Youth Engagement Specialist

Austin, TX
Full Time
Children's Shelter
Student (College)

Youth Engagement Specialist

SAFE Children’s Shelter seeks a full-time Youth Engagement Specialist to support youth aged 0-21 who are involved in the Texas foster care system in a residential setting. Youth Engagement Specialists provide age-appropriate care, model healthy attachment and attunement, provide supervision, advocacy, mentorship, and create felt safety for the youth we serve.

Every child we serve has trauma in their history. The goals of our residential programs are to; elevate and center youth voice, stand as buffers between the youth we serve and systemic harm, reduce the occurrence of homelessness/ carceral violence/ involvement in exploitative relationships, and to service plan through the lens harm reduction.

About SAFE:

  • SAFE’s mission is our name: Stop Abuse For Everyone. We achieve our mission by acknowledging and responding to the intersection of child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and domestic violence.
  • The SAFE Alliance grew out of the courageous work of the Center for Battered Women, the Austin Rape Crisis Center, and the Austin Children’s Shelter, all respected, women-led human service agencies created by volunteers and informed by survivors who needed support, safety and justice.
  • With over 20 programs and 400 staff, we have been serving the Austin community and beyond for over 30 years.
  • The SAFE Alliance strongly encourages members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color; LGBTQ+ identified people; gender-nonconforming people; individuals with disabilities; veterans; and people who speak a language in addition to English.

About this position:

  • We need you to fill the role of Youth Empowerment Specialist (YES). This is a full time, non-exempt position at our Rathgeber Village Campus. This position is a direct service role requiring physical presence in the Children's Shelter. We will pay you an hourly salary of $18.00 per hour to begin. After 6 months of employment in this position, you will receive a $1.00 increase per hour; at 1 year you will receive a $0.50 increase per hour and at 1.5 years you will receive an additional $0.50 increase per hour. 

Key Duties:

  • Monitoring the behavior and activities of children and youth in a residential child care setting.
  • Providing a safe, comfortable, and nurturing environment.
  • Providing direct care programs and services to assigned children.
  • Serving as a positive role model to the children and youth.
  • Applying approved behavior modification techniques to de-escalate inappropriate behaviors.
  • Performing physical containments of youth when necessary to prevent harm to self or to others.
  • Providing positive reinforcement and support to youth.
  • Demonstrate ability to manage emotions and perform in high pressure and/or crisis situation with calm, care, and unconditional positive regard for youth.
  • Adhere to our Guiding Principles, Mission, Core Competencies and Confidentiality Policy.


  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Have a valid, State of Texas Driver’s License, and:
    • At least three (3) consecutive years of driving experience OR one (1) year of driving experience if over 27 years of age; AND an acceptable driving record. If in possession of an out-of-state license, obtain a State of Texas Driver’s License within 90 days of beginning employment.
  • Possess a High School Diploma or GED (Bachelor’s degree preferred).
  • One year experience working with youth, especially when working with youth in a residential or foster care setting preferred.
  • Pass all required criminal history background checks (including an FBI fingerprint check), as well as submit to a pre-employment drug screen and TB test.
  • All employees are required to comply with policies regarding COVID-19, which may be subject to change. COVID vaccines are still highly recommended, and we encourage employees to get vaccinated if they are able.
  • Due to the increased risk of transmission of COVID -19 in congregate care settings, all staff on campus including Youth Engagement Specialists are required to wear a well fitting N-95 level mask.

About our benefits:

  • Full-time employees receive employer paid health insurance, short-term disability, and life insurance.*
  • Optional dental, vision and pet insurance.*
  • 403(b) retirement plan with an employer match, and 15 days of Paid Time Off (PTO), 4 Personal Holidays, 7 Paid holidays, and more.*
  • We’ll provide you with an amazing work environment where you’ll get to make a difference every day.

​​​​​​​Please note: All new employees regardless of FTE status will be required to start their employment on either the 1st or 16th of the month and will be required to attend a three-day new employee orientation that is held both in-person and virtually.

*Benefits are prorated based on date of hire and hours worked. Eligibility is dependent upon FTE, status, etc.

For the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of our job openings, please visit our career page.


Apply for this position

We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.
Human Check*