Reports To: Senior Program Manager-SF ILSP

Location: San Francisco, CA

Schedule: Full Time

Compensation: DOE

Job Summary:

The ILSP Youth Specialist plays a critical role in supporting a young person as they deal with the excitement, rigors and uncertainty of adulthood and departure from foster care.  This position works closely with providers, such as social workers, attorneys, group home personnel, teachers, mental health clinicians and administrators to ensure participants successfully work towards achieving their Education and Employment short- and long-term goals that work towards the youth’s long-term permanency. Critical youth objectives are identifying permanent connections, enrolling in and continuing post-secondary education as well as exploring vocational training and end employment opportunities. The ILSP Youth Specialist meets individually with the youth on their caseload to provide intensive services focusing on education and employment, while working with the primary providers in each participants’ life and providing community resources as needed. There will be a portion of this work that will need to be done virtually due to COVID safety measures, however there will be a combination of virtual and in person work required.


Support youth to identify and work toward employment and educational goals that support their long-term permanency.

  • Ability to build and maintain trusting relationships with high school students and community partners.
  • Conduct individual case management meetings to assist participants with identifying and progressing towards short- and long-term goals that focus on achieving outcomes in the areas of education, employment, stable housing, parenting, relationships and overall health.
  • Assist youth in securing full time, part-time, and summer employment by accompany youth to job fairs, job interviews and submitting applications as needed.
  • Work with youth participants to create and revise resumes.
  • Counsel youth in career exploration and job retention.
  • Case coordinate with community service providers to ensure youth develop and maintain employment plans.
  • Coach youth participants on handling work-related issues and promote self-advocacy.
  • Facilitate or co-facilitate in person or virtual workshops for youth participants on vocational, educational and career-related topics.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with high schools, GED services, colleges, and vocational schools.
  • Counsel youth participants on available financial aid and assist them in the application process.
  • Interface with special education departments and staff, support IEP meetings for youth.
  • Work with external service providers to ensure youth develop and maintain their educational plan.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Case Coordinate and link youth to community resources, act as an advocate and resource in all youth services towards their education and employment goals.

  • Coordinate education and employment services with external services providers where youth are housed.
  • Identify and advocate for services that youth need in order to reach their goals.
  • Provide crisis service resource and referral for homeless and runaway youth.
  • Leverage external provider support to ensure youth receive essential services and resources.
  • Build strong partner relationships with county social workers, group homes, TLPs, and other key community resources for in-care and out of care youth.


Documentation/Administrative Duties

  • Ensure youth are meeting Action Plan goals with respect to employment and education.
  • Enter all data on time and correctly to support program evaluation and outcomes tracking.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization and within respective department.
  • Attend weekly program meetings, monthly agency staff meetings, and individual weekly supervision with SF ILSP Manager.


  • Master’s degree in related field preferred. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Three years’ of experience working with at-risk youth, preferably current and former foster youth.
  • High level of personal accountability for the quality and impact of work
  • Excellent communication skills, professional demeanor, sound judgment, and strong organizational skills
  • Strong clinical skills, and/or a desire to learn more about the effects of the child welfare system on the lives of youth and young adults
  • Experience in youth development model, asset-based relationship building, and experience in motivating youth
  • Willingness to work collaboratively, but with the capacity to work independently
  • Must have a dependable car, valid driver’s license, and proof of insurance
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, particularly Word and Excel and power-point

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: