By joining our team, you are getting so much more than a new career. By working at Whaley Children's Center you will join a community of kind, compassionate and dedicated people working together to make sure that our Center is the best place for Michigan's foster youth to call home. Become a Difference Maker today!

Along with competitive salaries, Whaley offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, life and disability insurance and a 403(b) plan. In addition, we offer on-going professional development and training opportunities. An application, résumé, criminal background check, comprehensive driving record, drug screen and TB test are required for all potential employees of Whaley Children’s Center.

For more information, please contact Amy Anderson at or 810-234-3603.

Youth Specialist

Position Title: Youth Specialist
Department: : Residential
Reports to Position Title:Residential Manager
FLSA: Non-Exempt:

Purpose & General Description of the Position: This position is responsible for assisting youth within a non-secure residential treatment facility using trauma-focused practices and care to assist with daily living, educational and recreational activities, and to effectively role-model and encourage appropriate behavior to support established treatment plans for the children. Responsible for assuring youth are physically and emotionally safe while working as part of a larger treatment team to ensure that trauma-informed care is provided to children who have experienced profound abuse and/or neglect.

Minimum Requirements:
  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • High school diploma required. Preference to candidates with at least 24 credit hours of college level studies at an accredited college or university in sociology, social work, psychology, Criminal Justice, education, recreation, or related field.
  • Experience working with youth with emotional and behavioral challenges highly preferred.
  • Valid Michigan Driver's license and a driving record acceptable to Whaley Children's Center's insurance carrier. Must maintain valid Driver's License as a term of employment.
  • Must be able to pass all background checks and clearances including Criminal (Local, State and Federal), Children's Protective Services, Driving Record, Drug Screen, and TB Test.
  • Must be able to successfully pass all aspects of the New Hire Training which include written and physical testing in areas of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, CPR & First Aid, Medication Administration, Defensive Driving, Cultural Competence, and Trauma-Based Care practices.

Essential Skills and Abilities:
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective communication (written and oral) and working relationships with co-workers in all departments, family members, community partners and children.
  • Ability to assist children with daily living and recreational activities and to effectively role-model, teach, and counsel children to encourage appropriate behavior and to support established treatment plans for the children.
  • Ability to maintain accurate records and to complete detailed documentation and written reports regarding the behavior, activities, and status of children as well as basic knowledge of technology to utilize radios, and basic computer software and systems.
  • Ability to assess, interpret, and respond appropriately to verbal and non-verbal communications of children and other Whaley staff.
  • Ability to understand cause and effect relationships and the interrelatedness of one's own behavior relative to the behavior of others and the capacity to make sound decisions in crisis situations and a high frustration level with a great deal of patience.
  • Physical and organizational abilities necessary to regularly complete activities to maintain a "household" including cooking, cleaning, shopping, transporting, yard work, etc.
  • Physical mobility and capacity to manage a violent and/or self-abusive child when emergency intervention restraint is required to assure the safety of the child, and/or others.
  • Physical ability to be physically mobile throughout the shift; To frequently lift, carry and/or push 25 lbs. and occasionally up to 100 lbs.: and to bend reach, stretch, twist, turn, climb, kneel, crouch, grasp, and crawl.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
  • Develop and maintain supportive, consistent, and trauma-informed relationships with the youth while maintaining clear roles and boundaries.
  • Maintain structure within assigned unit or home to assure physical and emotional safety of the youth in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Actively providing continual eye-on supervision of the residential children.
  • Deliver services according to established treatment plans for each child, including medication schedules and dietary restrictions and requirements in accordance with established policies and procedures.
  • Facilitating recreational, educational, and therapeutic activities according to established treatment plans, schedules, and parameters.
  • Effectively document children's activities, behavior, emotional responses, and progress toward the treatment plan goals as required by agency establish protocol.
  • Regularly completing activities to maintain a "household" including cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, transporting, yard work, etc.
  • Participating in the development and implementation of treatment plans for children and communicating plans to others as appropriate.
  • Engage and support birth parents, extended family, foster/adoptive parents, referral agencies, and others in a welcoming and respectful approach in accordance with treatment plans, visitation schedules, court orders, etc.
  • Regularly transporting youth to school, medical appointments, family visitations and/or any other activities as determined by the treatment plan.
  • Assist in the planning, organizing, communicating and implementation of daily activities for the youth.
  • Participating in all required team and staff meetings, including individual supervision and other staff development opportunities,
  • Maintaining all annual training requirements, including maintaining updated CPR Certification

Associated Duties:: All other duties as may be assigned periodically by Residential Management, Director of HR & Agency Operations, and/or CEO/President
NOTE: This description is a summary of the responsibilities, duties, knowledge, skills, experience, abilities, and qualifications associated with this position. It is not an exhaustive list and may be changed at any time at the discretion of the Whaley Children's Center.