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Kinship Specialist, Linn County, Iowa

  • Job Type: Full-Time
  • Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Date Posted: 1/18/2019

Job Description:

Position Summary

Performs a variety of support and services, information collection and dissemination, documentation and reporting for the Kinship Navigator Program. 


  • Must be highly organized
  • Needs to have excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must have working computer with current anti-virus protection
  • Must be skilled at using word, excel and at using pasting functions in email
  • Have a broad base of skills to meet the individual needs of the clients
  • Have immediate access to reliable transportation
  • Show proof of auto insurance and have a valid driver’s license
  • Attend at least 24 hours of training during the first year of employment
  • Attend at least 12 hours of training annually after the first year of employment
  • Be able to work well with other staff members
  • Be able to remain objective and treat each client with dignity and respect no matter what the circumstance
  • Attend all individual and group supervision meetings
  • Be knowledgeable of the process of reporting child abuse
  • Have knowledge and be able to refer families to community resources
  • Meet all expectations for communication and documentation
  • Report any and all criminal violations if they occur
  • Be committed to serving Iowa’s children and families

Essential Functions & Responsibilities Required of Every Position

  • Demonstrate professionalism as an agency representative when partnering with DHS and other community partners
  • Demonstrates a sensitivity to service populations’ cultural and SES characteristics and communicate respectively and effectively with these different situations
  • Identify client and family strengths and protective factors
  • Assess risk and safety
  • Identify environmental factors that impact families and link them to community resources
  • Empower, engage, and build relationships with clients and families
  • Be able to intervene effectively in stressful and crisis situations
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Services Essential Functions and Responsibilities – Kinship Specialists

  • Complete required documentation prior to service initiation
  • Patient Bill of Rights
  • Client Grievance and Appeals Procedure
  • Informed Consent
  • Release of Information
  • Administer the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale
  • Work to connect family with community resources and informal supports as identified in the case plan
  • In initial month, Kinship Specialist completes Eco-Map and Kinship Care Plan.
  • Make face-to-face contact with the family within five [5] business days of the Department referral and participate in a face-to-face initial joint meeting
  • Attend family team decision making and youth transition decision making meetings if necessary
  • Align the specific range of delivering services and supports with needs identified within the Kinship Care Plan.
  • Maintain and document a minimum of face –to-face contact with the identified Kin family members 2 times per month.
  • Identify and address any safety concerns concerning cases during service delivery and promptly report any safety concerns to the Department worker or their supervisor by telephone, e-mail, or other means
  • On an ongoing basis throughout service delivery, assess the educational, physical and mental health conditions, strengths and needs of all children and kin in cases open for services; and, in consultation with the Department worker and assigned FSRP Care Coordinator
  • Coordinate service planning, including planning for parent/child and sibling interactions, with Kinship Caregivers
  • Coordinate the contractor’s services with services and supports children and families may be receiving from other sources, including both public and private organizations and informal community networks
  • Implement plans to connect children and families to other community resources and informal supports, such as local community centers, mentors, or community support groups
  • Adhere to all requirements and expectations of completing a high quality of documentation using forms developed for the Kinship Navigator Program
  • Complete Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Training and be familiar with and follow all aspects of mandatory child abuse training
  • Provide agency endorsed evidenced based curriculum and interventions to the kinship caregivers to decrease  threat of maltreatment

Essential Physical Abilities

  • Requires the following, with or without reasonable accommodations:  Sufficient clarity of speech and hearing, with or without reasonable accommodations, which permits the employee to communicate effectively
  • Sufficient vision, which permits the employee to review a wide variety of written and electronic materials and information
  • Sufficient manual dexterity, which permits the employee to handle a variety of records and files and to operate a computer
  • Sufficient personal mobility, which permits the employee to access office files and visit and distribute materials to clients in their homes and other agency offices
  • This is largely a non-sedentary role; however, some sedentary activities are required.  This would require the ability to lift files and clients, open cabinets, doors, and sit, bend or stand as necessary.
  • This job operates in a professional manner.  This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, telephones, photocopiers, multi-function copy machines, and laptops. 
  • The ability to lift files, clients, car seats, etc. up to fifty (50) pounds.

Entry Requirements for Kinship Navigator

Education/Training/Work Experience:  High School Degree with a minimum of one (1) year of full time experience in human services: or


Associate of Arts Degree in Human Services or related field from an accredited college or university with a minimum of six (6) months full-time experience in Human Services; or


A Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services or related field from an accredited four year college recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


Required licenses, registrations and certifications:  Possession of a valid Driver’s license with the State of Residence.


Work Environment

Generally, 40 hours per week, Sunday through Saturday.  May be required to work additional hours or to change hours with minimal notice because of operational needs.  May be required to travel. 


  1. Marginal functions of the position that are incidental to the performance of essential job duties have been excluded from this job description.
  2. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  Prospective employees are encouraged to discuss possible accommodations with the Agency.
  3. Job descriptions in no way state or imply that the description includes every duty to be performed by the employee in the position.  Employees will be required to follow any other job related instructions and to perform any other job related duties requested by their supervisor.
  4. The Agency reserves the right to change or reassign job duties or combine positions at any time.
  5. In order to foster the development of a stable and well qualified work force, Families First shall maintain a safe and supportive work environment.  Families First is committed to the principles and objectives of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity and to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including 601A.6 of the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  It is the policy of Families First that any agency with which we contract for services or goods also has an Affirmative Action Program.  You may contact the Human Resources Manager with any questions related to our EEO Policy.
  6. It is the express policy of Families First to promote equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, physical or mental disability, religion, national origin, birthplace, marital status, familial status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected under local, state and federal laws, and to conform to applicable laws and regulations.  Families First will ensure equal employment opportunity in all of its human resources policies including but not limited to its recruiting, hiring, transfer, promotion, demotion, termination, disciplinary action, training, compensation, benefit and layoff practices.  Families First recognizes the benefits of a heterogeneous workforce and will take positive measures to maintain a heterogeneous workforce.

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