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Program Design and Innovation Officer

National CASA/GAL Association

Program Design and Innovation Officer

Location: Seattle, WA; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC or Possible Remote

The National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children fulfills society’s most fundamental obligation by making sure a qualified and compassionate adult will fight for and protect an abused or neglected child’s best interest. The mission of National CASA/GAL, together with its state and local members, is to support and promote court‐appointed volunteer advocacy so that every child who has experienced abuse or neglect can be safe, establish permanence and can thrive. Today, only 45% of the abused or neglected children in the system have access to a CASA/GAL volunteer. The National CASA/GAL organization is committed to ensuring 100% of these children have access to a CASA volunteer.

Breaking New Ground
Starting in 2019, National CASA/GAL launched a multi-year campaign, “Change a Child’s Story”. The campaign is an integrated campaign designed to reach out to a wide range of constituent groups and was deployed across a wide spectrum of media. In addition to this campaign, in 2021 National CASA/GAL launched aa strategic planning process to plan for a future that ensures a CASA/GAL volunteer is available for every child that needs one and there is a CASA/GAL program and core model is in every community in the Country that needs one. This new strategic plan will be informing and guiding our efforts through 2030, including development of a new business model, programs and services that increase our impact and improve outcomes for children and families The team that will drive these changes will be hands on leaders, critical thinkers and problem solvers, relationship builders, collaborative decision-makers, as well as effective communicators, and entrepreneurial and change leaders.

Position Summary
The Program Design and Innovation Officer will work as part of a cross functional team in the Program Strategy & Innovation functional area. The Officer is responsible for researching, designing, and implementing new programs, initiatives or approaches to serving children that have experienced neglect and abuse and leveraging and scaling best practices and innovations in the CASA/GAL network. The Officer will explore innovation opportunities as part of National CASA’s long-term strategy to be a thought leader and driver of solutions in the child welfare field. S/he will be leading the design process to develop high quality, context-responsive, evidenced-informed programs, and proposals. This position will research best practices and evidence-based models in child welfare and develop initiatives and new program models in key issue areas impacting children in the child welfare system. Working in partnership with the organization’s issue area specialists, the position will design learning sessions with the CASA/GAL network. In addition to leading program design, s/he will support knowledge management efforts to gather evidence on best practices and lessons learned to improve future programming.

Reporting Relationships
The Program Design and Innovation Officer will report directly to the Senior Program Officer for Program Design & Innovation.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Leverages promising program practices within the CASA/GAL Network that can be scaled and replicated to ensure better outcomes for children that have experienced neglect or abuse.
  • Develops program initiatives that address issues that affect children in the child-welfare system.
  • Leads selected program innovations from analysis through ideation and feasibility studies to a strategic plan and proposal
  • Look beyond current and obvious solutions to design, develop and test new solutions to position the organization at the leading edge of child welfare
  • Develop strategies and program ideas to address emerging issues effecting children in the child welfare system from concept to implementation
  • Takes program vision from conception to design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Conducts ideation sessions to generate ideas and opportunities not currently seen that will advance the mission.
  • Regularly review program portfolio to assess efficiency and effectiveness, alignment with mission, potential for impact and sustainability.
  • Respond to government and foundation requests for proposals and applications in partnership with development and senior staff; coordinate planning and activities necessary for development of model program designs in response to RFPs and RFAs.
  • Develop new programs and pilot projects consistent with CASA’s mission and goals, in partnership with service recipients and responsive to specific community needs.
  • Partner with the Stakeholder Engagement functional area to identify and make decisions on innovative programs funding opportunities
  • Partners effectively with the Data Governance and Evaluation team to ensure concept validity and usability testing
  • Creates compelling presentations and communication materials, and can present to all levels of the organization to gain buy-in
  • Responsible for the coordination of the overall planning, proven-practice program design and needs assessment of initiatives and new programs, including the integration of internal evaluation data and external feedback for future program improvements.
  • Lead interface program evaluation efforts to include evaluation design, analysis, and dissemination plans for program outcomes; Develop recommendations and advice on program outcome reports.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s required, master’s degree preferred
  • 10+ years of experience with three of those in a team management role.
  • 5+ years of experience in complex project management involving multiple stakeholders, data analysis and reporting, and program and curriculum development.
  • Strong knowledge of and demonstrated ability in applying adult learning principles, design, and methodologies, including logic models and theories of change, and creating effective programs for various audiences.
  • Exceptional project management, prioritization, and planning skills with demonstrated success producing high quality deliverables on time and within budget.
  • Experience working in child welfare, government, or nonprofit social services organizations.
  • Expertise in programming for older youth in foster care including volunteer training, recruitment, coaching, retention, and diversity training highly desired.
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multifaceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
  • Experience having worked with a high-performance, collaborative, constructive peer group
  • In depth experience with multiple approaches and leading-edge technologies related to change, performance management, and talent management and leadership development initiatives.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills and high-level presentation skills, in addition to excellent people skills.
  • Confidence and comfort interacting with employees and volunteers at all organization levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to build, develop and foster relationships internally and externally.
  • Experience working across multiple offices.
  • Excellent computer skills (MS Office)
  • Occasional travel may be required

Salary and Benefits
National CASA/GAL offers a competitive base salary plus benefits, generous paid leave, and work/life balance policies. This is a full-time exempt position.

Organizational Values
Adaptability ◦ Collaboration ◦ Integrity ◦ Respect ◦ Quality ◦ Service ◦ Stewardship

National CASA/GAL, headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices in Washington D.C. and Atlanta, GA, is committed to an inclusive and welcoming workplace environment.

To Apply
Please send resume and cover letter to

National Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children