conform to standard style and format. Ability to write grant reports and budget reports that conform to standard style and format. Ability to effectively present information to staff, members, and the public.
  • Community Development / Public Policy skills:  Three years’ experience in launching and expanding community development and or public policy projects. Familiarity with stakeholders and the child welfare landscape of California strongly preferred.
  • Technical Skills: Proficiency in using personal computer and various office software packages including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, calendaring, and email management. Proficiency using Windows OS preferred.

Special Requirements

  • Ability to attend two conferences annually, each requiring two to three consecutive overnight stays in other regions of the state.
  • Ability to attend monthly staff meetings in Oakland and occasionally in regional areas, as well as monthly management meetings in the Bay Area.
  • Ability to participate in monthly Leadership Team meetings in Oakland.
  • Willing to work overtime, holidays, and weekends as requested by supervisor.
  • Commitment to a youth-led organization dedicated to developing and advancing youth-generated initiatives. 

Application Deadline: Email your resume and cover letter by April 3rd for priority consideration. Position will remain open until filled.

How to Apply: Please reply with documents including a resume and cover letter to or fax them to 415-442-0720.

Former foster youth are strongly encouraged to apply.

California Youth Connection is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the belief that each individual is entitled to equal employment opportunity.

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