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Connection Specialist

Connection SPecialist

Job Description

Connection Specialists are responsible for working alongside house parents in supervising and giving therapeutic care to youth. They should promote a sense of connection to family, community, and culture. Connection Specialists will teach and model therapeutic methods of managing stress and will help create opportunities within the program for youth to experience the core value of independence through teaching life skills.

Shift/Work Hours: Full-time. Schedule as assigned by Child Care Supervisor. Weekends, evenings, holidays, some overnights.

FLSA Status: Non-exempt


  • Provides a safe and nurturing learning environment for youth.

  • Provides constant supervision for youth on the Ranch, during recreational activities and outings.

  • Provide one-on-one supervision to youth when safety concerns are noted.

  • Assist youth with homework and independent living activities, such as learning to cook.

  • Distribute psychotropic medication to youth as needed, documenting in the Medication Administration Record (MAR).

  • If working an overnight shift, must constantly monitor youth, document observations and provide emotional support, if necessary.

  • Assist in preserving youth’s culture by implementing their youth’s traditions or cultural activities.

  • Consult daily with other caregivers to ensure needs of youth are being met.

  • Provide daily documentation noting the events during shift, and complete documentation for any Serious Incident.

  • Participate in trainings, conferences, meetings, projects, and other events provided by The Refuge for DMST.

  • Attend meetings and individual supervision to discuss youth and program-related issues.

  • Be a positive role model for youth and co-workers while promoting a positive work environment.

  • Must be willing to give and receive constructive feedback for professional development.

  • Participate in supervisory meetings/trainings appropriate for job function.

  • Must be able to work flexible schedule, some overnight shifts are required.

  • Responsible for obtaining and maintaining confidential information.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of the policies and procedures of The Refuge for DMST™ and DFPS Minimum Standards for residential treatment centers.

  • Demonstrated competence and consistent implementation of the core components of The Refuge for DMST treatment program as taught in pre-service and in-service training, ability to maintain current knowledge of the treatment plan and special needs of each assigned child; to ensure the implementation of each assigned child’s treatment plan; to ensure documentation of progress of the children for their treatment plans; to provide leadership in the ongoing assessment of assigned children.

  • Ability to prioritize and respond to the needs of the children; to effectively use time to ensure assigned tasks are completed within designated timeframes.

  • Ability to work cooperatively and productively with supervisor, coworkers and volunteers; to work effectively as a member of an interdisciplinary team; to maintain professional relationships; to resolve conflicts appropriately and use the proper chain of command when communicating.

  • Ability to demonstrate advanced leadership skills in working with children and coworkers.

  • Ability to provide constructive and developmental feedback in a professional manner that demonstrates the concept for change and gives examples and suggestions to the employee receiving the feedback.

  • Ability to grow professionally and learn new skills; to accept constructive feedback and modify behavior accordingly.

  • Ability to lead other in working in a stressful and sometimes unpredictable environment; skill in handling crisis situations without overreaction or loss of objectivity.


  • High school diploma or equivalent. Bachelor’s degree in human services field, preferred.

  • Experience working with adolescents and families and/or at-risk youth, preferably in a residential treatment setting.

  • Must be able to participate in the Highlighting System (the ability to stay an extra shift to maintain state ratio requirements.)

  • Must be self-motivated and possess good communication skills.

  • Ability to function in a fast-paced environment.

  • Must be 21 years of age with a valid/current driver’s license.

  • Must be able to pass drug test and criminal background check.

  • Must be physically able to use authorized Crisis Intervention techniques

Must look out for the safety and wellbeing of the youth in care by reporting any issues of abuse or neglect suspected at any time to your immediate supervisor and to the DFPS Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

This job description in no way implies that the duties listed here are the only ones the employee will be required to perform. The employee may be expected to perform other tasks, projects, and training as requested by his or her supervisor.


TO APPLY: please send resume and cover letter to