Full-Time Director of Policy and Youth Leadership, FosterEd Arizona
National Center for Youth Law
The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is a nonprofit law firm that for over four decades has worked to ensure marginalized children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives. We weave together a variety of strategies – including research, policy advocacy, and litigation – to ensure the systems intended to support marginalized children do so effectively. As a national organization we advocate and bring litigation in state and federal court.
NCYL’s mission includes advancing social, economic, and racial justice for children, and we are committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We embrace and encourage the collective sum of individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent our employees invest in their work that represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and organization’s success.
FosterEd (www.foster-ed.org) is a NCYL initiative aimed at improving the educational outcomes of children and youth in state care. FosterEd operates in Arizona, California, and Indiana, and strives to ensure that every foster and probation-involved youth has an educational champion and an education team supporting his or her success in school. Our goal is that every young person in care will graduate from high school with a wide array of possibilities for their future.
FosterEd Arizona began operating a demonstration site in Pima County in 2014. The program ensures students in foster care are supported by a FosterEd Education Liaison, an educational champion, an inter-agency education team and a youth-centered education plan developed based on their strengths and needs. In 2016, House Bill 2665 was passed by the Arizona State Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, establishing a foster youth education success program statewide, supported by state funding and a philanthropic match. FosterEd is working with the Governor’s Office, Department of Child Safety, Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts, Attorney General’s Office, Department of Education, and the State Board of Education to implement this statewide program. FosterEd currently provides direct services and supports to students in foster care in Pima, Maricopa, and Yavapai counties. In addition to direct service, FosterEd Arizona works to create system-level change by developing and executing a bold policy agenda.
NCYL seeks a Director of Policy and Youth Leadership to join our FosterEd Arizona Leadership Team. The Director of Policy and Youth Leadership will focus on creating and executing a policy agenda for FosterEd Arizona, including engaging in public outreach and education campaigns, advocating for policy change at local and state levels, and ensuring these policy efforts are youth-centered and youth-driven. This position will report to the FosterEd Arizona Director.
- In alignment with FosterEd Arizona’s priorities, develop and implement an intentional, comprehensive, and impactful policy agenda to improve the educational outcomes of students in foster care.
- Ensure that policy objectives and strategies are informed by the experiences of students in foster care and the FosterEd Education Liaisons who support them.
- Identify, track, and recommend organizational positions on local school board, administrative, legislative, and other policy initiatives that impact the educational success of youth in foster care.
- Build strategic partnerships with organizations, coalitions, foundations, associations, and other stakeholders to advance policy goals.
- Develop and maintain relationships with elected officials, their representatives and staff, as well as the Governor’s Office and state agency leadership and staff.
- Engage in stakeholder and public education campaigns in support of policy agenda.
- Manage and produce web content, electronic policy updates, legislative alerts, position statements and research reports for key stakeholders and policymakers.
- Design and implement a youth engagement program to ensure FosterEd Arizona’s work, including its policy advocacy, is student-centered and student-driven.
- Serve as a member of the FosterEd Arizona Leadership Team to support successful program implementation and growth, including engaging in planning processes; collaborating with state partners, advisory councils, and local planning committees; and helping to raise funds to support the project.
- Support the Director in creating a culture of strong partnership and collaboration within the FosterEd Arizona team and among external partner agencies and organizations.
- Bachelor’s degree
- At least 3 years relevant experience working in policy advocacy, or equivalent experience in a related field
- Experience in youth development and/or grassroots organizing
- Knowledge of the multiple public systems that impact students in foster care (e.g., child welfare and education)
- Experience working with diverse populations
- Ability to manage multiple projects, deadlines, and deliverables
- Public speaking and presentation skills, as well as strong written communication skills
- Proven planning, analytic, and creative problem-solving skills
- Commitment to NCYL’s overarching goals and objectives
- Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
- Ability to obtain Arizona Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card
- Master’s degree in Public Policy
- Experience engaging in policy advocacy in Arizona
- Experience in the child welfare, education, and/or juvenile justice fields
- Experience collaborating with the Department of Education, Department of Child Safety, juvenile courts and/or nonprofit organizations working in the child welfare, education, or juvenile justice arenas in Arizona
Salary and Benefits and Location
This is a full-time position that will be located in Phoenix, Arizona. Periodic travel to our current sites in Tucson and Prescott as well as annual travel to California is required. Salary is a range of $70,000 to $80,000 annually. NCYL provides health, dental, life, short and long-term disability insurance, vacation and sick benefits, sabbatical, and an employer contribution to a retirement plan.