Director of Child Welfare

National Indian Child Welfare Association (Portland, Oregon)

Posted 4 weeks ago

Supervisor: Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy
Department: Program
FLSA Status: Exempt, salaried
Salary: $58,492–$78,569

Position Summary:

The director of child welfare of the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is responsible for empowering and supporting Native communities to improve the lives of their children and families. This challenging and rewarding position has overall responsibility for the management and delivery of all aspects of this program and must carry out the following specific responsibilities:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Technical Assistance
    • As assigned, ensures the provision of accurate, timely, and effective technical assistance services, such as assessment, consultation, training, and development of program tools, to all requests for technical assistance from specific grants, contracts, and partnerships
    • Ensures that services provided by this position are shaped by and responsive to the communities served as well as culturally relevant
  • Training Activities. In partnership with the director of events and training, ensures that training is provided in response to current and emerging issues to increase the level of competence of child welfare and other professionals serving Native children and families, that training materials and methods are professionally sound and culturally relevant, and that positive working relationships and partnerships with tribes and organizations are fostered. Serves as the primary NICWA child welfare trainer
  • Requests for Information. Responds with compassionate social work support, information, and referrals to telephone and email requests for information from family members, relatives, service providers, and court personnel about navigating the child welfare system, implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and services for Native families and children
  • Management. Ensures sound management of the program’s services and administrative duties, including implementation of the program’s work in accordance with organizational goals and objectives, grants and contracts requirements, financial requirements, and interagency planning and relationships
  • Quality Assurance. Ensures continuous quality assurance and improvement of program and project activities
  • Supervision. Directly supervises personnel activities for community development staff

Essential Functions:

  • Supervises program staff, including orientation, training, hiring, promotions, disciplinary actions, merit awards, salary increases, leave approvals, performance coaching, and appraisals
  • Facilitates supportive and effective partnerships and collaborative relationships with recipients of technical assistance for child welfare services and other related topics, such as tribal communities and programs, and ensures that the needs and the solutions to meet those needs are appropriately identified, shaped by, and responsive to the community, building confidence and ownership of the solutions, and are culturally relevant
  • Facilitates identification of and access to resources to meet a program or community’s child welfare needs, such as funding, partnerships, systems development, operations, evaluation, intergovernmental relationships, and staff development
  • Coordinates the technical assistance and training efforts in the program’s contracts and partnerships, with timely response to requests, appropriate assessment of need, recommended consultation/training, development of program tools, and follow-up activities, also ensuring appropriate and timely communication with contract officers and partners regarding activities and joint efforts
  • In partnership with the director of events and training, supports the coordination of training opportunities, such as development of training topics, curriculum design, and training delivery strategies to continuously provide the best resources for child welfare and other professionals serving Native children and families to provide effective, culturally relevant services. Serves as the primary NICWA child welfare trainer, conducting 10–20 trainings per year
  • Coordinates site planning for provision of child welfare technical assistance and training and other meetings related to projects, including preparation of agenda and meeting/conference flyers and coordination of registration, presenters, evaluation process, and reports
  • Administers the program’s grants and contracts, ensuring accountability and quality control—that services/deliverables are performed according to approved scope of work and timelines, and sound budget and fiscal management of all program resources is maintained—and authors a variety of written materials, including grant/contract/other program reports, technical assistance documents, curriculum, articles, proposals, etc., in a professional and timely manner
  • Carries financial authority as approved by the board of directors and executive director to obligate funds, negotiate and sign off on program supplier contracts and interagency agreements; such authority also includes participation in finalizing program budgets, and ongoing financial monitoring as outlined in the organization’s financial procedures manual
  • Monitors new and potential challenges, trends, and promising practices in Indian Country related to child welfare, supports NICWA’s capacity to respond to emerging issues, and promotes community awareness of these issues by making or arranging for presentations to conference and meeting audiences in a professional manner
  • Ensures NICWA’s evaluation process is implemented for all program services, including specific requirements outlined in grants or contracts, ensuring that high-quality services were provided in accordance with NICWA’s established quality assurance standards
  • Ensures that the board of directors, executive director, and other staff are kept abreast of related program information in a timely manner

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Perform other duties and assignments as directed
  • Participate in NICWA activities and teams as required


This position works under the direct supervision of the director of government affairs and advocacy. This position provides supervisory responsibilities to community development staff.

Standards of Conduct:

  • Models ethics, integrity, and accountability
  • Exercises sound judgement
  • Adheres to accuracy and quality standards
  • Contributes to NICWA’s learning community
  • Manages workload effectively
  • Manages adversity
  • Develops strategic perspectives
  • Displays professional effectiveness
  • Promotes NICWA’s mission, vision, philosophy, and goals
  • Builds organizational knowledge
  • Maintains constituent focus and builds constituent knowledge
  • Champions change
  • Builds relationships
  • Communicates effectively and powerfully
  • Demonstrates cultural competence, treating all people with dignity and respect
  • Fosters collaboration and teamwork
  • Inspires and motivates others to high performance
  • Abides by NICWA policies, procedures, and organizational structure
  • Supervisors are expected to:
    • Staff effectively, utilize talent, and empower staff
    • Foster a culture of continuous improvement and offer recognition and rewards as appropriate


  • Has a master’s degree in social work, social services, or a related human services field and at least two years of experience in the field or equivalent specialized experience
  • Strong knowledge of Native culture and social service systems with demonstrated working experience with tribal organizations, tribal service systems, and tribal government structures
  • Has knowledge of the Indian Child Welfare Act, and its implications for policy and practice
  • Has knowledge of how to direct, coordinate, and implement an effective and culturally competent comprehensive social services program with expertise in Indian child welfare and working in Indian Country
  • Has skill in working in interagency and intergovernmental relationships, showing ability to act as effective liaison between staff, upper management, and other departments
  • Has ability to meet with, solicit the cooperation of, and deal effectively with tribal councils, boards, individuals, and public and government agencies
  • Demonstrates use of good facilitation skills
  • Has skill in interpersonal relationships, showing sensitivity, empathy, and sense of fairness to the needs and opinions of others
  • Enjoys supervising staff working in a team environment, with specific emphasis on ability to supervise staff to foster contentment, motivation, and competency and to advocate on behalf of their needs
  • Acknowledges progress and positive efforts and demonstrates a willingness to quickly resolve conflicts
  • Demonstrates understanding of the planning process and its use as an effective management and project management tool
  • Must have ability to organize multiple tasks and/or projects while working under strict deadlines
  • Demonstrated knowledge, experience, and ability to actively cooperate in a team environment, both in leadership and peer relations, and motivate others to do the same
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication (including listening, writing, speaking), customer service, and time management skills essential
  • Proficiency with operating a variety of office equipment and computer hardware/software applications; specifically, Microsoft Office products are required with the ability to capably use other software such as Zoom and Smartsheet
  • Ability to analyze and problem-solve

Travel Requirements:

This position will travel approximately 30%–50% of work year.

Working Environment:

This role operates in an office environment, and routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and filing cabinets.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be c onstrued as exhaustive; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change with or without notice.

NICWA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, disability, veteran, or any protected status.

To Apply:

Complete application materials include: a cover letter, resume, and NICWA’s employment application (which can be found on the Employment Opportunities page of our website here.

Please submit completed application materials to: Email:

ATTN: Human Resources
5100 S Macadam Avenue, Suite 300 Portland, OR 97239

Job Features

Job CategoryAdministrative