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Jobs at Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services, Inc.

Youth Development Specialist, Housing Focus

Location: New York, NY

Department: Foster Care & Adoption

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

Sheltering Arms strengthens the education, wellbeing, and development of high-need children, adults, and families across the New York metro area. We serve nearly 20,000 people a year from the South Bronx to Far Rockaway. Through compassion, innovation, and partnership, we respond to our community’s greatest needs and enable individuals to reach the greatest heights of their potential. Joining our team is an opportunity to collaborate with hundreds of dedicated colleagues who represent diverse backgrounds and talents as we work together to make a measurable impact for our neighbors in need. Every role at Sheltering Arms brings with it new opportunities for advancement and development so that team members can achieve their professional goals while helping others reach for theirs.

This position is to ensure that all youth 14 years and older are discharged to an appropriate and stable housing arrangement.  (Appropriate Housing may include living with family, foster parent, relative, roommate etc.); to support the Preparing Youth for Adulthood (PYA) goals.


Essential Functions:

  • Manage a case load to complete initial and semi-annual life skills assessments; provides educational and career counseling; and provides related services to help prepare the youth for adulthood.
  • Become the agency’s expert in negotiating and advocating for housing services for foster care youth.
  • Act as a resource for caseworkers in keeping up-to-date with all NYC, NYS or
  • Federal housing initiatives, including NYCHA, Section 8, and ACS Housing Subsidies.
  • Attend ACS YD Housing Committee meetings and report back to all foster care programs.
  • Develop a How-To package for all youth on obtaining housing including income needed, eligibility requirements for housing programs, signing of leases, security deposits, rights as a tenant, and useful websites with links to available rentals and finding roommates.
  • Develop a database of housing resources that can be accessed by youth preparing for discharge to independent living.
  • Work to link youth to proper living arrangements.
  • Make contact with landlords in designated communities.
  • Process all housing applications
  • Alert youths and caseworkers to appointments for housing and accompany youth to appointment when necessary.
  • Track foster care and congregate care youth turning 20 years old.  Contact caseworkers to survey housing needs.
  • Maintain documentation of housing services provided to staff and/or clients
  • Maintain a database of open housing applications and track progress.
  • Submit a monthly report to QI and Supervisor of Specialists. 
  • Provide on-going training to the agency caseworkers on housing issues for foster youth.
  • Attend PYA staff meeting.
  • Meet regularly with supervisor/program director.
  • Completes progress notes in CONNECTIONS in accordance with agency standards for timely submission of documentation.
  • Helps to facilitate monthly PYA workshops for the youth
  • Attend agency based and external training as scheduled.
  • Other related tasks that may be assigned



  • Bachelor’s degree required; human service related degree preferred.
  • A minimum of three years of experience in housing services is preferred.
  • Must have experience working with emotionally challenged youth.
  • Knowledge of foster care and ACS mandates.
  • Good computer skills (Word and Excel).
  • Knowledge of CONNECTIONS preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Must be organized and self-motivated; must be able to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Must be able to reach out to community resources.
  • Be team players.
  • Have a strong sensitivity to cultural differences present among staff and clients within our organization.
  • Possess a strong belief in people’s ability to grow and change; forge a mutually respectful partnership with persons served and their families.
  • Ability to set limits and maintain helping role of practitioner and to intervene appropriately.

It is the policy of Sheltering Arms that the Agency wholly complies with the equal treatment of all employees and applicants for employment without unlawful discrimination as to an individual’s perceived or actual race, creed, color, national origin, alienate, citizenship status, gender, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or veteran status in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, layoff and termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.


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