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  • Foster Care Renewal and Support Services Specialist

    Posted: 11/11/2021

    PURPOSE OF POSITION:

    The Renewal and Support Specialist is responsible for providing support for foster and adoptive families with placements as well as conducting annual home study renewals and updates for currently licensed resource families within project timelines.  The position requires the individual to become very familiar with all licensing rules and adoption rules through the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Iowa Code. 

    ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

    Renewals:

    1. Conduct thorough and accurate home study annual renewals and updates and other updates as needed. 
    2. Complete and submit all required information for licensing and/or home study approvals to the Department of Human Services per contract deliverable timelines, checklists, and due dates. 
    3. Enter required data into two databases.
    4. Conduct unannounced visit with resource family annually at least 6 months prior to renewal and send copy to DHS. 
    5. Conduct monthly support phone calls to foster families without placements.
    6. Conduct support visits to families with placements every other month (additional support visits as needed).
    7. Discuss with family the forms and training they will need for renewals. 
    8. Maintain training file on foster families.
    9. Review On Hold families with supervisor; communicate updates regarding this status.
    10. Ensure a resource family receives required ongoing training to maintain a foster license and/or adoption approval. 

    Direct Support to Families:

    1. Monitor database for placements daily. Contact family and schedule a 5-day placement visit that must occur within the first 5 days of placement.
    2. Maintain variable work hours that are accessible to families.
    3. Provide ongoing support for families with placement according to current support standards, stabilizing placements in each home.
    4. Write progress notes for each support visit within 5 days after the visit took place. Submit the progress notes to the DHS Case Manager, DHS Licensing Worker, and LSI supervisor.
    5. Communicate with Retention Specialist regarding families who no longer have placements, to assure ongoing supportive contacts.
    6. Crises are handled in a manner which minimizes disruption and assures safety.
    7. Assist family in finding respite for a resource family with a foster or pre-adoptive child in placement. 
    8. Identify frustrations, complaints, and challenges of foster families and develop positive responses to challenge their negative experiences.
    9. Assist with the matching process-approve placement suggestions through matching calls.
    10. Meet with Supervisor as needed to review family strengths and needs, placement openings to assist with the match process.
    11. Collaborate with DHS and Family Central Services (FCS) staff to integrate services among contractors to achieve outcomes and provide placement stability for children. Encourage regular and consistent inclusion of resource families in Family Team Meetings and Family Interaction Planning.
    12. Attend meetings and events as required.
    13. Enter all contact notes into 2 databases according to standards by the 5th of the month following.
    14. Be available for on-call responsibilities two times per year for two weeks each.

    OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES:

    1. Promote a positive team and work environment
    2. Participate in required in-service training, supervision and ongoing training necessary to perform and strengthen skills.
    3. Share in the responsibility for the improvement and development of retention services statewide. 
    4. Travel to meet the required needs of the position.
    5. Other duties as requested by the Supervisor or Director of Resource Family Licensing and Support. 

    ESSENTIAL QUALIFICATIONS:

    • Bachelor Degree in social work or a related human services field.
    • A minimum of two years of experience within the field of child welfare.  Experience in the area of adoption, foster care, and home studies is ideal.
    • Good verbal and written communication skills.
    • Ability to appropriately handle confidential information.
    • Requires valid driver’s license, vehicle and automobile insurance, and driving record that meets agency policy.
    • Ability to interact with families and children with sensitivity and responsiveness to cultural and socioeconomic characteristics in the service population.

    ESSENTIAL SKILLS

    The Renewal and Support Specialist position requires an individual who is well organized and has the ability to communicate effectively, both verbal and written, and possesses the skills, energy, and desire to provide support and relicense foster homes. 

    The position requires an individual who enjoys positively promoting foster care and adoption, working with staff and leaders, and helping to relicense and support families. This individual must be willing and able to collaborate with others, have good time management skills, and have a desire to form strong and positive relationships with staff, stakeholders and customers. 

    Position Type: Full-time