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Community Responder - California

Think of Us

Think of Us

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Who We Are

Think of Us (TOU) is a Research + Design lab on a mission to fundamentally re-architect the foster care system as we know it, powered by the data, leadership and insights of people with lived experience. The most challenging social problems we face – homelessness, mental illness, incarceration, and human trafficking – share a common intersection point: foster care. That’s why we are sparking, driving, and co-creating a nimble, responsive foster care system that will ensure every person has the conditions from which to heal, develop, and thrive. We partner with leading organizations driving change across the national ecosystem – from the White House to local providers and agencies – to identify leverage points and build solutions.

Think of Us is driving nationwide, catalytic change via multiple coordinated channels, including:

  • Mobilizing and leveraging the collective voice of 38,000 former foster youth into over $400M in Federal pandemic relief funds
  • Collaborating with three consecutive presidential administrations to improve Federal policy, participating in 26 engagements with the White House in the last year alone
  • Inspiring 22 states to commit to eliminating group homes within 72 hours of releasing our groundbreaking Away from Home report, and partnering with six jurisdictions to make this commitment a reality
  • Creating a new model for frontline support, TOU’s Virtual Support Services (VSS) connects individuals impacted by foster care with vital resources. Successfully operating in California, Georgia, and Boston, VSS boasts an <8 hour response time and 95+% of help seekers needs being met.

Our team members share a commitment to driving systems change through creative problem-solving, obsessive curiosity, and a love of quickly driving innovative, measurable, and impactful results.

At this time, Think of Us does not sponsor visas for candidates, and unfortunately cannot accept candidates in the US on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

The Role

As part of our Direct Impact Team, we are offering Virtual Support Services (VSS), a digital resource navigation model that leverages tech-enabled strategies to give young people and families direct access to resources for kinship families in the state of California.

The Community Responder (CR) serves as a navigator - helping to research, call and vet resources based on what individuals tell us they need. The CR also researches and builds our directory of resources (traditional AND non-traditional), including partnerships with virtual solutions beyond the scope of traditional child welfare (e.g. education coaching, telehealth and more).

Centering lived experience is core to everything we do, so experience with the child welfare system – professionally or personally – and living in the state of California is required.


Direct Support (60%)

  • Serve as the primary point of contact for VSS for the state of California.
  • Provide real-time virtual support (phone, text, email) to connect kinship families with resources and services (e.g., completing a housing voucher application, identifying a local organization that offers counseling services and making the first appointment)

Researching and Vetting Resources (40%)

  • Understands the needs data of kin families across VSS to identify local resources that could be a potential quality partner for the Local Partner Collaborative.
  • Actively vets resources to provide warm-handoff referrals to for help-seekers.
  • Identifies the access to care barriers and resource gaps across the state of California.
  • Assist with communications and marketing of VSS efforts across providers and key stakeholders


About You

  • Good Listener: You allow others to fully express themselves, understand both the words and underlying feelings, and process impressions and information without rushing to a conclusion.
  • Problem Solver: You overcome challenges to find a solution, take on demanding tasks to solve complex problems, find the right solutions where others have failed, and view problems as opportunities and take action.
  • Handles Ambiguity: You work confidently with unclear or changing situations. You switch gears easily in response to unexpected demands. You deal with conflicting priorities successfully. You work well in an unstructured environment. Delivers results under rapidly or continually changing circumstances. Makes sound decisions when faced with unclear situations.
  • Empathetic: You identify with the feelings, ideas, and attitudes of others by exhibiting Unconditional Positive Regard, sensitivity to prevailing circumstances and responsiveness to others’ experiences and concerns.
  • Persistent: You are someone who perseveres in spite of opposition or difficulty. You try various approaches to reach a goal and show commitment to completing a job despite obstacles.


The ideal Community Responder in CA will have the following qualifications:

Systems Navigation Experience:

  • Experience accessing and navigating child welfare systems and/or other systems relative to social services
  • Lived experience and/or proximity to child welfare, whether as a former foster youth, kin caregiver, mental health professional, or other is a plus
  • 2+ years of professional experience in mental health or related field

Communication Skills:

  • Strong communication (written and verbal) skills
  • Experience communicating with and serving populations in child welfare (i.e., kinship families, foster youth, child welfare professionals)

Tools and Languages:

  • Fluency in Google Suite and other tech tools like Slack and Asana
  • Prefer fluency in languages other than English, Spanish preferred
  • Adaptability to learning necessary tech tools required for the position


  • Deep commitment to our mission and nuanced understanding of systemic, structural oppression and inequity
  • Demonstrates Unconditional Positive Regard within all interactions to serve our population
  • Unwavering commitment to centering the voices and experiences of people with lived experience in every part of the work

Physical Demands and Working Environment:

The bullet points below are representative of the physical demands and working environment that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made for individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

  • Standard / Remote office setting; proximity to office equipment that includes electronic devices
  • May need to be at a workstation for 50% of the time; will need to use equipment that includes electronic devices
  • Perceive and interact with text, media, and people;
  • Communicate and accurately exchange information with text, media, and people

Work Hours

  • We are seeking candidates for a position that may require irregular hours as part of the job's responsibilities. Our organization values work-life balance and strives to accommodate the diverse needs of our employees. While the standard work schedule may not always apply, we are committed to fostering a flexible and supportive work environment.
  • The nature of this role may involve occasional evening or weekend work, with the understanding that time off or schedule adjustments can be made to ensure overall work-life harmony. We believe that maintaining a healthy balance between professional and personal commitments is essential for our team's well-being and productivity.
  • We encourage open communication and collaboration, allowing for a mutual understanding of scheduling needs and commitments. If you thrive in an environment that offers flexibility and understands the importance of work-life balance, we invite you to apply and contribute to our dynamic team.

In addition to the above, we are structuring this role to provide a learning and growth opportunity for Community Responders - they will receive extensive support, guidance, coaching, and mentorship from our organization.

  • Guidance and direction from the Manager(s) during weekly team meetings, daily working sessions, and weekly conversations
  • Weekly professional development coaching

Compensation & Benefits


Our compensation philosophy is based on transparency and attentiveness to people's holistic needs. We believe that fair and competitive compensation is essential for attracting and retaining exceptional talent, which is crucial for achieving our audacious goals. Our compensation packages include both cash compensation and benefits and all decisions are made in accordance with our financial standing as a not-for-profit organization.

This role is a full-time remote position through September 30, 2024 with a possibility of extending as the initiative evolves. This role has a competitive salary of $65,000-70,000.


  • “Build your office” stipend
  • Medical / Dental / Vision Coverage - We cover 100% of your premium and 50% of your family's premium for our "base" plan
  • Health Care & Dependent Care FSA
  • Employer-sponsored Short Term Disability
  • Employer-sponsored Life and AD&D
  • Voluntary Supplemental Life
  • Voluntary Long Term Disability
  • 8 major holidays + 3 Org wide Breaks over Summer, Thanksgiving, & Winter
  • Flexible PTO
  • Sick Leave
  • Paid Leave of Absence
  • 401k for pre-tax retirement contributions
  • Individual ($1500 per person) & Organizational-wide Learning & Development
  • We hold monthly learning sessions organization-wide to deepen our understanding of foster youth's Lived Experience. We also discuss topics outside of Child Welfare to foster curiosity and growth in our culture.
  • We put you at the cutting edge of change in the child welfare system.
  • We offer you the chance to engage with inspiring leaders in government, foundations, the nonprofit sector, and entertainment who are passionately committed to transforming the child welfare system.