Youth Development Specialist – BGALA



The Youth Development Specialist (YDS) – Black Girls Advocacy Leadership Alliance (BGALA) works with the Youth Adult Program Coordinator to coordinate, plan and implement group activities; facilitates group sessions; ensure a safe environment for our clients; provides weekly check-ins, home visits or school visits; and works cooperatively with the client and their family to develop and implement an individualized service plan designed to help clients build targeted skills and reach established goals.


Education: Youth Development Specialist I: High School Diploma and 5+ years of experience. Youth Development Specialist II: Bachelor’s degree in Human Services, Social Work, Education or related field and one year experience. Youth Development Specialist III: Master’s degree in Human Services, Social Work, Education or related field one year experience.


Licensure/Certification: N/A


Minimum Requirements:

Ø  Must have experience working with special needs/at-risk girls and families, with past experience in providing gender-specific, trauma-informed approaches to prevention/intervention services.

Ø  Knowledge of inequity issues that impact girls and young women of color.

Ø  Demonstrate an understanding of the complex issues that impact girls living in underserved, low socioeconomic areas.

Ø  Strong problem solving, interpersonal relationship and communications skills necessary.

Ø  Must be available to work evenings and some weekends when program activities are planned.

Ø  Valid PA driver’s license with excellent driving record, reliable vehicle, insurance 300/100,000 and registration required.

Clearances Required: PA Act 33 (Child Abuse) / Act 34 (Criminal History) / Federal Criminal History Record (FBI Fingerprint) / National Sex Offender Registry


Other Skills/Abilities:

Ø  Must demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the cultural diversity of clients, volunteers and staff throughout the provision of services.

Ø  Ability to make safe and appropriate decisions during times of crisis


Ø  Facilitates and assists with the coordinating, planning and the implementing of group activities based on targeted risk behaviors in conjunction with Gwen’s Girls Life Domains. Seeks out age-appropriate and relevant activities for our girls in surrounding communities; and makes all necessary arrangements for girls to participate.   Assists with transportation needs. Assesses and documents individual and group behaviors in a timely manner.

Ø  Maintains proper documentation of group sessions as documented in the Key Information Demographic System (KIDS) and agency database. Conducts pre-post surveys, etc. to ensure goals and objectives are met. States and maintains group rules for emotional and physical safety at each session.

Ø  Establishes a caring, nurturing relationship with each assigned client and partners with the client’s family through ongoing face-to-face contacts. Works cooperatively with the client, family, school and other stakeholders to develop and implements individualized service plans (aka, pathway plan) to help clients build targeted skills and reach established goals. Works cooperatively with the care team to assess when additional support services are required. Completes home visits with families according to identified level of need.   Reviews and reassesses service plans at least quarterly on each client. Maintains visits as required per policy and compliance standards.

Ø  Provides proper documentation and progress reports, concerns, etc., at case reviews held with multi-disciplinary team. Communicates regularly with care team, transportation staff, and education manager to keep properly informed. Completed home visits and pathway plans.

Ø  Communicates effectively with volunteers, interns, stakeholders – parents, teachers, and community providers. Assist volunteers and interns with activities with the youth. Maintains ongoing communication (no less than once a month) with referring agency, school and all other outside resources on behalf of Gwen’s Girls and our clients. Ensures that all active parties are working collectively to reach the client goals.

Ø  Ensures the safety and well-being of girls in the program. Managed behaviors and provide emotional support while building a therapeutic rapport with the clients and families.

Ø  Provides safe and timely transportation of clients to and from activities as assigned by the Youth Development Supervisor. Follows all transportation policies and procedures; utilizes and completes appropriate transportation forms.

Ø  Incorporates Sanctuary tools and practices into everyday interactions to create a trauma-informed environment. Upholds the principles of Sanctuary to provide a therapeutic framework and culture.

Ø  Actively participates in all required team meetings, trainings and supervisory sessions. Meets regularly with supervisor, communicates openly needs, concerns, and ideas; utilizes feedback given in supervisory sessions.

Ø  Performs in accordance with established system-wide competencies and receives satisfactory performance evaluations annually.

Ø  Performs other duties as assigned.


Works in an afterschool setting with adolescent girls with adverse backgrounds. Staff must be prepared to engage in verbal and physical interventions in the event of a crisis.

Physical Requirements: Sitting, standing, kneeling, bending, stooping, reaching over head, speaking, hearing, reading comprehension and the ability to lift and carry 50 pounds.

General Requirements: 1) Indoors in busy office, working in close proximity to co-workers; 2) Frequently required to work at a fast pace; 3) Requires considerable concentration and creativity; 4) Weekend and evening work required; 5) Travel required (transporting clients).



Gwen’s Girls, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, or national origin. This policy includes the handicapped and all Vietnam-era veterans. Gwen’s Girls utilizes only job-related criteria in making decisions concerning applicants and employees.


NOTE: This position description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees in this job. It is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills that may be necessary for this role. Personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.