Program Overview – Free 2 Be (Housing First for Youth Leaving Care), Community Programs
WoodGreen’s Free 2 Be program is an evidenced-based, youth informed program that has been intentionally designed to help young people with lived experience of the child welfare system thrive in their transitional years. What sets Free 2 Be apart is its small caseload sizes, intensive case management, and focus on positive youth development through informal mentorship and relationship building. With an emphasis on trauma-informed practice, Free 2 Be supports positive long-term outcomes for a demographic of young people that have not historically had dedicated help in identifying, securing, and sustaining housing, or extensive community-based supports following their transitions out of care. Free 2 Be offers a range of financial provisions to support ongoing sustainability and security, while drawing on existing internal and external programs in areas such as mental health and wellness, cultural and arts-based programming, homework help and tutoring, employment services, and child care.
What You Will Do
- Act as a positive role model, mentor, and support for young people leaving the child welfare system as they transition into the Free 2 Be (Housing First for Youth) program.
- Initiate, develop, and maintain trusting and trauma-informed relationships with young people including creating a positive and welcoming environment.
- Draw on a wide variety of formal and informal approaches to your relationship with young people, such as art, exercise, cooking, and laundry in support of good rapport, mentorship, and skills acquisition, emphasizing a positive youth development framework.
- Working within a Housing First for Youth framework, provide young people with assistance identifying, viewing, securing, and maintaining safe, appropriate, and affordable housing.
- Accompany young people to appointments as needed and/or provide support facilitating access to resources and opportunities.
- Ongoing advocacy work in the legal system, with landlords and within a wide variety of unique circumstances, so as to ensure a young person can optimize their opportunities for success.
- Address complex behaviour, mental health, emotional, and substance use challenges through a harm reduction lens, drawing on a wide variety of approaches and modalities in your work, including motivational interviewing, brief, solution focused therapy, narrative, prevention and management of aggressive behaviour, crisis prevention and/or intervention, etc.
- Build and maintain strong referral relationships with frontline staff at children’s aid societies, youth shelters, and other organizations.
- Facilitate skills development training and/or arrange for impactful guest presenters.
- Complete all documentation: assessments, intake tools, 90-day transition plans, goal setting, program evaluations, incident reports, and graduation tools in a consistent and timely manner.
- Maintain organized, consistent, and up-to-date case notes and documentation.
What You Bring to the Team
- Masters in Social Work required.
- Registered Social Worker (RSW) in good standing with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW).
- At least three (3) years of direct experience working with marginalized young people a must (e.g. young people who have experienced the child welfare system, homelessness, mental health challenges and/or addictions, employment challenges, etc.).
What Will Set You Apart
- · Strong understanding of the vulnerability and resiliency faced by young people transitioning out of care, and the experiences of stigma attached to race, age, sexuality, and gender, and the associated risks of homelessness that often follow. Those with lived experience of one or several of these dynamics are highly encouraged to apply.
- Extensive understanding of trauma informed care and harm reduction principals.
- Demonstrated client focussed counselling skills.
- Strong desire to apply learning experientially through modelling behaviour, such as cooking, cleaning, art, writing, and recreational activity.
- Excellent communication skills and the ability to be adaptable with a flexible approach taking into consideration the unique qualities of each client.
- Interpersonal skills that promote positive team building, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
- Broad knowledge of community resources and the ability to advocate for clients.
- Understanding of Housing First for Youth, tenants’ right, housing supports, financial support and other housing resources is considered a strong asset.
- Effective communication (oral and written), documentation, and computer skills.
- Demonstrated intervention skills, including crisis intervention (Non-Violent Crisis Intervention or Managing Hostile Interacting Certificate a strong asset).
- Valid first aid certificate is considered an asset.
How to Applyhttps://woodgreencommunityservices.applytojob.com/apply/s6Mqf2Pju9/Case-Counsellor-Free-2-Be-2020261CP?source=Ontario+Nonprofit+Network
About WoodGreen Community Services
Who We Are
A United Way Anchor Agency, WoodGreen combines significant scale and a proven track record with an entrepreneurial mindset, continuously seeking and developing innovative solutions to critical social needs.
Now in our 82nd year, we are one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We’re a group of diverse individuals who value respect, excellence, compassion, integrity, and team work.