Title: Bilingual Family Support Specialist
Supervised by: Program Director
Status: Exempt, Hourly, Part-time
Date: September 2021
Founded in 2013, VOCEL is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure every child has the foundation to learn, grow and lead. Through innovative parent support and early learning services rooted in language and social-emotional development, VOCEL jumpstarts young children’s brain growth. For more information, please visit www.vocel.org.
Having piloted an innovative two-generation early learning program that provides quality early learning and equips parents as children’s first and best teachers, VOCEL is poised to make strategic improvements to the Child Parent Academy (VCPA) and have deeper impacts in child development knowledge and caregiver confidence and capacity. Rooted in that vision, the Family Support Specialist will enhance this effort by supporting caregivers of children ages 0-4 with resources, knowledge of child development, and ongoing opportunities for connection and community-building. This role is critical to the two-generation model, allows for skill-building in facilitation and early childhood, and is poised to have meaningful impact on families around Chicago, and specifically in neighborhoods on the west side.
WHAT YOU’LL DO: ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Reporting to the Program Director, this position will (1) facilitate west-side cohort adult discussion groups and co-facilitate two generation classes with Teacher, (2) provide individualized support for caregivers to assist them in identifying areas of strength and goal’s for improvement, and (3) build relationships across diverse populations in service of the belief that all children and families deserve and can succeed. Because VOCEL is a small organization, the Family Support Specialist can expect to work closely with the program team, Family Support Manager, and the Program Director.
1. Facilitate west-side cohort adult discussion groups and co-facilitate two generation classes with teacher (50% of the position)
- Facilitate regular Caregiver Discussion groups, virtually and in-person, in English and in Spanish, that offer a welcoming and supportive space for all and share knowledge of early childhood development
- Support enrollment by conducting initial 1-1 phone calls with new VCPA enrollees
- Serve as a co-facilitator in the child-adult classroom with Teacher, virtually and in-person, supporting learning through play
- Model responses to children’s words, sounds and gestures (with narration, repetition, extension, questions, etc.); our staff act as “language builders,” bringing high levels of conversation and vocabulary into all classes
- Data-entry in Salesforce tracking program targets including, but not limited to member enrollment, engagement, assessments, etc.
- Support planning of and carry out Family Days
- Coordinate classroom supplies, activities, and discussion points with co-Teacher and other VCPA Family Support Specialists to prepare for each session
2. Provide individualized support for caregivers to assist them in identifying areas of strength and goal’s for improvement (20% of the position)
- In conjunction with caregivers, identify areas where additional resources may benefit child/children, caregiver, and/or family’s wellbeing
- Offer flexibility and empathy to support caregiver, child, and/or family
- Provide individualized support during or after class times to address children and caregivers’ specific goals, with support from the Family Support Manager and/or Program Director as needed
- Connect with Family Support Manager and other VCPA Staff to refer families for additional resources, support counseling, etc.
3. Build relationships across diverse populations in service of the belief that all children and families deserve and can succeed (20% of the position)
- Acknowledge and celebrate the many diverse backgrounds and experiences in the VOCEL community and encourage members to share stories, traditions, and values
- Listen to, learn about, and connect with individual children and caregivers through conversation and shared activities
- Validate primary caregivers as their child’s first and best teacher and honor their individual and family cultures, experiences, and perspectives
- Provide support to children, caregivers, and families in the ways that they identify wanting support
4. Miscellaneous (10% of the position)
- Perform clerical responsibilities and other duties as assigned by Family Support Manager, Program Director, or Managing Director of Program Strategy
- Participate in required staff, committee, and/or Board meetings
- Provide support for development events
- Provide support for recruitment events
- Protect the organization by keeping information confidential
- Other duties as assigned.
Background and experience we’d like to see:
- Bachelor’s degree from accredited college or university.
- Minimum two years’ experience in professional role with demonstrated results.
- Personal vehicle and/or comfort using public transportation for various errands.
- Bilingual: fluent in English and Spanish
The ideal candidate demonstrates:
- Alignment with VOCEL’s core values (https://www.vocel.org/vocel-values)
- Put people first
- Welcome all
- Innovate with intention
- Promote equity
- Embrace the child within
- Build a better tomorrow
- Knowledge of early childhood development and/or education
- Strong written and oral communication skills, including skill in using social media
- Commitment to cultural sensitivity, equity, self-reflection and growth
- Strong ability to project plan, delegate responsibilities to team members and follow-up accordingly to meet deadlines and due dates
- Strong attention to detail
- Entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility
- Inclination to identify and solve problems independently.
- Eagerness to continuously learn
- Interest in nonprofit, community-centered work
VOCEL offers a competitive compensation package including:
- Hourly wage of $20.60 per hour, at 30 hours per week maximum
- IRA with employer matching up to 3%
- Technology reimbursement
- Mileage reimbursement
- Generous paid time including:
- Paid holidays (12 days) with opportunity to swap holidays for personal/religious observance
- Elective PTO (1 PTO hour for every 40 hours worked in the first 2 years of employment, and then 1 PTO hour for every 25 hours worked after the first 2 years of employment)
- 15 days of break, determined by VOCEL
- Up to 5 paid sick days
- Follow instructions at this link: https://vocel.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=43
- Incomplete applications will not be accepted
- No phone calls please
- Deadline is August 6. Position begins September 13.
- This role is part-time, not to exceed 30 hours a week.
- The daily schedule is relatively flexible and will be dependent on VCPA class days and times but can be expected to fall between 7am and 2pm Monday through Friday. Some evening and weekend hours may be required. Local travel in the Chicagoland area is to be expected.
- This position operates in an office environment with wireless internet and limited space as well as on-site at VCPA partner sites. The position may be remote on an as-needed basis.
- This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers (laptops), photocopiers, scanners, filing cabinets, and common office supplies
- This position requires a reliable cell phone with the capability to add apps for communication with participants and staff, i.e., Slack, Bamboo, etc.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk, hear, and see. The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; use hands to operate office equipment and play with children. This position may require long periods of sitting.
- The employee will occasionally lift objects up to 50 pounds, with assistance if needed.
- VOCEL offers a smoke- and drug-free environment.
- Employee will be required to provide documentation of U.S. citizenship or eligibility to work in the U.S.
- Equal Opportunity Employer. All decisions and criteria governing the employment relationship with all employees are made in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to race, ethnicity, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, age, national origin, marital status, pregnancy, military service, order of protection status, physical, mental, or neuro disability, or any other factor determined to be unlawful by federal, state, or local statutes.