Staff Openings

Job Opening: Senior Director, Child Welfare Policy


First Focus on Children is seeking a full-time Senior Director for Child Welfare Policy to direct policy by First Focus on Children and the advocacy of First Focus Campaign for Children on the issue of child abuse and neglect and related policy issues of importance to children.

Extra consideration will be given to candidates interested in expanding the scope of the position to work on another policy area, such as immigration, juvenile justice, child rights, child nutrition, environmental health, or education.

First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. First Focus leads a comprehensive advocacy strategy, with its hands-on experience with federal policymaking and a commitment to seeking bipartisan solutions.  Some advocates believe that painting a compelling picture of the problems facing children is enough. First Focus believes awareness is the starting point, not the finish line. First Focus approaches it’s advocacy work, which is performed in partnership with its 501 (c)(4) affiliate – First Focus Campaign for Children – through the following four steps: Raising Awareness, Developing Policy Solutions, Building Will, and Taking Action. 


  1. Develop a child welfare policy agenda, including foster care, child abuse and neglect, and adoption issues with a focus on children and family legislation at the federal and state levels.
  2. Actively participate in coalitions, and with local, state, and national advocates and policymakers to promote child welfare related issues.
  3. Analyze child welfare legislative and regulatory policy proposals for their impact on preventing child abuse and for improving the lives of children in the child welfare system.
  4. Develop, promote, monitor and help to implement new or revised policies and strategies designed to promote the well-being of children.
  5. Represent First Focus outside of the organization at meetings and speaking engagements.
  6. Write reports, briefings, fact sheets, and other written material for dissemination to various audiences. 
  7. Actively participate in achieving shared goals with senior management team in strategic planning, budgeting and fiscal management, child welfare policy development, compliance, external relations, and other leadership activities.
  8. Work collaboratively with other policy leads at First Focus on Children to ensure that we are addressing all of the needs of foster children, including their health, education, housing, immigration status, and other issues related to their well-being and success.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Language Ability:

Ability to produce concise, persuasive and grammatically correct written communication. 

Ability to make effective and persuasive oral presentations to the President, other senior leadership, and external audience including potential donors, community and state leaders, elected officials and partners.

Reasoning Ability:

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, draw valid conclusions and propose relevant recommendations. Manage the organization’s public policy work.

Leadership Ability:

Ability to work across the organization and with child advocates, including former foster youth, at the federal and state levels to build teams and effectively accomplish specified goals and deliverables.


  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (Master’s preferred) with 3-5 years increasingly responsible experience with child welfare policy.
  2. Understanding of federal child welfare financing, kinship care, youth aging out of care, the connection between the child welfare system and other public systems.
  3. Understanding of the federal policy-making process, be adept with key tools in advocacy and policy change, understand the political landscape, and be able to work on issues that require bipartisan support to lead to policy change.
  4. Knowledge of issues facing children and families, especially strong child welfare policy experience. 
  5. Leadership capacity to convene and mobilize a diverse community of stakeholders.
  6. Experience interpreting actions of the federal government in relation to their practical implementation at the state and local level.
  7. Advanced communications skills including public speaking, persuasive writing, and negotiations.
  8. The maturity and confidence to work internally and externally to promote the legislative and regulatory policy agendas.
  9. Demonstrated ability to work with minimal supervision; self-starter.
  10. Knowledge of and/or interest in learning about and leading another children’s policy concern, such as immigration, juvenile justice, or child rights, to help ensure First Focus is able to cover the full array of policy issues of importance to children.


Submit a cover letter outlining your interest in the position and your resume to with “Child Welfare Policy Job” in the subject line.