Amara is committed to positive long-term outcomes for children and families. We drive systemic change, promote healing, and advance racial and LGBTQIA+ equity by offering programs and services to families engaged in the child welfare system.
At Amara, we believe that a supportive, equitable and inclusive workplace, where everyone feels valued, trusted, and nurtured, is key to shaping organizational culture and investing in underrepresented communities. Amara believes that a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enhances our ability to fulfill our mission. We strongly invite candidates from diverse backgrounds, including communities of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.
We are seeking to hire a Chief Innovation and Program Officer to lead Amara’s overall programmatic operations including impact and evaluation. This Chief Innovation and Program Officer reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer and serves on Amara’s executive leadership team.
The Chief Innovation and Program Officer is responsible for Amara’s overall operations as well as overseeing and driving the program impact and evaluation strategies within the organization. They will play a pivotal role in shaping the organization’s approach to measuring and enhancing its impact on key stakeholders and program beneficiaries. The Chief Innovation and Program Officer ensures Amara can deliver high-quality services to foster families, kinship families, children in out-of-home care, those impacted by the child welfare system or private adoption, families in the early stages of child welfare system involvement, and families at risk of child welfare system involvement. The Chief Innovation and Program Officer will provide overall leadership, direction, support, and supervision to Amara’s Directors and Associate Directors of programs, with ultimate supervisory responsibility for all programmatic staff.
The Chief Innovation and Program Officer will work to ensure effective, compliant, professional, and overall excellence in Amara’s programs and their impact evaluation. The Chief Innovation and Program Officer will inform Amara’s policy agenda, contribute to the development of Amara’s strategic planning, and be an active member of Amara’s senior leadership team.
The Chief Innovation and Program Officer leads a team of associate directors and/or directors who themselves supervise program managers and clinical staff. They are responsible for ensuring appropriate clinical supervision of all programmatic staff through the directors, associate directors, program managers, and supervisors on their team and/or contracted providers. The Chief Innovation and Program Officer also ensures staff have appropriate personnel supervision and professional development opportunities. The Chief Innovation and Program Officer is responsible for working to enhance and expand Amara’s programs and overall impact in partnership with the Executive Leadership Team, including developing partnerships, supporting fundraising efforts, managing contracts, measuring impact, and working to strategically position Amara and its programs at the cutting edge of our field; the latter being defined as supporting the needs of children and families impacted in the child welfare system in the ways that research, best practices, evidence-based programs, community informed programs, and persons with lived experience identify needs and effective supports.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform the following satisfactorily; other duties may be assigned. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Clinical Support/Team Management Duties:
- Responsible for overseeing and developing the team, (including directors, associate directors, program managers, and other supervisors) in recruitment and retention, hiring, orientation, supervision, evaluation, and promotion. In doing this work, maintaining equity as a central consideration, including considering recommendations, through established organizational processes, from Amara’s DEI Council or its successors.
- Develop and implement training programs to build the capacity of staff in impact measurement and evaluation.
- Actively works to develop a team atmosphere and cultivate a supportive and productive work environment that includes continuous learning and growth.
- Ensure the provision of clinical supervision and best practice across all program areas to enable Amara’s overall programmatic impact.
- Provides opportunities for growth and development among staff, fostering a culture of learning and continuous improvement.
- Set policies, priorities, and procedures consistent with best practice models for effective clinical case management.
- Support and oversee associate directors, directors, and supervisors in the assignment of (and management of) staff caseloads, including co-setting and adjusting work to be accomplished by staff.
Impact and Evaluation Duties:
- Lead the development of a comprehensive impact strategy aligned with the organization’s mission and goals.
- Collaborate across teams to integrate impact considerations into program planning and development.
- Design and implement robust monitoring and evaluation frameworks to assess program effectiveness.
- Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the impact of programs.
- Ensure data collection methods are rigorous and aligned with established best practices.
- Conduct regular impact assessments to evaluate the success of programs and initiatives.
- Analyze data and provide insights to inform decision-making, program refinement, and resource allocation.
- Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to gather input on program impact and effectiveness and to communicate impact results in a clear and compelling manner, both internally and externally.
- Work with internal and external evaluators to set outcome measures for team programs, using Amara’s adopted evaluation framework as a guide. Ensure evaluations are informed by a balance of funder requirements, overall organizational priorities, service recipient and impacted community information on what is a valuable impact or outcome, and a reasonable balance between the goals of evaluation and the impact of collecting data from clients. Ensure evaluations are completed in a timely fashion, aligned with funder requirements and Amara’s internal evaluation cycles, train staff on evaluation protocols, and adjust programming to address any identified issues. Ensure that the program is developing and implementing ongoing quality improvement measures. In partnership with Amara’s evaluation lead, ensure all staff is trained (appropriate to their role in the evaluation process) on the rationale for data collection, on non-harmful and low-impact methodologies for collecting necessary client data, on privacy, and on data quality.
- Oversee licensure, monitoring, reporting, and contract compliance for programs this position supervises, either directly or through delegation to directors, associate directors, and/or program managers.
- Project, develop, and monitor revenue and expense budgets for all programs. In partnership with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and finance staff, ensure all staff with budget authority are trained in all financial procedures and processes in line with their roles and scope of responsibility. Additionally, support directors, associate directors, program managers and supervisors in accessing training on and receiving support around organization-wide budgeting and all org.-wide fiscal policies. Monitor these policies are followed consistently.
- Ensure all areas of programs are effective and efficient. Instill a sense of accountability among team members by modeling oversight of individual and organizational performance standards.
- Regularly review the need for program services, framework, service regions, service populations and/or service methodologies to best meet the clinical and program needs of those Amara serves or seeks to serve. In reviewing, ensure careful consideration of the needs of underserved populations and populations disproportionately impacted by the child welfare system or other systems that are connected to child welfare system involvement (criminal legal, educational, behavioral health, homelessness, etc.). Depending on the size and scope of programmatic changes, ensure appropriate consultation with program lead staff, associate directors, directors, and the organization’s senior leadership team. Ensuring that staff and community members with lived experiences’ recommendations are integrated as an important part of programmatic decision changes.
- Keep senior leadership team apprised of programmatic decisions that may impact external stakeholder relationships including the Board of Directors, funders, policymakers, or key partner agencies or organizations. Make no programmatic decisions expanding the geographic service region of a program, the staffing of a program, the funding structure of a program, principal program partnerships, or a program’s service delivery framework without ensuring that the decision has been made in conversation with the senior leadership team. Appropriately use discretion in determining which programmatic decisions require the approval of others on the senior leadership team based on adopted organization policy and practice.
- Oversee and support the development and maintenance of effective relationships with other service providers, agencies, and partners to ensure that children and families have excellent access to all needed services.
- As a senior leadership team member, this position plays a key role in the development and ongoing promotion of Amara’s mission, vision, philosophy, and culture.
- Remain apprised of current trends, practices and legislation in child welfare and related policy areas.
- Lead all policy work for Amara in partnership with the CEO and other senior leadership team members and their staff.
- Lead all impact and evaluation work at Amara and utilize information as a means of informing strategic planning and decision making, ensuring key partners are kept abreast of Amara’s performance (staff, board, funder, clients, etc.).
Competencies: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following.
- A demeanor that exudes confidence and care for others, especially the children and families we serve.
- A leader who builds enduring relationships and leads with a thoughtful, positive, loyal, and strategic presence.
- A leader who displays a visionary and entrepreneurial spirit, someone who will not only lead our program but continue to grow, improve, and refine our strategies and program design.
- A leader with a respectful and accessible leadership style who is comfortable with situations of ambiguity and able to relate to a wide range of clients and constituencies.
- A highly competent team player who is energized by the mission, and who is caring, honest and open.
- A team player oriented toward the greater good of Amara and its direction who possesses strong clinical skills.
Qualifications: The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- MSW or equivalent MA/MS degree in related field
- 7+ years of clinical experience providing trauma informed care.
- 5+ years of experience in foster care, child welfare or social services
- 5+ years of experience in supervision or administration of social services
- 5+ years of experience supervising and mentoring a team of no fewer than 7 individuals, and 3 direct reports.
- 3+ years managing contracts, grants, and budgets.
- 3+ years in roles that inform and further policies to benefit the wellbeing of children and families.
- Strong clinical skills and experience providing clinical consultation.
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the ability to lead group meetings.
- Ability to lead with initiative, discretion, maturity, flexibility, and independent judgement.
- Demonstrated skill and implementation of equity principles and practices that create a safe and affirming environment for clients and staff across intersectional characteristics.
- Demonstrated leadership in promoting advancement and development of diversity.
- Strong decision-making skills, including critical thinking skills. Demonstrated ability to think globally.
- Cross-cultural competence relative to age, religion, race, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
- Experience licensing and completing pre- and post-placement reports, psychosocial assessments, and/or needs assessments and treatment plans a plus.
- Experience in program development and implementation.
- Ability to provide supervision that meets licensing requirements a plus.
Education: MSW or equivalent MA/MS degree in related field.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Direct supervision of Directors, Associate Directors, and others as assigned including recruitment, retention, hiring, orientation, supervision, evaluation, and promotion.
Criminal Background Check:
Amara conducts background checks appropriate to the contractual requirements of the position. A previous conviction will not necessarily bar individuals from employment at Amara.
Specific clearance requirements can be discussed with the Hiring Manager or Human Resources.
Amara requires that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement is designed to prioritize the safety of the children and families we serve. Exemptions may be sought only for documented medical or religious accommodation.
Salary and Benefits
This is a full-time position with an annual rate of pay between $125,000-$150,000 depending on experience. Generous personal leave and benefits package, including paid time off, paid sabbatical, health, vision and dental insurance, 401k with a company match, life, and disability insurance. Amara supports a hybrid work schedule with some flexibility to work from home. Occasional travel between our King and Pierce County offices will be required.
To express your interest in this position, please send your resume and a one-page cover letter indicating why this position is the right opportunity for you in Smart Recruiters.
Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
Amara is an Equal Opportunity Employer