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Position Title: Family and Natural Supports Worker
Department: Special Services
Posting Start Date: 3/6/2019
Posting Cut-Off Date: 3/20/2019
Family and Natural Supports Worker
Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program
Contract Position until June 30, 2019 (with possibility of extension)

As Canada’s largest agency serving at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth, Covenant House Toronto changes lives by providing the widest range of services and support to as many as 300 youth a day. A national leader, we educate and advocate for change by influencing public policy and delivering prevention and awareness programs.
More than a place to stay, we provide 24/7 crisis shelter and transitional housing on-site and in the community, along with comprehensive services including education, counselling, health care, employment assistance, job training and after-care.
Our doors are open to youth 16 to 24 regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or the circumstances that have brought them to our doors. Since opening our doors in 1982, Covenant House has served more than 95,000 young people.

The Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program is looking for a highly skilled individual who is interested in supporting youth experiencing homelessness to strengthen relationships and connections with their identified family and chosen supports. The Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program is a demonstration project of Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab and provides a new and specialized service to address the problem of youth homelessness. In partnership with the Youth Shelter Interagency Network (YSIN), the Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program works across the city’s youth shelter system.

The Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program recognizes the unique role of family relationships and networks in promoting well-being and providing long term supports that may prevent and end youths’ homelessness experience. Family and Natural Support Workers will advocate and be relentless in their support of youth and their family members/chosen supports to create and maintain a sense of belonging, stability, and healthy, lifelong, reliable relationships.

Family and Natural Support Workers work collaboratively with youth and their identified family members/chosen supports to create and implement individualized service plans. Service provision can include assessments, family and individual counseling, mediation and system navigation supports.

Key responsibilities;
•Outreach to, and engagement of, youth in the city’s youth shelter system and related services
•Work collaboratively with youth to identify and engage family and chosen supports
•Develop trusting, helping and therapeutic relationships with youth and their identified family members and chosen supports to address identified goals
•Use a Collaborative, Family System and Ecological assessment approach to support the determination of goals and individualized service plans
•Provide navigation supports (referrals, accompaniment, and liaison and coordination support) to ensure youth and their family members/chosen supports can access appropriate community resources.
•Provide services in locations convenient to youth and their family members and chosen supports (such as in shelters, in family homes and other community settings).
•Facilitate group based activities, workshops and presentations as required.
•Work collaboratively within the Toronto Family and Natural Supports Program team, the Covenant House Toronto team, the youth shelter system and broader community.
•Work with stakeholders and partners to develop and promote this new specialized youth service.
•Maintain client files and complete all required documentation (including assessment and evaluation tools and measures to support the research and evaluation of the program’s work)

•BSW or MSW, or degree in a counseling related field, or equivalent in education and experience.
•Registered/eligible for registration with an appropriate regulatory college
•3 years’ experience working with youth and/or families
•Sound understanding of family dynamics, adolescent development and attachment theories and an ability to apply them is required. Training and experience in Family Systems Therapy is an asset.
•Demonstrated ability in working with a trauma informed, harm reduction approach and from an anti-oppression and culturally competent perspective/framework is essential
•Ability to work a flexible schedule including evening hours is required
•Excellent communication (both oral and written) and organizational skills and ability to work independently
•Understanding of issues related to youth homelessness, LGBTQ2S identities, mental health and substance use problems and disorders, and developmental and learning disabilities are assets.
•Knowledge of community resources and systems relevant to youth homelessness is preferred
•A valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle is an asset

Interested candidates should submit their cover letter and resume to Human Resources at on or before Wednesday March 20, 2019.


We thank all applicants however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

As an employer, Covenant House is committed to building an organization that reflects the diversity of our clients and the communities we serve. We encourage applications from qualified individuals who represent diverse communities. In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Covenant House Policies on Accommodation, a request for accommodation will be accepted as part of Covenant House recruitment process.