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Family Finding Foster Care Specialist

Family Finding Foster Care Specialist

Requisition Number 
Posted Date 
Support Workers
Employee Type 
Hours Per Pay Period 
Work Hours 
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Weekends and/or Holidays Required 
On Call Required 
Position Location 
US-MI-Grand Rapids

More information about this job


Samaritas, one of the state’s largest faith-based nonprofits, has been sending ripples of positive change into Michigan communities since 1934. Prior to 2016, Samaritas operated as Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.


Samaritas provides a continuum of care to all in need with approximately 70 different programs in 40 different locations in Michigan. We believe in diversity and inclusion, for the people we serve and the people we employ. Employing nearly 2,000 employees in opportunities ranging from direct service to management in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, we hope that you will consider joining the Samaritas team and help work in making a difference in communities across Michigan.


We walk with people in need, offering hope and compassion while upholding their dignity, advocating for equality and justice, and seeking creative solutions with those who place their trust in us.


Job Summary


The Family Finding Specialist works with youth in care in finding permanency through a supportive network of connections. This position discovers any lost connections and engages them to form a lifelong network for the youth; identifies and nurtures family strength building and other family attributes to enhance the safety and well-being of children.


Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Completes a comprehensive, detailed genogram for each youth referred to include potential placement options.
  2. Identifies, locates and tracks relatives, fictive kin and/or significant adults from the referred youth’s life.
  3. Utilizes online databases, and other online search venues to locate relatives, fictive kin and/or significant adults for each youth.
  4. Assesses potential placements following policy and makes recommendations to the foster care and licensing teams regarding these placements.
  5. Engages identified family members/potential supportive adults using a strength-based approach.
  6. Prepares members/potential supportive adults’ by determining their cultural and language needs, transportation needs, and confidentiality and safety issues.
  7. Collaborates with the foster care and licensing teams to create plans for initial contact and ongoing rapport building activities between the youth and the family member/potential supportive adults.
  8. Assists in developing a transition plan for the youth if placement is recommended.
  9. Maintains a sense of urgency throughout the process and motivates the team toward proactive action. Proactively identifies possible barriers and works with the team to collectively problem-solve and monitor possible solutions.


Job Qualifications


Education, Training, and Licensure/Certification

  • Bachelors’ degree in a human services field required.



  • One-year experience working in child welfare or related service setting preferred.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to work creatively and effectively in a team setting as well as independently.
  • Ability to implement treatment plans, goals and behavioral interventions as established by the EFC team.
  • Ability to speak, read and write English. Fluent in the language of the clients served preferred.
  • Ability to communicate professionally and effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to gather information from clients, and incorporate relevant information.
  • Ability to interact with compassion, sensitivity and empathy to children.
  • Effective problem solving skills.


Additional Work Requirements

  • Required to attend and participate in trainings and other professional development activity, including those outlined by the EFC contract and Council of Accreditation (COA) requirements.
  • Unrestricted, valid driver’s license with good driving record. Reliable personal transportation suitable for safely transporting persons served; proof of current automobile insurance.


Physical and Mental Requirements

  • Actively facilitates and participates in meetings with high level of concentration over extended periods of time.
  • Near visual acuity.
  • Hand-eye coordination.
  • Hand and finger dexterity.
  • Ability to lift and carry small children.
  • May need to physically assist older children weighing up to 100 pounds.