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Family Support Specialist

Supervisor: Assistant Program Director 

Overview: University Settlement is one of New York City's most dynamic social justice institutions, with an impressive legacy as the first settlement house in the nation. For 130 years, University Settlement has been an anchor in the low-income and immigrant communities where we work, offering pioneering programs in early childhood care and education, youth development, eviction prevention, literacy, theater and visual arts, senior services, and mental health. Each year, we engage over 40,000 New Yorkers through our network of 32 sites in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Our mission is to empower residents by building on their strengths through comprehensive, quality services that meet the current needs of the community; innovation that anticipates future needs; and advocacy to improve the community as a whole.

With funding from the NYS Office of Children & Family Services, University Settlement implements a Healthy Families Program in the 10002, 10003, 10009, 10013, & 10038 zip codes. University Settlement Healthy Families is an evidenced based program offering home-based services to expectant families, beginning prenatally or shortly after the birth of the child. Families who participate in the program are offered long-term home visiting services. The Healthy Families New York Home Visiting Program is a comprehensive prevention program that focuses on the safety of children while at the same time supporting families. Home visitors provide families with support, education, and referrals to community services aimed at addressing 4 Major Goals:

  • Promoting positive parenting skills and parent-child interaction, 
  • Ensuring optimal prenatal care and child health and development 
  • Increasing parents' self-sufficiency 
  • Preventing child abuse and neglect

Our program accomplishes these major goals through a strength-based approach supporting parents' skills, parent-child relationships, family relationships, and self-confidence. The program also focuses on decreasing parental stress and integrating a healthy focus on child development within family life. This approach is done primarily through individualized home visits that start during pregnancy and continue until the child enters Head Start and/or till the age of five (5). The Family Support Specialist is responsible for initiating and maintaining a regular and sustainable supportive relationship with families via home based services.


  • Through home visits, engage families and develop relationships based on strength-based model
  • Introduce and lead parent-child activities that support healthy attachment and foster optimal child development
  • Provide daily support and crisis management skills to families
  • Partnering with families, create a plan with attainable goals to enhance parent and child well-being
  • Co-facilitate community based parent-child groups
  • Maintain thorough written records of home visits, family goals, and all required documentation
  • Work collaboratively with community resources and advocate for families when necessary
  • Maintain a caseload consistent with program requirements and meet establish Healthy Families New York Performance targets
  • Participate in staff meetings, case conferences, training seminars and individual supervisory meetings; Some travel for training within New York State may be expected, and may require an overnight stay
  • Conduct initial assessments with expectant and new parents to determine eligibility for home visiting services, as well as connecting families to other community resources
  • Other duties as assigned by program supervisor or program manager


  • H.S. diploma or HSE required; B.A/B.S. degree preferred 
  • Bilingual Spanish or Mandarin/English REQUIRED
  • 1 year experience in Early Childhood, home visiting, parent education, or related field
  • Some experience with and strong commitment to young children and their families required (this may include one's own children) 
  • Understanding of and commitment to community and strength-based work
  • Interest in learning innovative, family centered treatment strategies; commitment to ongoing professional development
  • Knowledge of lactation support preferred but not required
  • Ability to relate to culturally diverse families from a strengths-based family centered model, including in diverse home environments
  • Capacity to foster a supportive environment for families, and function effectively during stressful situations
  • Sensitivity to needs of culturally diverse communities and families
  • Capacity to function as a member of an interdisciplinary team
  • Must be willing to travel via public transportation throughout Manhattan

Hours: 35 hrs per week, with possible evening hours

Salary: Mid $30K, with a generous benefit package

Contact: Submit cover letter and resume to APPLY

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