Education Specialist/ Field Consultant for DCS Positions throughout the State

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1 Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Governor James W. Payne, Director Indiana Department of Child Services Room E306 MS W. Washington Street Indianapolis, Indiana KIDS FAX: Child Support Hotline: Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: Education Specialist/ Field Consultant for DCS Positions throughout the State Job Opening ID: # Date Posted: 6/18/12 Close Date: 6/28/12 Purpose of Position/Summary: Children involved in the child welfare system experience multiple risk factors that may keep them from succeeding in school. Additionally, children in DCS care are often required to change schools because they are moved from one placement to another. DCS is responsible for promoting education stability for youth in care and for incorporating strategies to improve educational outcomes for youth in care into the case planning process. However, the education system is complex and navigating and resolving the various issues, barriers and needs of our youth is extremely challenging. The Education Specialist provides expertise to our Family Case Managers (FCMs), families, students, and schools regarding the educational needs of youth in DCS care are met and provides a seamless transition for students entering new and unfamiliar school environments. This position is assigned to multiple DCS local offices and/or regions. Essential Duties/Responsibilities: Serve as a subject matter expert and resource to DCS staff and external stakeholders, including school districts, biological parents, relatives, foster parents and service providers. The education specialist should have extensive knowledge and skills related to navigating the complex network of education and special education related services. Provide guidance and recommendations to FCMs on how to work with parents / families to navigate education issues and develop a sustainable plan for how to address such issues in the future. Emphasize the importance of community collaboration by communicating and advocating to FCMs and school districts about the importance of working together to identify and address the educational needs, including the need for special education services of youth in DCS care. Manage the development and implementation of education initiatives for designated DCS regions. Develop trainings for parents, relatives, and foster parents, helping to build their capacity to support the educational success of children in DCS care. Protecting our children, families and future

2 Develop methods of collecting educational outcome data and provide analysis and trending information to the DCS executive and field operations senior management teams. Make recommendations on how to improve educational outcomes for youth in care based on such an analysis. Develops systems and processes to ensure timely transfer of information between DCS, school districts and the Department of Education, including timely transfer of education records, notice of medical needs, prompt scheduling of move in and/or 504 conferences, etc. Partner with and serve as a liaison between the Indiana Department of Education, school districts, and DCS to develop and implement strategies for addressing the educational needs of youth in care, improving educational outcomes for this population and ensuring a seamless transition for students transferring to a new school. Work with the Indiana Department of Education, school districts and DCS offices to develop processes and communication strategies to ensure individual children are quickly enrolled after moving to a new placement and that appropriate educational services are provided. Work closely with Independent Living staff and providers, as well as Older Youth Foster Care staff to ensure that DCS is complying with its policy regarding post-secondary education and older youth obtain financial aid, scholarships and other funding supporting their transition to postsecondary education. Develop and provide trainings to FCMs and school districts on the educational needs of children involved in the child welfare system and strategies for ensuring these needs are met. Prepare and disseminate resources that can assist FCMs and schools in assessing and meeting the educational needs of youth in care. Identify and/or build capacity of educational services or resources available in the Region(s) and educate FCMs about these programs and how to access them. Assists FCMs with how to develop plans to identify, address and resolve a child s unmet educational needs including participating in child and family team meetings, case staffing or planning sessions, and/or school conferences (IEP, discipline, etc) as appropriate. Job Requirements: Masters Degree in Education or Education Related Field Extensive knowledge of Indiana Education and Special Education law Broad understanding of the child welfare, education, mental health, and juvenile court systems, so as to understand the common educational challenges facing foster youth and how they might be resolved. Ability to establish cooperative relationships with other organizations, individuals, and groups of highly divergent political, social, and economic viewpoints, of diverse professional and occupational skills and interests, and of greatly divergent ethnic, cultural, religious, and nationality backgrounds. Experience and knowledge in fields such as youth development, education, child welfare, and juvenile justice. Ability to reconcile competing and contradictory interests and obligations. Knowledge of program planning and evaluation essential. Requires excellent time management, communication, decision making, presentation, human relations, and organizational skills. Excellent communication skills presenting information to internal and external organizations. Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports: N/A Difficulty of Work: Work is broad in scope due to the integration of other disciplines into overall work objectives. Judgment is exercised in the assessment and educational plan formulation and interpretation of project guidelines. The incumbent uses knowledge of child welfare practice to make recommendations regarding child and adolescent educational plans and educational milestones to the agency and the court concerning provision of services and/or placement of abused and/or delinquent youth and is called upon to make decisions of significant and immediate consequence to these youth and their families.

3 Responsibility: Employee serves as an educational advocate for children under the care of DCS. Provides broad and case-specific educational consulting services to Family Case Managers. Under general direction, assesses existing needs for and monitors the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational needs and plans for children and adolescents who are wards of the DCS; provides best practice guidance and technical consultation to Family Case Managers, Family Case Manager Supervisors, and DCS Attorneys, regarding the therapeutic needs of DCS children. Works with Indiana Department of Education, school districts and DCS offices to develop processes and strategies to ensure individual children are quickly enrolled after moving to a new placement and that appropriate educational services are provided. May make recommendations to the court and/or testify on behalf of DCS with regards to therapeutic needs of DCS children. Decisions are reviewed for overall impact on a case and agency policy. Personal Work Relationships: Incumbent will work with internal contacts such as DCS management, central office staff, and local office staff for the purpose of coordinating work and problem-solving issues. External contacts will include children and families, Indiana Department of Education, and school districts to develop plans and identify, address, and resolve a child s unmet educational needs including participating in child and family team meetings, case staffing or planning sessions, and/or school conferences (IEP, discipline, etc) as appropriate. Employee must work collaboratively with representatives from these organizations to problem-solve and make critical recommendations regarding a child s education needs. Physical Effort: Majority of work is performed in a professional office setting or school/educational facility. Incumbent must be able to operate a motor vehicle and drive distances in varying weather conditions. Must be able to lift and care for children. Working Conditions: Incumbent is required to use his or her personal vehicle for work-related travel and transportation of children. May be required to work over the normal schedule, depending on the immediate needs of a case and/or child. The incumbent may be required to work from more than one location during a given work week which may include travel within a specified geographical area or travel to a central location for meetings and training. APPLY NOW Visit the State Personnel Job Bank at by June 28, 2012 The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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