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Youth Worker – Low Barrier, Harm Reduction Shelter

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 Sanctuary Program can make:

The Sanctuary department supports youth with significant substance use and mental health concerns. In this enhanced low barrier 28 bed program, we work with the principles of immediacy, sanctuary, value communication, structure, and choice. You will demonstrate absolute respect and unconditional love to youth that will allow them to know their worth.

This program is a low-barrier, safe, and non-judgmental environment where youth are supported to address every aspect of wellbeing – health, emotional, and spiritual. You will provide services from an attachment-based and trauma-informed model of care proven to support youth at greatest risk in our community. You will have the opportunity to build transformative relationships with youth and reduce the risks of street homelessness and drug use. Through relentless engagement, the CHV continuum of care will expand to connect with youth where they are at because we feel it should be “one size fits one” when it comes to supporting young people. 

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 relationships with at risk youth 16-24 years of age
  • Upon entry to the Program, introduce the services provided, orient new youth, complete program intake/admission
  • Assist clients in exiting street life, maintaining independence, or accessing supports to have their needs met   
  • Work with youth to address their needs and goals
  • Accompany youth to scheduled appointments and support youth in crisis
  • Supporting youth with addictions, mental health and behavior management issues and referring to specialist agencies where needed
  • Document client notes in ETO, write Incident Reports, and other routine documentation as required
  • Manage youth case files, including all relevant reporting and documentation
  • Coordinate youth meetings and activities, including recreation and life skills
  • Attend all training as directed by your Team Leader
  • Clean, search, and remake youth rooms at discharge
  • Laundry as needed
  • Other duties as required

Who We Are Looking For?

Education and Experience:

  • Diploma or degree related to social service and,
  • Minimum one-year related experience in a low barrier/harm reduction environment with emphasis on homelessness, mental health, addictions, and/or social services
  • Or, an equivalent combination of education, training and experience (minimum 3 years full-time work in a similar environment without a social service diploma/degree – can be peer support experience)
  • First Aid & Non-Violent Crisis Intervention is an asset

Competencies:

  • Familiar with the challenges facing youth who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability
  • Familiarity with substance misuse
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries with the Youth
  • Understanding of Trauma Informed Practice and principles of Harm Reduction
  • Takes personal ownership and responsibility for the quality and timeliness of work commitments. Follows organizational guidelines, professional standards, regulations and principles. Demonstrates reliability and integrity on a daily basis.
  • Adapts and responds to changing conditions, priorities, technologies and requirements.
  • Ability to comfortably collaborate in a variety of situations and with diverse individuals.
  • Expresses and transmits information with consistency and clarity, using active listening techniques in order to effectively understand provided feedback, summarizes information according to the audience in order to promote engagement and increase understanding.
  • Ensures that communication efforts met the needs of various groups and is properly understood
  • Analyzes and interprets data and information gathered from observation, formal and informal communication, and others in order to develop conclusions.
  • Reflects on past experience, organizational practices and processes in order to determine the correct course of action.
  • Makes concrete, well informed and thought-out decisions that support the overall organization. Has the ability to make quick effective decisions even when data and details are limited. Is able to adapt decision making based on circumstances or when presented with unclear information
  • Works cooperatively and effectively with others to reach a common goal. Participates in active in group activities fostering a team environment;
  • Demonstrates basic level of efficiency with office productivity tools (e.g., straightforward word processing and spreadsheets), the Internet, e-mail applications and computer operating system functionalities.

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.
  • Extended Health and Dental benefits after three months for regular employees including $4000 in Counselling benefits (Psychological services); Generous vacation, sick-time, personal leave, and after 1 year, the choice to join our registered pension plan.
  • 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!