Reports To: Assistant Vice-President of Programs

Location: Oakland, CA

Schedule: Monday through Friday, evenings and weekends as needed

Compensation: Full-time, commensurate with experience. Full benefits.

Job Summary:

The Director of Programs is responsible to ensure high quality services and effective daily operations of all aspects of the My First Place Program.  Duties include managing budgets and contracts, multi-site supervision, services and human resource management including hiring, evaluation, coaching and training. The Director of Programs is responsible to ensure program outcomes, to manage external relationships, and to develop and promote the reputation of First Place for Youth at all times. The Director of Programs provides leadership congruent with agency policy, values and mission provides management reports as required, and leads significant program committees or functions as assigned.


Program Operations

  • Leads projects and program implementation ensuring quality, productivity and services delivery standards
  • Resolves problems, completes audits, identifies trends and recommends, determines and implements system improvements.
  • Achieves or exceeds operational objectives by contributing information and recommendations to strategies plans and reviews, preparing and completing actions, managing assigned projects
  • Leads and manages improvement and change efforts
  • Participates agency-wide workgroups and projects as assigned
  • Responsible for all aspects of program including physical plant, safety, compliances, service delivery, program enhancements, growth and reputation and stakeholder relationships.

Human Resources

  • Recruits, selects, orients, trains, assigns, schedules, coaches, counsels assigned employees to achieve program results and highest quality services.
  • Enforces policy, communicates job expectations, plans, monitors and appraises performance
  • Review and recommend compensations actions
  • Provides clinical leadership and potentially including direct clinical supervision of staff

Fiscal/Budget Management

  • Meets financial objectives by forecasting requirements, preparing and recommending annual budget, scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances and initiating corrective actions.
  • Includes keen attention to vacant, census, staffing and other metrics to ensure fiscal health of program

Community Development

  • Represents agency interest and advances agency reputation with external stake holders including partners, sub-contractors, county agencies and others.
  • Collaboratively explores and recommends program and contract improvement and change.


  • Collaborates and communicates effectively throughout organization
  • Exemplifies and promotes standard of high achievement
  • Recommends strategic and program improvement through participation on assigned program leadership team

Training and Compliance

  • Ensures program meets or exceeds all regulatory and contract requirements including development of formal training program for staff

Other Duties as assigned


  • MA/MSW required, LCSW or MFT with two years post licensure experience preferred
  • A minimum of three years of supervisory/managements experience required; relevant leadership experience may be considered
  • DIRECT SERVICE EXPERIENCE: At least five years progressive responsibility working with foster or former foster youth. Milieu or wraparound experience preferred.
  • FIELD KNOWLEDGE – Excellent understanding of program resources for youth as well as awareness of other services for young adults and young parents. Knowledge of which local community referral resources will best meet the needs of youth in the My First Place program.
  • PEOPLE, PROJECT AND PROGRAM MANAGEMENT SKILLS – Exemplary people management skills, strategic leadership abilities, and the ability to link the development of people with achievement of organizational outcomes. Effective team leadership skills. Cross-functional collaborative capacity. Ability to either take direction or work independently as the situation requires.  Strong supervisory skills and proven success supporting staff development and empowerment. Demonstrated success organizing, managing and evaluating programs, events, campaigns or productions.
  • STRONG COMMUNICATION SKILLS – Exceptional oral and written communication skills including the demonstrated ability to effectively present information to top management and program staff. Professional demeanor and the ability to represent the interests of the agency with community stakeholders.
  • COMPUTER SKILLS – Proficiency with Office 2010 applications including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Experience with data entry and outcomes management using web-based case management software, such as Apricot of Efforts to Outcomes.
  • TRANSPORTATION – Dependable car, valid driver’s license and proof of insurance required.
  • AVAILABILITY for some evening and weekend work and for travel as needed.

Core Competencies

Required of all staff for successful performance at First Place


  • Intentional use of data to improve performance
  • Possesses strong drive, initiative and motivation
  • Detail and Results orientation
  • Demonstrates good work habits
  • Resiliency in persisting through setbacks
  • Demonstrated success, with the ability to think strategically while executing tactically within a resource-constrained environment.


  • Seeks and utilizes resources to inform and contextualize own work
  • Thinks interdependently, framing the goals of one department/project within the entire vision
  • Synthesizes information to make astute recommendations and/or decisions
  • Prioritizes goals for success.


  • Creates an environment that maximizes the return on investment in others
  • Collaborates to set and achieve goals that comport with First Place’s mission, strategic plan and desired measurable outcomes
  • Creates and utilizes development opportunities to address individual needs and capacity to accomplish performance objectives
  • Creates and identifies opportunities for recognition of success
  • Provides supportive environment to learn from mistakes.


  • Courageous, strategic, clear and direct communication that resolves discrepancies and overcomes challenges and obstacles to organizational success
  • Ability to respectfully ask questions, challenge, and communicate both positive and difficult messages to subordinates, superiors, peers and youth
  • Sound judgment regarding the appropriateness of guarding confidentiality to protect the privacy rights of colleagues or youth
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.


  • Asks questions in order to learn and encourage dialogue
  • Willing to make mistakes and to be accountable for own work
  • Speaks about issues truthfully and without blame
  • Leads by example, displaying behavior that respects the mission, youth and First Place
  • Holds high expectations for self, one another and for our youth.

To apply for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume in ONE document to: