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Transitional Service Specialist, Foster Care & Adoption

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.


Sheltering Arms is seeking a Transitional Service Specialist (TSS). The role of the TSS, MSW Level is to increase the variables for a successful and safe family reunification period and usher the youth and family toward a successful final discharge.

The services that the TSS, MSW Level will support families’ successful reunification from foster care.  The TSS will help identify families that may be ready to move to trial discharge by facilitating meetings on all family foster care cases where the child has been in care for more than 6 months and all residential cases where the youth has a goal of return to parent.  The TSS will decrease re-entries into foster care by working proactively to identify and resolve problems and mediate conflicts when they arise. Because the TSS will be familiar with the youth and family’s strengths and resources, the TSS will be able to identify services and supports for the discharge period. The TSS, MSW Level will also provide home-based therapeutic interventions and be available after hours for support to the family.  He or she will regularly assess the functioning of a family to prevent re-entry into the foster care system and assure safety.


Essential Functions:

  • Work with case planners to identify cases that are appropriate for trial discharge and create a service plan to achieve successful discharge, including a strength-based treatment plan to address children/youth’s response to trauma
  • See child/youth and family at least twice per month in the home and community
  • Provide a positive role model for children/families; maintain a relationship conducive to the nurturing and developmental needs of children and works with the parent to provide a living situation to help meet those needs. Use knowledge of diverse cultural norms and child-rearing practices to enhance the assessment and treatment process
  • As indicated, coordinate with child/youth’s mental health provider to monitor provision of  psychotherapy and psychiatry
  • Provide timely and effective crisis intervention, including after hours crisis intervention coverage
  • Utilize conflict mediation skills to resolve issues in the home that will disrupt the discharge
  • Immediately report urgent issues to the case planner and/or supervisor so that an appropriate response to the matter can be devised and implemented
  • Hold monthly support groups for families on trial discharge
  • Participate in Family Team conferences
  • Participate in other meetings with families as required
  • Participate in team meetings
  • Complete case documentation in a timely manner and in accordance with ACS and Sheltering Arms standards
  • Perform other duties as delegated


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work
  • Knowledge of or ability to access information concerning community-based resources
  • Excellent interdisciplinary collaborative skills
  • Experience with conflict mediation, preferably in a family setting
  • A record of success and achievement in foster boarding home/ residential child care work/ preventive services preferred


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.


Physical Requirements: Must have the ability to complete all standard administrative and support tasks including but not limited to climbing up and down stairs, operation of computers/phones/fax/printer/copy machine. Must be able to travel from the various locations and sites of Sheltering Arms.

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