Casual Youth Worker, Complex Support Services

As we serve vulnerable youth, all employees working for Covenant House Vancouver must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of vaccination status will be required prior to your start date.

About Covenant House Vancouver

Since 1997, Covenant House Vancouver has provided relentless support for youth experiencing, or at-risk of experiencing, homelessness. We provide support to young people age 16 to 24 who have experienced a wide range of early life and ongoing, complex trauma; including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect. Our purpose is to serve all youth, with absolute respect and unconditional love, to help youth experiencing homelessness, and provide a safe and supportive environment for all youth in need.

Working at Covenant House will be one of the most meaningful things that you’ll do in your life. However, you will be confronted with significant issues in this work and frankly, this work is not for everyone. In the course of doing your work, particularly for those doing frontline work, you will be exposed to the trauma of others. The youth we serve may also experience overdose, physical harm perpetuated by self or others and even death. Because we provide a relational model of care, the harms our youth experience can impact us in varying degrees.  
 
While we provide training for youth workers on avoiding what we call vicarious trauma (namely, the trauma you can experience or take on by hearing other’s traumatic stories), and a generous allowance for counselling, it is still difficult work that can and does take its toll on many employees. Self-awareness and self-care are key. Some candidates and employees decide during the recruiting and probationary periods that this work isn’t for them, and that is totally fair. 
 
We will provide more information on vicarious trauma during recruiting and on-boarding, to help you decide if Covenant House is the place for you.  

The Impact the Youth Worker in the Complex Support Services department can make:

Your primary role as a Youth Worker is to build trusting, supportive, professional relationships with youth. You will work with a multidisciplinary team to determine the best plan of care to help youth reach their goals and transition to healthy, confident adults. You will provide services from an attachment-based, harm reduction, culturally relevant, trauma-informed model of care. You will have the opportunity to build transformative relationships with youth and reduce the risks of street homelessness and substance use. Through relentless engagement, the CHV continuum of care connects with youth where they are at because we feel it should be “one size fits one” when it comes to supporting young people.

Working in the Complex Support Services department, you will work in both the Community Support Services (CSS) drop-in program, as well as the Sanctuary residential program (for youth with significant mental health and substance use concerns). You will provide an array of ‘as-needed’ services to young people. You will support the youth with personal planning and life skills, assist with referrals to other social services and support with daily tasks. The Complex Support Services department requires an experienced Youth Worker, one that is able to work confidently with less structure and navigate multifaceted health, behavioural and substance use concerns.

How You Will Contribute:

  • Greet and welcome youth accessing CHV services, assess and respond to their immediate needs, and provide them with practical resources including food, clothing, and transportation
  • Initiate, develop and maintain professional relationships with youth 16-24 years of age
  • Assist youth with accessing external community supports and accompany them (if needed)
  • Respond to any emergencies or potential behavioral, mental health, emotional, or substance use concerns using trauma-informed practice 
  • Upon entry to the Program, introduce the services provided, orient new youth, and complete program intake
  • Work with youth to address their individual needs and goals
  • Center the principles of Harm Reduction and Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Supporting youth with addictions and mental health challenges and referring to specialist agencies and/or allied professionals where needed
  • Document client notes in ETO, write Incident Reports, and other routine documentation as required
  • Coordinate youth meetings and activities, including recreation and life skills
  • Attend all training as directed
  • Maintain youth rooms including: set up, light cleaning, safety checks, etc.
  • Provide Outreach support as required to assist youth to connect with Covenant House
  • Laundry as needed
  • Front Desk and reception duties as required
  • Other duties as required

Who We Are Looking For?

Education and Experience:

  • Diploma or degree in related social service and a minimum one year in a low barrier, harm reduction setting, or
  • Minimum 3 year’s full-time working experience in a similar low barrier role
  • First Aid & Non-Violent Crisis Intervention will be considered an asset.

Competencies:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Familiarity with at risk youth and youth homelessness
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others to reach a common goal
  • Strong situational awareness and ability to manage critical incidents
  • Ability to adapt decision making based on circumstances or when presented with unclear information
  • Familiarity with issued related to substance use and Harm Reduction principles and practices
  • Familiarity with Indigenous Cultural Safety
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with the Youth
  • Basic computer skills 
  • Working knowledge of Trauma Informed Practice

Compensation

  • Starting at $25.36/hr for folks who meet the minimum requirements and up to $29.67/hr for those that exceed the requirements
  • An attachment based program where employees work together with respect, compassion, and teamwork.
  • Employee Assistance Program available to all employees, including casuals, beginning immediately with access to counselling, financial services, etc.

We have been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2024!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Covenant House Vancouver is a secular organization that welcomes and serves young people from all backgrounds. While the international federation to which we belong was founded in the 1970s by members of the Catholic Church, we are not aligned with any specific faith traditions.

CHV is committed to upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace. We actively encourage applications from members of groups with historical and/or current barriers to equity, including, but not limited to:

  • Persons from groups marginalized due to race, ancestry, colour, religion/spiritual beliefs, or place of origin;
  • Persons with visible (physical) and/or invisible (mental) disabilities;
  • Persons who identify as women;
  • Persons of marginalized sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions; and
  • Indigenous persons.

We recognize that many of these identities intersect and that therefore, diversity, equity, and inclusion can be complex. We value the contributions that each person brings and are committed to ensuring full and equal participation for all at Covenant House Vancouver.

We love what we do and try to make a difference every day. Covenant House Vancouver offers a competitive salary with a great benefits package and excellent opportunity for training and career advancement. If you are looking to join a place where we have a purpose and aim to achieve positive outcomes, please join us by applying.

If our recruitment process does not work for you, let us know. Let’s see how we can work together to get to know you and see what might be a great fit!