Outreach Worker, CSS

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 Outreach Worker with the Community Support Services Team can make:

Your primary role as the Outreach Worker is to provide services to youth living on the street and/or in the community. You will build trusting, supportive professional relationships with youth who are street homeless, precariously housed, and/or disconnected from services. This role will be to provide street outreach services, primarily in the Downtown Eastside and Granville Street areas of Vancouver, to youth who are experiencing significant mental health and substance use challenges. It is expected that many clients encountered in this role may be in crisis.

You will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to determine the best plan of care to help youth reach their goals and transition to healthy, confident adults. Working in the Community Support Services (CSS) Program you will provide an array of ‘as-needed’ services to young people. You will support the youth with personal planning, referrals to other social services and connections to harm reduction resources.

The Outreach Worker must be able to work confidently in an unstructured environment and be comfortable engaging with young adults with significant mental health and substance use concerns. The Outreach Worker is also responsible for planning and implementing all activities related to Covenant House Vancouver’s street reach services.

How You Will Contribute:

  • Responsible for the successful operations of the outreach team activities, which include street-reach, relationship-building, and service coordination with health and community service partners
  • Act as a Covenant House Vancouver representative and attend standing community service provider meetings (e.g. Eastside Planning Table, Reconnect, ect).
  • Take a lead role in networking with community agencies and sharing information about Covenant House programs and services
  • Organize and leads street -reach activities with a shift partner
  • Responsible for quality assurance and quality improvements related to outreach services
  • Identify, relationship-build, and engage with unhoused or precariously housed youth on an  outreach basis
  • Meet with individuals experiencing homelessness, in the locations where they are spending time, to provide support
  • Assess and respond to youth’s immediate needs, and provide them with practical resources including food, clothing and transportation
  • Maintain library of community resources – including mental health, harm reduction, substance use, cultural supports as a resource for all CSS staff
  • Liaise and communicate with various service providers regarding joint case management, client plans, risk assessment, and advocacy
  • Liaise as needed with other CHV departments regarding Outreach related issues.
  • Work collaboratively with other staff to assist youth in identifying attainable short and long-term goals, strategies for meeting these goals, and an action plan for implementation
  • Respond confidently to emergencies and behavioral, mental health, emotional, or substance use concerns using trauma-informed practice
  • Document client notes in ETO, write Incident Reports, and other routine documentation as required
  • Manage youth case files, including all relevant reporting and documentation
  • Attend all training as directed by your manager
  • Other duties as required

Who We Are Looking For?

Education and Experience:

  • Diploma or bachelor’s degree related to social service and minimum 2 years of Outreach experience and 3 years of total experience in a low barrier harm reduction, OR equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum 2 years of experience as an Outreach Worker is essential
  • Experience with the challenges facing youth who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • First Aid & Non-Violent Crisis Intervention training are assets

Competencies:

  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to advocate on behalf of youth, and complete appropriate referrals to community resources
  • Strong knowledge of community resources – including mental health, harm reduction, substance use, cultural supports
  • Work cooperatively and effectively with others to reach a common goal
  • Situational awareness
  • Ability to reflect on past experience, organizational practices and processes in order to determine the correct course of action
  • Ability to adapt decision-making based on circumstances or when presented with unclear information
  • Ability to work with culturally diverse and neuro-diverse populations
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with the youth
  • Basic computer skills
  • Physically able to carry out the duties of the position (walking for extended periods of time while carrying a backpack full of supplies)

Compensation

The successful candidate can expect a starting hourly rate of between $26.29 and $32.87 depending on factors such as internally equity, experience, competencies, and education. Once hired, the hourly rates are reviewed annually following the annual performance review and successful employees have the opportunity for their hourly rate to increase, over time, up to the maximum of the pay band, currently $39.44. 

Total Rewards

This position has excellent extended health and dental benefits for you and your spouse & children, including generous counselling benefits. During the first year, employees receive three weeks’ paid vacation, increasing to four in the second year; we have paid sick and personal leave and a matching Registered Pension Plan, investment in professional development, and more.  If you’d like more information on what we offer, please ask! 

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!