Life Skills Coach – Mental Health Specialist

Job Hours:            Full-time, some evenings and weekends required
Salary Range:     $35,000 – $37,000 DOE
Job Location:      Portland, OR


About New Avenues for Youth:  

New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home.  New Avenues works in partnership with the Portland community to provide homeless, foster-care, and at-risk youth of all backgrounds with the resources and skills needed to lead healthy, productive lives.  We are a diverse non-profit organization in our 20th year serving youth.

Our Commitment to Equity: 

New Avenues for Youth imagines a community where all young people thrive and experience health, well-being, and a self-determined home. Historical inequities and intersecting forms of oppression such as racism, poverty, adultism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism, among others contribute to marginalization and exploitation of youth. We believe, to redress youth homelessness and housing instability we must challenge and dismantle racism and other forms of oppression and build relationships within our communities that advance equity.

At New Avenues, advancing equity is an ongoing commitment without closure. We remain open-minded and presume best intentions, knowing that discomfort and conflict are inevitable. We take risks and make and learn from our mistakes. We seek multiple perspectives, strive for transparency, remain humble, and resist the urge to silence hard truths.

The Position: 
The Life Skills Coach-Mental Health Specialist is responsible for providing case management, skill development, resource brokerage and referral, case coordination and advocacy services to former and current youth in care for ages ranging from 16-21.  This individual acts as a Mental Health Specialist on three levels: 1) working with individual youth referred to PDX-Connect who present some of the more acute mental health needs, 2) acting as one of the team leaders on clinical and mental health issues for program youth/staff/interns, including how we’re modifying our services to best meet the needs of youth in the program, and 3) serve as a mental health point person for PDX-Connect with our community partners.

Skills & Knowledge:

  • Basic knowledge of the child welfare system and spectrum of services for youth in foster care.
  • Understanding of the issues of substance abuse, mental health, developmental disability, trauma, abuse and adolescent development.
  • Ability and desire to work with multicultural staff and youth.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work with the Program Supervisor and Foster Care Initiatives Director in developing and delivering community outreach with partners such as DHS.
  • Knowhow to administer range of assessments to determine youth’s current skills and areas of growth.
  • Ability to maintain accurate and timely documentation of all services. Track youth participation in development activities and document youth progress in these activities.
  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Use of personal vehicle for transporting self and clients for work purposes required

Education & Experience: 

  • Master’s degree in social work, psychology or related field or Bachelor’s degree combined with more extensive clinical experience.
  • A minimum of 2 years of experience engaging youth who face multiple barriers.
  • Prior history working with youth who experience developmental disabilities strongly preferred.

New Avenues for Youth offers a very generous benefits package.  To apply, send your cover letter and resume to  Please be sure to include where you came across this opportunity in your response.  You can learn more about New Avenues by visiting our website at  New Avenues for Youth is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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