Silver Lining Mentoring (SLM) empowers youth in foster care to thrive through committed mentoring relationships and the development of essential life skills. For over 20 years, Silver Lining Mentoring has matched young people in the child welfare system in the greater Boston area with highly-committed, volunteer mentors. As of 2019, the organization is scaling that mission nationally through the Silver Lining Mentoring Institute.
The Institute’s purpose is to create a future where every young person in the U.S. impacted by foster care will have access to a high-quality, consistent volunteer mentoring relationship. The Institute is achieving this goal by equipping a network of practitioners across the country who are starting up or growing mentoring programs with best-in-field strategies and tools via a partnership with the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) and MENTOR.
In Silver Lining Mentoring’s greater Boston regional services, the match relationship is supported by in-depth training and ongoing personalized match support from clinically-informed staff. Most youth participants are preparing to age out of the child welfare system, and Silver Lining Mentors offer both companionship and guidance in navigating critical life skills.
SLM offers several services to make mentoring available to more youth impacted by foster
care. In the greater Boston area, SLM offers direct programming, including: Community Based Mentoring, which provides one-to-one volunteer mentorships to youth ages 7+ and Learn & Earn, a life skills curriculum accompanied by a 1:1 volunteer mentorship available to young people ages 16+. The Silver Lining Mentoring Institute, the organization’s national initiative, launched in 2019, expands access to mentoring relationships for youth impacted by foster care. For more information please visit www.silverliningmentoring.org.
The Assistant Director of Education and Training is a new position, reporting to the Senior Director of Strategy and National Impact. The successful candidate will bring expertise in mentoring, youth development, and child welfare that enables them to strategize on and create educational materials at the intersection of these three topics. The successful candidate will bring a passion for educating adult learners, such as, but not limited to, Boston-based volunteer mentors, mentoring program staff at other organizations served via SLM’s consulting work, staff at state child welfare agencies, among other audiences. The successful candidate will enjoy organizing and analyzing data, researching best practices (both internal to SLM and in the broader field), and using creative pedagogies to plan and create educational materials, such as, but not limited to, training manuals, workshops, conference presentations, or white papers. The successful candidate will utilize skills in relationship development, time management, and strategic planning to manage a portfolio of projects that advance the organization’s education and training goals.
The Assistant Director of Education and Training has their finger on the pulse of the latest research and clinical findings in youth development; policy and practice in the field of child welfare, locally and nationally; promising practices and innovations in youth mentoring; and will develop familiarity with feedback from SLM’s clients across the country, and mentors and mentees in Boston. The role turns this information into educational materials that can be utilized to improve SLM’s mentoring services in Boston, as well as our strategic consulting services (Training and Technical Assistance) offered to mentoring programs across the country.
Education and Training Strategy (20%)
- Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Strategy and National Impact, develop SLM’s regional and national education and training strategy. The strategy will include a portfolio of projects that improve education and training practices regionally – in the direct mentoring services delivered in greater Boston, as well as, nationally – addressing the most pressing learning needs of organizations serving youth in foster care across the country served through the Training and Technical Assistance work of the SLM’s Institute.
- Design and manage a process that creates a best practices feedback loop between regional and national work. Analyze regional programming for best practices that could be shared with national TTA clients and determine how best to translate those practices into educational and training content to be delivered through TTA projects. Similarly, analyze the topics, tools, and trainings coming out of national TTA and thought leadership to identify utility for regional programming.
- Contribute to the organization’s “thought leadership” strategy aimed at positively impacting mentoring practices for youth in foster care by sharing expertise and insights to interested audiences
- Proactively lead and contribute to a strategy of conferences, publications, and other opportunities to share thought leadership. Provide ideas on topics, themes, and areas of expertise to prioritize.
- Collaborate with Assistant Director of TTA and Institute Initiatives to ensure the success of the Fostering Progress webinar series and collaborations with program partners, including MENTOR’s Collaborative Mentoring Webinar Series, including developing and delivering content, as needed
- Serve as a thought partner, content collaborator, and coach to contributors writing or presenting on behalf of SLM
- Create written or verbal reports on SLM’s regional and national educational initiatives, outcomes, and status to all stakeholders, as needed, such as the Board of Directors, funders, and program participants.
National Educational Initiatives (35%)
- Proactively analyze needs, opportunities, and challenges in the mentoring field to inform national education and training by utilizing all available mechanisms, such as – but not limited to, surveys, literature reviews, focus groups or interviews, etc. Create an overall strategy, including project managing a plan to address those needs.
- Design, write, or edit content for national education and training needs, such as – but not limited to templates, guides or manuals for TTA clients, interactive or recorded trainings, national conferences or media.
- Design and manage processes for a diverse set of subject-matter experts to contribute to SLM’s education and training materials, such as – but not limited to young people with lived experience, practitioners nationwide, SLM staff members, or external consultants.
- Liaise with the Assistant Director for Evaluation to ensure evaluation data and feedback loop data informs educational content delivered nationally.
- Lead projects aimed at improving efficiency and achieving the organization’s longer-term scale goals of education and training content, such as assessing credentialing options, learning management systems.
Regional Educational Initiatives (35%)
- In collaboration with the Director of Regional Programs and Senior Director of Strategy and National Impact, prioritize the needs and incorporate into the overall organization strategy, including project managing a plan to address those needs.
- Design, write, or edit content for select regional education and training needs, such as, but not limited to, mentor education, training for short-term volunteers, or regional conferences. This role will primarily contribute to education and training for adult stakeholders (e.g. mentors, volunteers, regional practitioners), but will include periodic consultation on youth-focused curricula (e.g. aspects of Learn & Earn content).
- Design and manage processes for a diverse set of subject-matter experts to contribute to SLM’s education and training materials, such as, but not limited to, young people with lived experience, practitioners nationwide, SLM staff members, or external consultants.
- Liaise with the Assistant Director for Evaluation to ensure evaluation data and feedback loop data informs educational content.
Administration, Communications, and Evaluation Coordination (10%)
- Timely completion of data management and reporting processes that touch the role’s workstreams, including data entry in Salesforce, utilization of project management tools, and report-writing for internal and external stakeholders.
- Assist with creation and dissemination of communications materials that promote SLM’s educational and training activities.
- Support program evaluation data collection and management processes that touch the role’s workstreams.
- Lead the collection of evaluation and feedback data from learners utilizing SLM’s education and training materials. Analyze information gained for continuous quality improvement.
- Other support for SLM’s regional and national strategic initiatives, as directed.
Data shows that people of color and women are more likely to rule themselves out from job opportunities when they don’t feel they fit 100% of the criteria listed in a job description. If that sounds like you, don’t rule yourself out. We recognize that experience comes in many forms, and a willingness to engage in on-the-job learning is a big part of success. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, people with lived experience in the foster care system, or transferable experience with the duties listed for the role.
- Ability to articulate one’s commitment to, and belief in, the mission and values of Silver Lining Mentoring.
- Expertise in mentoring, the child welfare system, and positive youth development or preferably, experience at the intersection of all three.
- Experience writing training materials and curricula for adult learners.
- Experience delivering or facilitating educational presentations or trainings for adult learners.
- Enthusiasm for conducting literature reviews, online research, and writing. Thorough research and copy-editing skills.
- Flexible, inclusive, and engaging facilitation skills and ability to create effective presentations. Skills with graphic design software and tools, preferred.
- Experience with effective and engaging pedagogy for adult learners, preferred.
- Demonstrated project management skills and ability to manage to outcomes. Ability to problem solve and change efforts and strategies in order to achieve an outcome.
- Ability to work independently, take initiative, and build effective relationships within a team.
- Exemplary interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate effectively with SLM staff, volunteer leadership, donors, youth, and external partners.
- Skilled in Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive, Canva, TalentLMS, Box and Salesforce.
- Please note that we are not able to sponsor U.S. work authorization for this role.
Advocacy/Social Action, Social Justice, Youth Development
Salary commensurate with experience, with an anticipated starting salary between $75-80K.
Silver Lining Mentoring offers a strengths-based collaborative team, flexible work environment, accessible office location in downtown Boston, and excellent benefit package with generous vacation including a 1 week closure the last week of the year.
Currently SLM works in a hybrid capacity with all staff working in-person from our downtown Boston office on Wednesdays and additional days as needed.
This position is based in Massachusetts, applicants must be a resident of MA, NH or RI (or plan to move to MA if offered the position).
Position will require some evening and weekend participation in training events, conferences, or thought leadership events.
Candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples (of at least 700 words each) explaining why you would like to be considered for this position to HR@silverliningmentoring.org.
Applications without cover letters will not be considered.
Applications will be reviewed starting 8/22/2023 for an anticipated start date of October 15, 2023.