Open Buffalo Mission:
Our mission is to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice. We do so through skill-building, network connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Our goal is that all communities in Western New York are thriving free from discrimination and poverty.
Our Collective Vision of Liberation:
Our vision is that all communities in Western New York are thriving free from discrimination and poverty. We believe in an empowered democratic society, where grassroots, nonprofit, faith-based, philanthropic, local government, and business sectors work in solidarity to advance equity, justice and peace. An empowered democratic society is key to joyful, culturally rich community and a sustainable planet.
We believe that people directly experiencing the challenges and inequities that we aim to address should always have a voice in both diagnosing the problems and developing the solutions.
An Opportunity to Join Our Team
POSITION: Parent Partner
Date of Posting: September 29, 2022
These are unprecedented times. Open Buffalo seeks to fill two Parent Partner positions. Parent Partners (PP) are deeply passionate about changing the world we live in. This is a part-time position, based in Buffalo, N.Y., reporting to the Open Buffalo Director of Racial Equity and Justice. The purpose of the Parent Partner position is to provide active, hands-on peer support to parents/caregivers of youth receiving services. Effective peer support should be friendly, helpful, accessible and flexible. Peer support may be delivered in individual and group settings at the agency, in family homes, or in community environments. The role of the Parent Partner is to provide peer support but also to work collaboratively to support systems change by increasing family involvement and decreasing unintentional bias about parents.
The Open Buffalo Parent Partner Program seeks to work with incarcerated youth within 120 days of release who have been identified most at risk to recidivate. The primary purpose of the PP is to provide reentry support and services prior to release and continued case management support once the youth has expired from Office of Children and Family Services and Berkshire Farm Center & Services for Youth. The supports include individual and group reentry supports, individual and family case management, referral services as well as agency navigation services. The PP serves as a liaison that connects individuals with resources and opportunities that promote personal, educational, vocational, and financial development, as well as self-sufficiency.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide direct assistance and outreach to families as needed.
- Develop rapport with family to gain knowledge of their story, culture, strengths and concerns.
- Respond to direct requests from caregivers, which may lead to coordination with supervisor and other parties involved.
- Attend IEP and SST school meetings as requested by caregivers or team members; discussion, coordination of attendance and agendas for meetings will be prepared in advance to ensure that all parties’ goals and concerns are accurately and appropriately communicated to the school team.
- Accompany parent/caregiver into community for meetings and forums.
- Assist in developing resources for families and linkage to those resources.
- Research and provide access to available community programs, resources and services.
- Provide information, advocacy and support with the agency's client grievance process.
- Provide positive role modeling for parents/caregivers as well as staff.
- Act as a mentor to parents/caregivers.
- Invite parent/caregiver to support groups and activities benefiting the family.
- Participate in team meetings, intake meetings, staff meetings, and other presentations as appropriate.
- Attend community trainings; workgroups, planning committees related to children's mental health issues.
- Familiarity with the work of Open Buffalo and the ability to hit the ground running.
- Highly organized person with excellent oral and written communication skills, with attention to detail.
- Ability to document interactions, interventions, results, and next steps
- Flexibility in working evenings
- Team leader who can lead, strategize, and integrate information and philosophy into an operational plan.
- Excellent knowledge of reentry planning and working knowledge of treatment programs and support services for referrals.
- Ability to exercise sound and quick judgement.
- Strong problem-solving skills.
- Excellent communication skills to facilitate group sessions with youth/family who present various needs and challenges.
- Excellent time- and self-management skills.
- Computer literate with the ability to quickly adapt to changing technology.
- Experience as a returning citizen. (Cannot currently be on any form of supervision. Must be at least 1 year from release.)
- Experience working with and/or mentoring at-risk populations.
- In depth understanding of reentry programming and the needs of returning citizens.
- Understanding of and/or personal experience with reentry needs, substance use disorder, homelessness, unemployment, and self-motivation.
- Strong ability to make connections to educational, vocational, internship/apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. Knowledge of career exploration, case management, internships and job search strategies.
- Equal Opportunity Employer
Open Buffalo values diversity and inclusion throughout our city and within our organization. People of color, women, LGBTQI individuals, people with disabilities, and formerly incarcerated people are encouraged to apply.
Open Buffalo offers $21/hour for this position.
To apply, please send the following three items:
- 1. A cover letter that answers the following prompts:
- Describe your approach to working with youth recently released from incarceration. Please detail what challenges you feel a young man or women will face when re-entering society and how you would address such concerns.
- In your view, what family factors contribute to young people being incarcerated at such a young age?
- How would you go about creating a strong rapport with the parents of incarcerated youth to which you will be assigned? What distinguishes you as a candidate for selection?
- 2. Your resume
- 3. A list of THREE references providing Name, Employer (In what capacity you know this reference/how long?), Phone number, and Email.
Please send via email to email@example.com.