Licensing Specialist - Hands Across The Water

Job Details
Ann Arbor, MI

Title: Licensing Specialist 

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The Licensing Specialist shall hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a human behavioral science. Experience in a professional setting with youth and families required. Strong written and oral communication skills, professionalism, organizational skills and comfort with computer technology/database entry is required.


Appropriate candidate for this position must have the ability to handle stress well, have the ability to be an active listener with good clinical observation and evaluation skills, be flexible and able to handle change, make complex and often unpopular decisions focused on a child’s safety and long-term well-being.  Appropriate candidate will be a team player yet able to work independently, someone who is able to multi-task, and maintain case responsibility and follow-through with multiple competing demands and strict timelines. Licensing Specialist will demonstrate a commitment to the training, preparation and support of foster families and a commitment to the belief that all children deserve safe and loving homes, prepared to meet their unique needs.  Knowledge of child welfare and available supportive resources for youth and families in Michigan is preferred.  


Candidate may not have been convicted of child abuse or neglect, a felony involving harm or threatened harm to an individual within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of hire, or be listed on the central registry as a perpetrator of child abuse or child neglect. The Licensing Specialist shall possess a valid Driver’s License, positive driving record and proof of automobile insurance. 


Hands Across The Water does not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or a matter directly or indirectly related to employment, because of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, political beliefs or mental or physical disability.


Salary: According to the current salary schedule.


Job Overview:

The Licensing Specialist is responsible for evaluating prospective foster families, maintaining case management duties of Hands Across The Water’s licensed foster homes and for ensuring compliance of said homes with the applicable provisions of all governing rules.  This position maintains a caseload of foster home licensing cases (initial evaluations and ongoing supervision of open homes), as well as foster home complaints (special evaluations) as assigned. The Licensing Specialist is also responsible to participate in agency foster parent recruitment and retention activities and foster parent orientations/trainings as needed. This position requires travel including in-office, in-home, and outside of office work, sometimes during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends.  As such, this position may be eligible for some remote office hours, depending on case location, needs of the Program and agency. 


Licensing Specialist: This worker is focused on developing the necessary knowledge of the laws, policies, and administrative procedures of the program, the principles of human behavior and development, and developing interviewing, assessment, caseload organization, time management skills and use of community resources essential to their role.


Senior Licensing Specialist: This worker has a minimum of 2 years of experience with Hands Across The Water as a foster care specialist or a closely related position.  This title will be given to workers who have shown positive work performance, demonstrated leadership and skilled job knowledge, including applicable laws, policies, and administrative procedures of the program, principles of human behavior and development, interviewing, assessment, caseload organization, management skills and use of community resources.  The Senior Licensing Specialist is expected to assist in the growth and development of other team members, through positive leadership, demonstrated teamwork and sharing of job knowledge and information. This role may include guidance and/or supervision of interns and involvement in agency initiatives and committees as necessary.   



The Licensing Specialist will receive certification training and special evaluation training provided by DCWL within the first 6 months of employment.


Additionally, the Licensing Specialist will complete all agency mandated orientation and ongoing training as required.  


Job Responsibilities and Duties:


1. Assess and evaluate all prospective foster families, recommending issuance or denial of issuance of a foster home license, using DHHS approved documents, policies and procedures for foster home licensing.

2. Determine and assess barriers towards the successful completion of the foster home license and offer solutions to eliminating such barriers as appropriate.

3. Determine training needs of family and ensure family receives said training.

4. Maintain compliance with State of Michigan Policies and Regulations specific to all case activities.

5. Assist assigned families in the gathering and completing of necessary documents for foster home licensing. 

6. Maintain contact with assigned families on at least a monthly basis, providing support, education, a listening ear and guidance throughout the licensing process and throughout their fostering journey at the agency.

7. Participate in active recruitment efforts to find appropriate families for the children served by this agency’s foster care program.

8. Carry a full-time caseload of up to 30 licensing cases.

9. Plan and conduct individual and/or group foster care orientation meetings with prospective families as needed.

10. Plan and conduct education classes as needed. This includes the development of a family-specific education plan if needed.

11. Oversee the maintenance of all records, files, and cases pertaining to services rendered to assigned families and children, including MiSACWIS records and paper files.

12. Periodically audit MiSACWIS record and paper files as directed.

13. Complete any licensing complaint investigations (special evaluations) as assigned, offering recommendations for any changes to licensing status or corrective action plans as needed.

14. Facilitate a positive working relationship with DHHS, DCWL, networking agencies, licensing consultant, and clients. Maintain a collaborative relationship with the HATW Foster Care and State Adoption departments.

15. Attend agency staff and program related meetings.

16. Participate in agency trainings as directed.

17. Maintain 32 hours of job-related training per year as specified in the Personnel Manual or as determined by the State contract.

18. Maintain an up-to-date personnel file as directed by Human Resources.

19. Additional duties as directed related to program.



The Licensing Specialist is accountable to the Child Welfare Supervisor - Licensing

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