School Specialist – Restorative
Works under limited supervision. Reports to YES program manager and accountable to host school
May provide orientation to new staff, interns, or volunteers
Uses restorative practices within the elementary or middle school environment to create a supportive, engaged, and equitable school climate that will serve as a strong foundation for improved well-being, learning, and achievement for all students. Partners with students from diverse backgrounds in high-risk situations to help them stay in school and successfully overcome barriers that may otherwise prevent them from promotion to the next grade. Assists youth, families, and school administration in developing positive relationships to promote academic achievement, school attendance, and school safety as well as reduce conflict, classroom disruptions, and disciplinary incidents.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Provide services using a restorative practice model in order to strengthen school climate and foster an inclusive, safer, more equitable environment.
- Facilitate a restorative approach to conflict resolution.
- Communicate with students, faculty and parents, understanding that individuals may have been exposed to trauma.
- Educate youth from diverse backgrounds in life skills with intent of stabilizing behavior (e.g. safety, health, decision making, setting parameters, communication, and anger management).
- Assist youth to maximize ability to attend, participate, and achieve in school.
- Refer students to and promote student attachment through participation in school functions, extracurricular activities, and clubs that provide a positive influence on behavior or in character development.
- Develop strong relationships with community partners to provide resources for the school.
- Attend school activities and locations frequented by youth to support their participation.
- Provide support and coaching to teachers and be a resource for communication techniques.
- Function as a neutral advocate to address student or faculty concerns.
- Address concerns or complaints of students, faculty, administration, and parents using best practices intervention techniques for a positive and professional outcome.
- Assist school administration, assistant principals, and guidance counselors in developing individual action plans to reduce disciplinary incidents and increase equitability in disciplinary practices.
- Identify students with challenging behaviors and refer to administration to reduce school violence and improve school climate.
- Refer to proper authorities those issues that threaten the safety or welfare of students, faculty, administration, law enforcement, or the public.
- Provide in-home support to families by conducting home visits and connecting to useful resources.
- Assist with continued progress of student intervention casework in the coordination and transition from elementary school to junior high.
Project Oz Specific:
- Complete and submit time logs and other agency reports, forms, and logs by agreed upon dates.
- Participate in community outreach, panels, and other committee meetings as directed by leadership.
- Act as a professional and ethical Project Oz representative and as a community resource.
- Attend all required staff meetings and weekly program meetings.
- Perform other duties as assigned by program manager or executive team.
- Act as a Mandated Reporter as outlined by DCFS rules and regulations.
- Bachelor’s Degree in social work or related field.
- Reliable personal transportation, valid Illinois driver’s license, and satisfactory driving history along with documentation verifying current automobile insurance. May transport clients in own vehicle.
- Must be flexible and able to travel and work weekend and evening hours as needed.
- Related professional experience working with youth of diverse backgrounds.
- Ability to recognize trauma symptoms and support healing and recovery for youth exposed to trauma.
- Knowledge of childhood trauma and/or experience working with youth that have been exposed to trauma.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills.
- Strong negotiation and mediation skills.
- Ability to solve practical mathematical problems.
- Knowledge of Microsoft® Teams software and/or Outlook, Excel, and Word.
- Background checks – Must pass required criminal and character background checks. Must possess valid Illinois driver’s license and have a satisfactory driving history along with documentation verifying current automobile insurance.
- Mandated Reporter - Act as a Mandated Reporter as outlined by DCFS rules and regulations.
- Training – Job involves CPR and other crisis-intervention related training.
- Travel – Job may require travel via commercial transportation and/or driving motor vehicles. Must occasionally drive in heavy traffic and/or inclement weather conditions.
- Physical Requirements – Must be able to stand, walk, and sit. May occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
- Hours – Job may require irregular work hours and travel outside of normal business hours.
- Adaptability – Alter approach as the situation demands. Work effectively within a variety of situations and with various individuals and groups.
- Integrity – Act ethically and honestly in all employment activities and build professional relationships by promoting mutual trust.
- Communication – Express ideas and facts effectively, contribute to open exchange of ideas, and exhibit an understanding of audience needs.
- Relationship Building – Build and maintain relationships (internally and with key external groups) that support and improve personal/team effectiveness.
- Teamwork – Work toward common goals by demonstrating sensitivity to others' needs and supporting, encouraging, and sharing information with colleagues.
- Initiative – Recognize what needs to be done and accomplish it proactively.
- Resourcefulness – Identify critical information, effectively use available resources, and seek ways to improve agency processes.
- Dependability - Reliable, responsible, and helpful on the job while fulfilling obligations in a timely manner.
- Self-Control - Maintain composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Problem Sensitivity - Ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Trauma Sensitivity - Ability to communicate with clients and others with sensitivity understanding that someone may have been exposed to trauma.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness – Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Strategic Thinking – Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish work.