Youth Support Specialist - Project Choice
Job Details
Orangewood Foundation - Santa Ana, CA
Full Time
$24.04 - $26.00 Hourly

Founded: 1981
Mission: To strive for Equity for our youth by valuing and supporting the life they envision.
Values: Respect, Trust, Empathy, Inclusion, Advocacy


Position Title: Youth Support Specialist PROJECT CHOICE
Employment Classification: Full-time; Non-Exempt
Reports to: Supervisor of Drop In Services
Department: Programs


Program Summary: Funded by the Orange County Social Services Agency (OCSSA), the Project Choice program provides engagement, assessment and support to youth (ages 11 to 21) identified as having been commercially sexually exploited or at risk of being exploited.


Position Summary: Youth Support Specialists assists and coordinates support services to meet the needs of CSEC and works to cultivate a survivor centered and trauma informed approach to service provision. Project Choice has three major areas of support; Safety Services, Assertive Engagement, & Community Outreach.


Major Areas of Responsibility:

  • Provide strength-based, survivor centered case management services with Harm Reduction, Trauma Informed Care practice and Motivational Interviewing. This includes but not limited to: crisis intervention, assessment of needs, safety planning, advocacy, referrals and linkages to supportive services, goal development, relationship building and empowerment by encouraging youths autonomy in their decisions and providing non-judgmental care.
  • Attend Orange County Grace Court, Juvenile Hall or Youth Guidance Center to meet with and support youth. Provide transportation and support to various community wide appointments for services.
  • Ensure the drop-in center provides a welcoming environment that supports and respects all youth regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Oversee youth activities while in the drop-in center and promote the center safety guidelines.
  • Provide support and education to families and caregivers of youth at risk of or with a history of sex trafficking and exploitation.
  • Provide community outreach to engage youth survivors and youth at-risk into all Orangewood Foundation CSEC Programs and services.
  • Collaborate with service and therapeutic partners to include in project choice programming.
  • Facilitate monthly support group meetings.
  • Be available to provide telephone support and in-person crisis de-escalation to target population through on-call system after normal direct service hours.
  • Coordinate and/or provide transportation for youth to support delivery of core services as needed.

Education and Experience Requirements

Option 1:

  • Bachelors degree in Human Services, Sociology, Social Work, Education, Psychology, Criminal Justice, or related field.
  • One (1) year experience in direct or indirect service provision to CSEC youth, at-risk youth, youth with substance abuse addiction, and/or experiencing homelessness.
  • Completion of sixteen (16) hours of advanced CSEC training on Trauma- Informed care may be substituted for six (6) months of direct or indirect service experience.


Option 2:

  • Completion of eighteen (18) semester units or equivalent from an accredited college in psychology, counseling, sociology, social work, criminology, or other behavior related field.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of experience working in a human services field, with a minimum of one (1) year experience in direct or indirect service provision to CSEC youth, at-risk youth, youth with substance abuse addiction, and/or experiencing homelessness.
  • Completion of sixteen (16) hours of advanced CSEC training on Trauma-Informed care may be substituted for six (6) months of direct or indirect service experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and other Experience Requirements

  • Possess a strong understanding of adolescent and child abuse issues, human development, Trauma-Informed care, and the dynamics of sexual exploitation of children.
  • Proficiency in English is required, and bilingual based on community need, is preferred.
  • Must be at least twenty-four (24) years of age per contract requirements.
  • High tolerance and respect for youth survival actions, while promoting harm reduction strategies.
  • Excellent listening and interpersonal skills and ability to establish rapport with CSEC and youth at-risk who may be difficult to engage within different community settings.
  • Available to work weekends and evenings, as needed.
  • Pass a DMV clearance and possess a valid California drivers license and proof of automobile insurance.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check, FBI/DOJ fingerprinting, TB test, drug screen, and employment verification.
  • Effective communication skills including writing, public speaking, and conflict resolution/mediation skills.
  • Highly motivated, willing to learn, and able to work independently at times.
  • Continually develops self-knowledge of issues of CSEC, human trafficking, laws and best practices.
  • Be comfortable with and understand adolescent & child abuse issues.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications; Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, and Access.

NOTE: The above minimum qualifications and minimum experience is subject to review and approval by the funder, OCSSA.

Essential Qualities:

  • Understanding of and passion for the Orangewood Foundations mission, vision, and values.
  • Demonstrates operating principles of communication and teamwork.
  • Displays the essential attitudes by approaching projects, activities and other job functions with flexibility and a positive attitude.
  • Displays ethical decision-making ability and confidentiality.
  • Models leadership and professionalism.
  • Ability to multi-task and maintain organization.
  • Must be detail-oriented team player with the ability to self-start.
  • Enjoys working with youth, young adults, volunteers, community partners, etc.

Working Environment/Physical Requirements:
Position requires use of personal vehicle to transport youth and occasional driving to meetings, workshops, events, etc. Physical requirements include standing, sitting, typing, bending and lifting up to 50 lbs.

Modification to work schedule may be made based on need of the Foundation.

Orangewood Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, or any other protected group, in accordance with all applicable federal or State laws.

updated: 08/04/2022

Orangewood Foundation