Youth Care Worker – Mercy Home for Boys and Girls


Chicago, IL

Join our team today! At Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, we are dedicated to empowering Youth, fostering hope, and creating brighter futures. Our mission is to be advocates, educators, coaches, and role models for the Youth we serve. We strongly believe that every young individual deserves a chance to thrive and reach their full potential.

As one of the Top 100 Places to Work in Chicago according to the Chicago Tribune for the past nine consecutive years, Mercy Home prides itself on prioritizing the growth and well-being of our team. We provide comprehensive training as well as ongoing professional development opportunities throughout your time here. Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to Diversity and Inclusion.

If you’re passionate, driven, and dedicated to making the world a better place, then we want you on our team. The committed workers at Mercy Home provide healing, guidance, and opportunity to young men and women in need.

How You’ll Make an Impact:

Nothing brings greater life satisfaction than helping others. As a Youth Care Worker, you will act as an advocate, role model and coach for the Youth who live in our residential programs. You can change the trajectory of their lives!

As one of their primary support figures, you will work with others to assist the Youth at Mercy Home in re-establishing themselves in a secure environment that will empower them to pursue their goals with confidence. If you’re compassionate and willing to serve, we invite you to join our team. Together, we can cultivate positive relationships and engage in meaningful activities and interventions that will help Youth in need.

In this Role, you will:

  • Build a therapeutic relationship with youth and young adults and their caregiving systems while respecting professional boundaries.
  • Implement structure of the program. This includes providing supportive supervision, guidance, and role modeling for the youth or youth adults in the milieu.
  • Coach the youth and young adults; teach skills; guide social problem solving; identify strengths, talents, and interests. This includes work as an Advocate participating in weekly Advocate meetings as well as weekly contacts with support systems as applicable.
  • Work with youth and young adults to assist them in planning and achieving their goals across all relevant domains.
  • Engage with youth or young adults in daily routines and activities by setting expectations, praising positive behaviors, setting limits, giving corrective feedback, processing behavior and decision-making.
  • Develop and support creative interventions that incorporate youth strengths and talents.
  • Provide individualized services and supports to best meet the needs and goals of the youth and young adults.
  • Work with the treatment team to refer a youth or young adult for specialized services as necessary and consult with those professionals.
  • Work collaboratively with all teams as necessary to support youth or young adults.
  • Prepare for and participate in supervision with the direct supervisor (either the Supervisor – Youth Care or Program Manager, based on program structure).
  • Participate in team meetings, which will include assessment of program youth or young adults.
  • Provide coverage and/or support in other programs as needed and as directed.
  • Stay up to date on all program log entries and read/ respond to emails in a timely manner.
  • Engage in care planning meetings and family meetings (i.e. review efficacy of treatment being provided and consistency with the Mercy Model).
  • Utilize effective interactional skills (e.g. solicit youth input throughout interactions; acknowledge youth input through active listening; remain nonjudgmental; use a pleasant and steady voice tone; express enthusiasm when appropriate; attune to youth and utilize good caregiver affect management; express empathy, concern, care and encouragement; offer assistance as needed; set limits and expectations when appropriate; provide praise)
  • Be responsible for all quarterly Individual Treatment Plans and the implementation of these plans.
  • Communicate promptly and accurately within the program/Agency and with external bodies (i.e. employers, schools, family, supports, legal personnel, housing programs, etc.). Complete required documentation during shift and follow on-call notification procedures.
  • Provide safe transportation for youth or young adults and their support systems, following agency policy and state laws.
  • Follow guidelines and procedures to ensure accurate and safe distribution and proper documentation of medications.
  • Employ all aspects of de-escalation and behavior management techniques as outlined in CPI protocol. Restrain youth or young adults as necessary.
  • Actively engage in learning and integrating developmentally appropriate, attachment-informed, and trauma-responsive theory and practice consistent with the Mercy Model of Care.

What we need from you:

  • At least 21 years of age.
  • Bachelor’s degree (preferred) or a High School diploma with at least 5 years of experience in youth development.
  • Demonstrated experience working with youth, ideally those who have experienced developmental adversity and/or trauma (at least 2 years’ experience preferred).
  • Possess a valid Illinois driver’s license with the ability to safely drive a van, maintain a clear driving record, and obtain/retain driving approval through the Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Regular and predictable attendance.
  • Ability to have a flexible work schedule. Ability to adjust schedule to meet program and youth needs.
  • Ability to work both independently and as an active member of an interdisciplinary treatment team.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to accept, adopt and implement feedback from supervisor and team.
  • Is open and respectful of cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of clients and is willing and competent to work with a diverse client population.
  • Desire to work with and enjoyment being around youth and young adults.
  • Ability and willingness to create, initiate and participate in recreational and therapeutic activities with the youth.
  • Possesses relationship-building skills, active listening, and coaching skills.
  • Ability to maintain professional demeanor (e.g. respect for others, responsive to feedback, open to other viewpoints, willingness to learn new skills, maintains objectivity) while exercising judgment and discretion in work.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and privacy.
  • Ability to attend required Agency trainings and maintain necessary training compliance. Flexibility to attend daytime trainings or sessions outside of regularly scheduled hours.
  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 40 pounds, and with proper training, be able to physically restrain youth.
  • Commitment to the mission, values, and goals of the Agency.

Basics Information / Schedule Details

This job is a full-time position (40 hours per week). Shifts are generally 3pm-11pm and include weekends (pay differential for weekend hours).

We have two campus locations in Chicago (West Loop and Beverly/Morgan Park)

Why You Will Love Working Here:

At Mercy Home, our commitment to providing the best care for the Youth we serve extends to ensuring our team receives top-of-the-line training and professional development.

We are a Top Workplace as awarded by the Chicago Tribune.

Benefits include:

Mercy Home provides a competitive benefits package in addition to compensation. Eligible employees will have access to PTO, healthcare coverage (including medical, dental, and vision), 403(b) retirement savings plan with matching contributions, complimentary parking and lunch, student loan debt counseling, and tuition reimbursement up to $3,500 per year.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to Inclusion and Diversity

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