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Outreach and Support Coordinator for Black and Latino Adoptive Families

  • Full Time
  • Newton, MA
Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange

Website
mass_adopt

Finding Adoptive Homes for Youth in Foster Care

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) finds adoptive homes for children and teens waiting in foster care. A private non-profit agency founded in 1957, MARE develops public awareness and recruitment programs to inform the public about the children who wait, and the process of adoption from foster care. These programs are used to attract and support potential adoptive families and match them with specific waiting children.

MARE recognizes that systemic racism in the United States has resulted in over-representation of children of color in the foster care system, longer waits for their permanent placement in loving adoptive homes, and higher rates of aging out of foster care without permanency.  Among other things, systemic racism has led to higher rates of state removal of children from their biological families, barriers to entry into the adoption process for families of color, and an understandable lack of trust within communities of color toward state child welfare agencies. We are reexamining our role, reprioritizing our work, and exploring ways to close the permanency gap and to increase the rate of families of color who are licensed for adoption in Massachusetts.

If you are an advocate who is passionate about finding adoptive families of color for children and youth in foster care, if you are connected to faith-based, cultural, and grass roots organizations in Black and Latino communities, if you love working with families and helping them to navigate systems, and if you are a creative thinker who wants to try new ideas and engage in finding solutions for challenging problems, then this position might be for you!

The Outreach and Support Coordinator for Black & Latino Families is responsible for implementing new and existing initiatives focused on improving the permanency outcomes of waiting youth of color and increasing the number of Black and Latino families beginning the process of adoption. This person will build, nurture and sustain long-term partnerships with individuals and organizations, including but not limited to cultural hubs, places of worship, community leaders and funders, in order to address the specific needs and challenges faced by Black and Latino families considering adoption.  The Outreach and Support Coordinator for Black & Latino Families will support prospective families in navigating the early stages of consideration of adoption, offering individualized education and support to reduce barriers to retention.

Specific Job Responsibilities/Duties:

  • Coordinator will work with agency leadership to establish a comprehensive multi-year community outreach plan identifying target geographic regions, existing community and faith-based connections, and potential partnerships to increase the number of Black and Latino families statewide beginning process of adopting from foster care
  • Coordinator will spearhead statewide alliance of partners in the adoption community committed to collaborating to address the factors contributing to the disparate outcomes for youth of color awaiting adoption, including but not limited to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), contracted adoption agencies, funders, community stakeholders and board membership
  • Coordinator will participate in existing faith-based coalition groups, as well as pursue opportunities for new relationships amongst faith-based communities of color to recruit and support prospective families
  • Coordinator will collaborate with DCF foster care recruiters statewide to share best practices, support mutual outreach, and serve as an advisor on adoption specific recruitment
  • Coordinator will cultivate partnerships with Black and Latino experienced family ambassadors to increase peer to peer recruitment and support
  • Coordinator will plan and implement specialized programming for Black and Latino families in all stages of adopting, such as informational events, trainings, support groups and family recreational activities
  • Coordinator will support communications campaigns specific to Black and Latino families, including social media strategy, curation of resources and inclusion of lived experience voice
  • Coordinator will work in collaboration with Child Services team to support matching and recruitment efforts focused on waiting youth of color
  • Coordinator will collaborate on agency initiatives focused on enhancing support and resources for families adopting transracially
  • Coordinator will serve on agency’s Workplace Culture Committee and provide consultation as appropriate on racial equity and inclusion initiatives
  • Coordinator will  participate in establishing measures and collecting outcomes data related to  programming to support agency goals and better understand experiences of Black and Latino families

Qualifications:

The Outreach and Support Coordinator for Black & Latino Families must have established connections to Black and/or Latino communities in Eastern Massachusetts.  The Coordinator must have an understanding of the implications of structural racism in child welfare and the unique challenges and needs affecting the experience of families of color navigating the process of adopting from foster care. Coordinator must have strong interpersonal engagement and communication skills, both written and verbal, and be able to build coalition with diverse populations of adults.  Coordinator must have strong organizational, event planning and program development skills, with the ability to open new doors and identify untapped opportunities to reach Black and Latino communities.  Coordinator must have planning and strategy experience to map out and sustain a long-term commitment to relationship building.  Coordinator must have a moderate understanding of the process of adoption from foster care, and a willingness to explore barriers to recruitment and retention of families of color and best practices in overcoming such barriers.

The ideal candidate will have 3+ years paid or volunteer experience with community engagement, community organizing, social justice or foster care/adoption, OR a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field. Lived experience with the child welfare system and/or bilingual skills are a plus. This is a full-time position, however consideration will be given to candidates who could commit a minimum of 20 hours per week.  MARE currently has a remote/in-person hybrid model for ongoing work. MARE staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  MARE actively seeks to broaden the diversity of our team, and encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. You can view MARE’s racial equity statement here: https://www.mareinc.org/page/who-we-are#racial_equity_statement. Candidates must be mission-driven and share MARE’s urgency for finding permanency for all children and teens in foster care, through innovation, compassion and collaboration.

MARE offers employees a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Generous paid vacation, holiday, sick and personal time
  • Medical and Dental Insurance
  • Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
  • Long Term Disability
  • 403(b) pre-tax savings plan, with 3% salary match after one year of service

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