Covenant House New York (Covenant House) is seeking an Ombudsperson to promote and protect the rights, dignity, safety and quality of care of youth who are in residence or receiving services (“youth”) from Covenant House New York.
The Ombudsperson’s role is to listen, understand, problem-solve, strategize, coach, mediate, refer and provide upward feedback as appropriate. The Ombudsperson provides impartial, informal, independent and confidential conflict resolution services.
The Ombudsperson assists youth in satisfactorily addressing and resolving conflicts, problematic issues or concerns regarding staff, management, services, or program rules and the application of those rules. The Ombudsperson supports both youth rights and the sincere efforts of staff & management to deliver high quality care at Covenant House New York. In addition to working to resolve individual youth concerns, the Ombudsperson brings any systemic concerns identified to the attention of the Director of Quality Improvement or the Executive Director for resolution.
The Ombudsperson will report to the Director of Youth Development.
- Provide a safe place for youth to express their concerns and know they will be heard;
- Meet with youth to identify complaints and concerns;
- Ask strategic questions to understand the youth, the situation, potentially differing perspectives, and resources & options for resolution;
- When a complaint is received by or on behalf of a youth:
- Investigate/Determine the facts of the complaint
- Determine if the complaint is/is not verified
- Work with youth and staff to resolve problem(s) including working within the current Appeals and Safety Committees
- Encourage self-advocacy and interaction between youth and staff (or management as appropriate), and between youth and the Appeals Committee and Safety Committee;
- Utilize mediation or other appropriate problem solving techniques to facilitate resolution;
- Familiar with Covenant House New York policies, procedures, processes and rules;
- Familiar with internal and external resources available to youth in order to make appropriate referrals;
- Educate youth about their rights in the Covenant House New York community;
- Design and implement Know-Your-Rights workshops and trainings for youth and staff;
- Develop a reporting system to ensure status of resolutions are well documented and appropriately communicated, consistent with timelines and expectations.
- Perform other duties and tasks, as requested by the Executive Director.
- A Bachelor’s Degree and at least 2 years’ experience in conflict resolution and/or mediation;
- Demonstrated expertise in interpersonal skills, including active listening and relationship/trust/consensus building;
- Ability to recognize and de-escalate crisis;
- A comprehensive understanding of, and experience with, interest-based approaches to conflict management;
- Good judgment and ability to handle confidential information appropriately;
- Proven ability to work independently and collaboratively to resolve problems;
- Effective oral and written communication skills;
- Certification in dispute resolution and/or mediation preferred;
- Fluent or proficient in Spanish or French is preferred, but not required.
"Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Covenant House New York, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.”
Job Type: Full-time