Foster Program Manager
Job Details
Bellevue - Bellevue, WA
Full Time
Nonprofit - Social Services


The Foster Program Manager is responsible for the development and maintenance of the foster care program for all species. He/she supervises department staff and oversees the recruitment, training and support of foster volunteers. The Foster Program Manager works under the direction of the Director of Animal Services to develop, implement, and evaluate department protocols and policies. He/she provides leadership and supports the mission, goals and philosophy of Seattle Humane.



  • Reports to the Director of Animal Services
  • Directly supervises the Foster Coordinators, Foster Assistant, and program volunteers
    • Hires, trains, schedules and motivates team members to provide for their growth and to maximize their potential for the good of the organization
    • Screens training and performance evaluation practices of department supervisor to ensure quality staff development
    • Coaches team members to meet established goals and objectives
    • Verifies that organization and department policies and procedures are being followed while attaining high standards of customer service and animal care
    • Provides timely communication of department or agency updates to direct reports
    • Processes time-off requests and timecards
    • Conducts performance reviews according to agency timelines
    • Conducts disciplinary meetings and maintains related documentation per HR guidelines
    • Ensures high standards of customer service and animal care
  • Works closely with volunteers working in the department and related programs; provides support and training as needed
    • Maintains a high level of communication with the Director of Volunteer Services regarding volunteer position updates and recruitment needs
  • Recommends program changes to his/her Director for approval. Assists with creating procedures and protocols to support approved changes, overseeing implementation, and monitoring long-term impact
  • Works with Animal Care and Intake Departments to identify and address foster care needs
  • Responsible for facilitating all aspects of animal care for foster population
    • Works with behavior department to implement and maintain behavior enrichment programs for foster parents
    • Works with veterinary department to ensure medical concerns within foster population are identified and addressed in a timely manner and routine vaccinations and other treatments are scheduled and administered
    • Works with Director to track and assess shelter pets and trends
    • Works with Marketing to promote long term shelter pets
  • Develops and maintains foster program resources including but not limited to the foster blog, foster mentor program, source shelter mentoring, and intern program
  • Streamlines training and orientation opportunities
  • Works with Animal Care to operate the kitten nursery when needed
  • Maintains compliance with any safety, health and labor regulations
  • Assists in writing or editing communication when appropriate, such as, but not limited to, memos and procedural manuals
  • Prepares monthly reports and/or other data as requested by Director or COO
  • Maintains detailed and accurate foster program procedural documentation, files and records, especially pertaining to animal and volunteer records; adheres to the files and records retention policy and procedures.
  • Answers incoming calls and responds to voicemail and email messages from foster volunteers promptly and professionally; is accessible for foster emergencies by phone
  • Investigates volunteer complaints pertaining to department services in a timely and objec­tive manner
  • Updates VLC representative on program updates
  • Submits division budget requests; follows established annual budget amounts for assigned division accounts



  • Adheres to Seattle Humane Standard Operating Procedures
  • Promotes a positive, supportive, cooperative work environment based on mutual respect and open communication
  • Participates in euthanasia decisions when necessary
  • Schedules and leads team meetings on a regular basis
  • Attends department and full staff meetings as requested and participates with ideas and suggestions designed to improve shelter services programs and working conditions
  • Supports transfer program coordinators by designating a staff person to assist with offload of new animals as needed
  • Reports any health, behavior, safety or security concerns in a timely manner
  • Answers incoming calls and emails to the department and returns messages promptly and professionally
  • Performs behavior assessments for incoming animals in accordance with SHS guidelines, accurately enters data into computer, and creates animal bios for website and kennel cards
  • Performs medical check-in exams and accurately enters data into computer
  • Leads the Daily Huddle as assigned
  • Performs Manager-on-Duty functions as assigned
  • Performs opening and closing procedures
  • Fills in for direct reports when necessary
  • Other duties as assigned



Directly supervises the Foster Coordinators, Foster Assistant, and program volunteers. Provides leadership for all employees and volunteers.



  • Daily verbal communication with department and other operational staff and volunteers over the telephone, in meetings, or in person. Daily written communication with staff and volunteers through email, written procedures, memos, or direct mail.
  • Variable contact with clients in person, over the telephone or through email or direct mail
  • Regular verbal and written contact with administrative staff



A high degree of independent judgment required. The nature of the job will vary. The most dif­ficult as­pect to the position is managing a work plan and supervising employees. Must be able to coordinate staff and volunteers and remain focused on the agency goals and objectives. A strong attention to detail and the ability to respond to unexpected questions, comments or requests from other divisions or the public is required. The ability to motivate, negotiate and mediate is important when handling a variety of personalities and emotions.



  • Must have excellent oral communication skills
  • Must be able to write clearly and listen effectively
  • Supervisory or management experience highly preferred
  • Project management experience preferred
  • Must possess the organizational and planning skills to determine work priorities and schedules
  • Must be able to analyze problems, create or negotiate appropriate solutions, and understand statistical information
  • Must have at least one year of employment in an animal shelter or related animal welfare experience
  • Experience in neonate animal care is desired
  • Basic knowledge of animal health, behavior and nutrition
  • Basic knowledge of Word and Excel; must be familiar with Windows environment, internet use and e-mail; experience with databases and data entry helpful



  • College degree or related experience; training or studies in veterinary medicine, animal behavior, and animal sheltering preferred
  • Capable of being certified in CPR and human first aid
  • Capable of becoming EBI (euthanasia by injection) certified
  • Valid Washington State drivers license with good driving record



  • Must communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing
  • Must be comfortable administering medications and injections
  • Re­quires the ability to solve problems and make clear decisions quickly
  • Must have good attention to detail, be able to concentrate and produce accurate work despite frequent interruptions
  • Must be able to negotiate, organize and manage multiple and complex projects
  • Requires the ability to pay attention to detail while focusing on strategic goals and objectives
  • Must possess the ability to be sensitive to other opinions, perspectives or cultures
  • Must be able to offer excellent customer service (internal and external) 
  • Must feel comfortable in dealing with angry, confused, distraught and/or irrational people
  • Must exhibit initiative and motivation in performing all duties
  • Must have good senses of hearing, vision, and smell (to distinguish between various odors)
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and must be able to walk quickly
  • Must be able to see clearly with a least one eye and have good dex­terity and reflexes especially when restraining or moving an animal
  • Must be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds with or without accommodation; crouch and bend at the waist and kneel; must be able to control dogs up to 200 pounds when on a leash



  • General office and animal shelter environment. When handling ani­mals, there is a potential of animal bites, exposure to zoonotic diseases, animal dander and noise. Potential for working with angry or irate customers. Involves entering and leaving work areas alone and at night. 
  • Equipment Use: Fax machine, copiers, multi-lined telephone, overhead projector, personal computer and printers, animal leashes, collars and/or carriers. Safety boots, hearing protection, eye protection, respirators, gloves, animal leashes, clothes washer and dryer, broom, mop, hoses and nozzles, sprayers, scrapers, squeegees and animal dryers. Use of Seattle Humane vehicle.
  • Chemical Interaction: A wide variety of cleaners, disinfectants, detergents and medical products are used on a daily basis. Each position at the SHS will likely encounter these chemicals during the routine performance of their duties. Specific instructions will be provided by a SHS staff member for the safe and proper use of these chemicals. If there are any questions regarding this information, copies of our chemical MSDS sheets are available for review. If asked to use a product that is unfamiliar, contact your supervisor for proper instructions.
  • Work Hours: Full-time non-exempt position. 40 hours per week scheduled, five days a week. Schedule may vary depending on coverage by other department staff, holidays or emergencies. Must be available evening and/or weekend hours, as well as for emergency calls.

Minimum age: 18 years