• The Mockingbird Society
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Jul 31, 2019
Full time Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Mockingbird Society is a non-partisan advocacy organization focused on transforming foster care and ending youth homelessness. We do this by creating, supporting, and advocating for racially equitable, healthy environments that develop youth and young adults at risk of or experiencing foster care or homelessness. Our efforts are rooted in and guided by the voices of the communities we serve and those with lived experience in the systems we are trying to change. Ultimately, we want each and every young person, regardless of race and individual experience, to reach adulthood with an equitable opportunity to thrive.


 A tenet central to Mockingbird is that young people with lived experience must have a place at policy-making tables. Not only because these issues deeply affect them, and those coming behind them, but because harnessing their expertise gained from lived experience gives authenticity and power to the discussion. They are in the best position to know what policies didn’t work and how to improve them. Mockingbird’s advocacy is, therefore, grounded in the voices of young people who have experienced foster care or homelessness.

It is from this lens, that the Director of Youth Programs will have the opportunity to impact directly the lives of each young person who we employ and each that participates in our programming in addition to   indirectly improving the lives of the thousands who benefit from the policies we advance. The Director will have significant responsibility in ensuring that Mockingbird’s innovative approach to youth development and policy reform continues to shape, and ultimately, fundamentally transforms how our state delivers foster care and provides services to young people experiencing homelessness.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Youth Programs is responsible for the development, oversight, and supervision of The Mockingbird Society’s Youth Programs, including six statewide Youth Network chapters and a Youth Advocates Ending Homelessness (YAEH) chapter.  As a member of the leadership team, the Director will develop the vision for continually improving how the agency partners with young people and helps them develop as leaders and advocates in service of transforming foster care and ending youth homelessness.

 The Director will lead ongoing program improvement efforts and develop new programs as strategic opportunities arise. The Director represents the agency in partnerships with a variety of statewide partners and stakeholders who support our work.  The Director is responsible for providing or coordinating effective supervision for all staff in the department, including: two Program Managers, two full-time Engagement Coordinators, three part-time Engagement Coordinators, five part-time Youth Network Representatives, and fourteen part-time Chapter Leaders. The Director develops and implements a professional development plan to ensure that staff are actively engaged in training that supports them in working effectively with young people and meeting their annual performance targets. The Director will lead program evaluation efforts, make data-informed management and program improvement decisions, and ensure programmatic continuity and fidelity. A key responsibility is to ensure a consistently safe and inclusive program environment for all participants and staff.

 This successful candidate will have a deep commitment and passion for the welfare of youth experiencing foster care, along with relevant lived experience, credibility, and proven effectiveness in supporting young people who have experienced trauma, and will have exceptional skills in leading, mentoring and managing a team, as well as in staff development and youth development.  The candidate will also exhibit a personal and demonstrated commitment to equity and anti-oppression practices in their previous work or community-based experiences.


 Program Development and Delivery

  • In partnership with and under the direction of the Executive Director, develop and implement strategies for transforming foster care and ending youth homelessness in Washington State.
  • Oversee, in collaboration with Public Policy & Advocacy Program staff, the development and execution of two major advocacy events per year (Youth Leadership Summit and Youth Advocacy Day).
  • Oversee seven statewide Mockingbird Youth Network chapters and the implementation of the chapters’ annual Advocacy Cycle activities.
  • Oversee quarterly publication of The Mockingbird Times, a youth-driven newspaper addressing issues relating to youth homelessness and foster care.
  • In collaboration with the Development Department and the Grants Manager, ensure consistent, accurate, comprehensive and high-quality data collection, program evaluation, and program reporting.

Program Management and Team Development

  • Serve on the organization’s senior leadership team and help guide organizational strategy.
  • Lead, mentor and ensure ongoing effective professional development of Youth Programs staff, including youth and young adult staff.
  • Maintain accountability among team members, including youth and young adult team members, by modeling tight oversight of individual and organization performance standards.
  • Provide direct supervision for two Program Managers, and overall oversight and direction for Youth Program Engagement Coordinators, Network Representatives, and Chapter Leaders.
  • In partnership with the Director of Finance & Administration, develop and monitor the Youth Programs budget.
  • Produce internal program reports for staff and board, as necessary.
  • Assist Development Department with creating content for Youth Programs proposals and provide assistance on producing funder reports.
  • Effectively manage Youth Programs contracts, ensuring adherence to all regulation and contract stipulations.
  • Implement project plans and tracking systems as needed to achieve programmatic goals.
  • Develop, implement and administer evaluation and reporting tools that align with the program’s data and evaluation plan, and support the policy and development needs of the organization.
  • Work with Youth Programs staff to develop objective performance measurements to ensure consistent, high-quality evaluation and goal setting for all employees and contractors.

External Relations

  • Develop and maintain key strategic partnerships, including with partner agencies that host program activities and staff across the state.
  • Facilitate public presentations, workshops, and civic engagement events.
  • Develop new partnerships and resources to amplify program impact.
  • When appropriate opportunities arise, participate in national and regional committees, meetings and workshops.


  • Experience with, and/or commitment to having, race equity, social justice, and LGBTQ/cultural competence be a workplace priority.
  • 5-10 years of experience with and deep knowledge of the issues and obstacles faced by youths and families involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice, homeless, and other macro-systems is preferred.
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, youth/adult partnership philosophy.
  • Strong and consistent leadership; ability to create effective work teams, be an effective mentor and coach, listen and provide constructive feedback, manage projects, delegate responsibilities, monitor and continuously improve team performance, and maintain effective and positive relationships with colleagues.
  • Demonstrated experience and effectiveness in strategic program design and program evaluation.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills; ability to maintain a positive, professional, and service-oriented demeanor toward a variety of donors, funders, sponsors and other partners and stakeholders.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to communicate effectively with diverse audiences; strong presentation and training skills.
  • Ability to meet competing deadlines and balance priorities.
  • Ability to uphold confidentiality policy as it relates to sensitive information about families, young people, and organizations.
  • Master of Social Work or related degree (MPA, MPH, etc), or a comparable combination of education and experience, is preferred.
  • Proficient in MS Excel and Word Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


  • Ability to perform physically; exerting 50 pounds of force occasionally and 10 pounds frequently.
  • Upon date of hire, must be able to pass a Washington State and national criminal history check.
  • Must have valid driver’s license, appropriate insurance and access to a vehicle or source of transportation for regular business use throughout Washington.
  • Available to work some evenings and weekends, with occasional statewide and national travel.


The Mockingbird Society is an Equal Opportunity employer. Employment is based upon individual qualifications without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, veteran status, disabilities, political ideology, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected status. We welcome all applicants, especially individuals with experience as foster care providers, alumni of foster care, and those who have experienced youth homelessness. 


The approved salary range for this position is between $65,000 and $80,000, depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits include medical/dental insurance, generous vacation, sick leave, annual holidays, Employee Assistance Program, and a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with employer match.


Send resume and letter of interest with “Director of Youth Programs” in the subject line.

The Mockingbird Society is committed to actively creating racial equity and eliminating the impact of intersectionality by embodying the changes we want to see in our work.  Applicants are required to include a statement regarding how they would support and further this goal in their letter of interest.

Position is open until filled; priority consideration will be given to applications received by August 23, 2019.  Due to our desire to most effectively use our time in service to our mission, we ask that prospective candidates follow the instructions above; no calls, please.