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Youth Villages

Family Support Specialist – Cookeville, TN

Youth Villages


Job Summary

Who are Youth Villages?

Youth Villages is a nonprofit organization striving to help troubled youth and families live successfully. We are a team of 3,000 individuals who’ve come together across 14 states to change the landscape of child welfare and juvenile justice across the country.  Our work involves providing an array of counseling and treatment services to youth with severe emotional and behavioral problems. 

Eighty-four percent of those who go through treatment succeed two years after leaving our program. These youth are living at home, remaining in school, and are not experiencing trouble with the law.

We believe strongly in investing in and supporting our employees. We offer candidates opportunities to develop a career and be part of a positive change in our country’s treatment of at-risk youth and families. 

Position Summary:

Provides care coordination services to families who have been diverted from state custody through the Child Protective Services system. Responsible for creating and/or monitoring the non-custodial permanency plan and ensuring that adequate services and assistance are provided to youth and families to complete the action steps on the plan. Responsible for maintaining child records. Ensuring that placement is stable and meeting the needs of the youth and coordinating needed placement with the main purpose of preventing a custodial placement with the state. Primary liaison between team members including; provider agencies, courts, schools, attorneys, guardian ad litem, CASA, provider services, biological families or caregivers, and any other involved parties.

Job Responsibilities

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Carry a caseload of approximately 20 cases.  
  • Serves Cumberland, Macon, and Smith counties; regional travel to other surrounding counties will be required. The primary office for meetings and reporting will be Nashville. Travel will be needed.
  • Work flexible hours including weekends, holidays, and after-hours, including some on-call rotation.
  • Work in a team setting. 
  • Learn and have competency with Department of Children’s Services policies that guide care and services for youth and families.
  • Provide case-management/care coordination services to youth and families on caseload.   See youth/families on caseload as required per DCS policy. 
  • Ensure the intensity of services to maintain children with caregivers and prevent a state’s custody episode.  Monitor relative and kinship options for children to have backup prevention plans for removals and safety.
  • Ensure that all needs of youth and families are met, including; mental health, medical, dental, education, placement/safety, and legal.  This will be monitored and reviewed through court hearings, completion of appointments, evidence from clinical providers, school records, the non-custodial permanency plans, etc.
  • Facilitate the forward progress of the youth’s treatment and ensure the youth is in the least restrictive setting that is safely possible. Responsible for moving youth towards permanency goals in a timely fashion.
  • Conduct frequent home and site visits.  Assess the safety needs of homes or placement sites. A minimum of twice per month in person is required. Some situations will require more frequent in-person visits. Travel will be required for home/site visits throughout the state of Tennessee.
  • Prepare for, organize, notify other team members, and lead Team Meetings.
  • Prepare for, organize, notify other team members, and participate in court hearings.  Ensure all court documents are turned in to the judge per the county’s court requirements. 
  • Attend weekly case reviews and other weekly business meetings with the supervisor and leadership team.
  • Monitor and ensure timely completion/resolution of legal needs, including; completion of non-custodial permanency plans, court hearings, and any legal charges occurring before or during custody. 
  • Make recommendations to and collaborate closely with external and internal customers. Maintain positive customer relationships and experience.
  • Ensure quick and timely responses to all customers within the team.
  • Be a primary liaison between youth, family, and other team members.
  • Ability and means to drive frequently; provide proof of liability and property damage insurance on vehicle used and possession of valid driver’s license. 
  • Act as an advocate for youth and families who may face legal charges.
  • Attend school meetings as needed and ensure youth is placed in the least restrictive/most appropriate school setting.  Ensure that youth’s education rights and needs are being met.  Facilitate family tracking and monitoring of grades and school attendance. 
  • Meet on-call requirements; on-call 5 am-5 pm for youth on caseload.  Times between 5 pm-5 am, weekends, and observed holidays will rotate on call with other team members. 
  • Have the ability to manage multiple priorities at once, while staying organized and meeting paperwork compliance deadlines.
  • Have strong attention to detail through documentation and follow through with set plans.
  • Be able to gather pertinent assessment information using clinical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving to assess areas of risk and apply appropriate intervention or services to each situation.
  • If services are referred, appropriate monitoring of those services through regular check-ins to assess clinical progress and competency.
  • Exercise clinical judgment through administering assessment tools such as the FAST assessment, CSSRS assessment, etc. Be able to make solid clinical judgment around when to escalate a case to leadership for further review and potential removal. Show expertise in risk management through assessment skills and problem-solving. 
  • Complete all necessary documentation including non-custodial permanency planning and FAST assessments to determine areas of focus and track the progress of those goals. Also, complete any Youth Villages’ supervision trackers and other compliance trackers as requested.



  • A Master’s degree in a social services discipline is strongly preferred
  • A Bachelor’s degree in a social services discipline is required
  • Degrees that can be considered include social work, drug and alcohol education or counseling, psychology, criminal justice, guidance counseling, or marriage and family therapy. Other degrees will have to be evaluated further to determine if they meet the qualifications.
  • One year of related experience in counseling and/or case management is required
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent written, verbal, and oral skills
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously
  • Basic computer knowledge
  • Ability to maintain a flexible schedule
  • Acceptable driving record – Three or fewer moving violations within the past 36 months

Additional Information



$50,000 – $58,000 / year based on education and clinical license


  • Medical, Dental, Prescription Drug Coverage and Vision
  • 401(k)
  • 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • 12 paid sick days per year
  • 11 paid holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Mileage & Cell Phone Reimbursement (when applicable)
  • Tuition reimbursement and licensure supervision
  • Growth & development through continuous training
  • Clinical and administrative advancement opportunities

Youth Villages is an equal opportunity employer and provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

Youth Villages is committed to not only advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace but also in our work with children and young adults. We know that children, families, and young people of color can face inequity in child welfare and justice systems, and we train our employees to build the skills they need to work with the communities that we serve, as well as, other employees from different cultures and backgrounds. Youth Villages is opposed to racism in any of its forms and is committed to inclusion, equity, and diversity. We believe that respect for each other is crucial in the work that we do each day.

How to Apply

Please apply through the following link: https://careers-youthvillages.icims.com/jobs/20042/family-support-specialist/job


  • Date Posted: April 16, 2024
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Clinician
  • Service Area: Children / Youth