Director, Unaccompanied Children Programs
at Heartland Alliance

Date Posted: 11/13/2019

Job Description

Summary:  This Director develops and manages the professional programs of case management and residential services for program participants at one of the group homes within the UAC Program, supervises the Associate Directors, Managers, Program Managers, and Supervisors of this program and ensures their compliance with all funder requirements.  Program services include orientation, casework, case management, education, counseling, English as a Second Language, substance abuse education and prevention, community and police liaison relations and management of residential services. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops, plans, provides, manages, monitors and evaluates a complex unit with professional services programs which meet participant, government and private funding sources and Organization needs.The Director shall provide routine evaluative and monitoring reports and suggest corrective actions and recommendations.

  • Develops and Monitors the overall Unit budget and expends program funds in accordance with Organization approved policies.

  • In conjunction with First Deputy for SAFEty Initiatives and Managing Director of Youth Residential Services, coordinates and develops the long and short range objectives, policies and operating procedures for the program in compliance with all Organization and funder policies.

  • Maintain the quality, consistency and integrity of the program at all times.

  • Provides bi-monthly in-service trainings to all direct care staff. Areas of development and in-service training include but are not limited to:

    • Milieu Management

    • Communication Skills

    • Behavior Management

    • Maintains collaborative relationships with outpatient treatment team professionals

    • In conjunction with First Deputy for SAFEty Initiatives, Managing Director for Operations and Managing Director for Youth and residential Services, ensures adherence to health code policies, Fire Marshall codes, and CARF and DCFS and licensing regulations.

    • Provides oversight of any/all audits as necessary, in conjunction with First Deputy and Managing Directors

    • Builds, leads, and drives strategic vision

    • Ensures the development of new program initiatives.

    • Implements Organization personnel policies to encourage professional growth and to meet program operations goals.The Director makes recommendations for hiring, promotions, terminations and work assignments of all staff at the program in conjunction with Organization policy.

    • Ensure the completion and implementation of all assessments, initial treatment and service plans and subsequent revisions, evaluations and discharge plans.

    • Ensure that all programming and services are provided consistent with the program model and policy and as required by contractual and licensing obligations.

    • Represents the program and the Organization in internal and external liaison activities.Initiates and maintains on-going effective and efficient communications with the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Operations, the Department of Children and Family Services and other stakeholders (e.g. The Young Center, National Immigrant Justice Center)

    • Acts as the program’s liaison to the city Police Department, various task forces and committees, and provides systematic advocacy for the populations served.

    • Participates in overall administration and management of the Organization through membership on the Organization’s cabinet and Directors’ teams.

    • Monitors and assesses staff morale and builds team spirit and continuity; intervening and addressing any staff-related issues that are presented

    • Reports to funders as required by contract.

    • Remains current on developments in services to the targeted populations through attendance at professional development workshops, seminars, task force meetings and conferences, etc.

    • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, NASW (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, Organization plans/policies and Unit guidelines.Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure understanding and continued to adherence to such standards.Initiates requests for assistance from Managing Director to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.

    • Competently utilizes OARS skills (Open-Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflective Listening & Summarizing) when engaging participants

    • Applies Motivational Interviewing approaches to facilitate participant goal attainment and reduce power-struggles.

    • On call duties will include carrying an Agency cell phone and responding to crisis situations 24 hours a day.

    • Other duties may be assigned.

      Supervisory Responsibilities: 

      Manages subordinate Associate Directors, Managers and Supervisors who supervise employees in the program. Is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these units. Also directly supervises non-supervisory employees. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

      Leadership Competencies – In order to perform the job successfully, and individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

    • Strategic Agility - Sets a vision and creates strategies in the midst of a complex, uncertain, and changing environment; Thinks big picture to make long-term decisions; Thinks innovatively to improve processes and services; Inspires innovative thinking and helps the organization adapt to change and face adversity.

    • Communication - Delivers honest, clear, persuasive, and timely information; Collects (i.e., actively listens) and synthesizes information; Communicates in an inclusive and respectful way; Communicates appropriately and effectively in written and verbal form to various stakeholders (e.g. participants, staff, partners, funders); Represents HA externally with the power to inspire and influence others.

    • Teamwork & Collaboration - Delivers honest, clear, persuasive, and timely information; Collects (i.e., actively listens) and synthesizes information; Communicates in an inclusive and respectful way; Communicates appropriately and effectively in written and verbal form to various stakeholders (e.g. participants, staff, partners, funders); Represents HA externally with the power to inspire and influence others.

    • Managerial Courage - Challenges group-think and creates an environment welcoming diverse perspectives; Identifies, diffuses, and rectifies unethical, unsafe, or uncomfortable situations; Engages in courageous communication and critical thinking to balance differing views across teams and the organization; Manages challenging situations and conflicts in a professional manner even if it requires an unpopular stance.

    • Talent Development - Builds capacity of future leaders and empower teams; Leverages unique backgrounds, experiences and strengths to develop a cohesive team and create an inclusive environment; Manages employees with understanding and empathy (i.e. displays emotional intelligence); Supports employees’ well-being by understanding and working to address work stress and vicarious trauma; Provides timely feedback that is authentic, direct, and actionable.

    Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    • Education and/or Experience:Bachelor’s Degree in social work or related field and a minimum of 8 years’ experience working with youth with at least three of those years in a supervisory position.  Experience in staff supervision, program planning and development, social service administration, strategic planning, fiscal management and policy development and implementation with at least five of those years being with youth in a in residential treatment or comparable experience in the criminal justice, juvenile justice, child welfare, psychiatric or hospital Settings. Experience with utilizing OARS skills (Open-Ended Questions, Affirmations, Reflective Listening & Summarizing) and applying Motivational Interviewing when engaging participants. Masters degree is preferred.

    • Language Skills:Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public. Bi-lingual (Spanish) skills required.

    • Mathematical Skills:Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.  Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.

    • Reasoning Ability:Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

    • Other Skills:  Problem-solving skills, strong planning and organizational skills.

      Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.

    • The employee is frequently required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.

    • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

    • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

      Work Environment:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

      • The noise in the work environment is moderate

        Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.I,A3303_837_0

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type: Full-Time
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Job Type: Management
  • Experience: Not Specified
  • Date Posted: 11/13/2019

About Us

It’s more than a job, it’s a purpose.


Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Our multicultural staff are passionate about our mission and make Heartland Alliance a dynamic and exciting place to develop your career.


Join the Heartland Alliance Talent Network today to stay up-to-date on our current openings as they become available!

What is a Talent Network?

Talent Networks enhance your job search and application process. Whether you choose to apply or just leave your information, we look forward to staying connected with you.

Why Join?

  • Receive alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests
  • Share job opportunities through Social Media or email