Marin CASA

Marin CASA

Executive Director

Position Description

Painter Executive Search is supporting Marin County Court Appointed Special Advocates (Marin CASA) in their search for an Executive Director to lead the organization in increasing its diversity and deepening its impact by ensuring that every foster child in Marin County has access to the transformative support of a CASA volunteer.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA/CASAs) provide consistency and support for children in the Marin County Juvenile Court System who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. Each trained volunteer CASA is responsible for making recommendations to the court regarding safety, a permanent home and the well-being of each child assigned a CASA.

Marin CASA is one of over 900 independent nonprofits within the national CASA network. Each organization works within a specific geography under court appointments to gather and learn information that is critical for decisions regarding children under care of the social welfare system. CASA volunteers form a one-on-one relationship with a child and get a full picture of the case in order to advocate on the child’s behalf for services and to make recommendations regarding permanent homes. For more than 40 years CASAs have been standing up for the best interests of children and supporting children by their consistent and focused attention and care.

Marin CASA is a small organization with a large impact. With a small and highly experienced team of 5 full and part-time employees, Marin CASA develops and runs regular training, actively supervises and supports the CASA volunteers and builds visibility and financial resources for the organization. With a budget of less than $600K they train and support a pool of volunteers to meet the needs of the court. In 2020 Marin CASA trained and supervised nearly 70 volunteers who provided services to more than 100 children—over 3500 hours of time. Marin CASA is a financially stable organization with strong programs that enjoy good standing with the Marin County Juvenile Court Judge.

Each year the number of volunteers ready to serve increases and so does the need. While Marin CASA generally has a trained CASA available when requested, there is a constant and ongoing need for the pool of CASAs to reflect the diversity and cultures of the children served. A critical goal of the organization is to increase diversity within the organization and within the pool of trained CASA volunteers.

POSITION SUMMARY

The Executive Director (ED), reporting to the Board of Directors, will have overall responsibility for leading all aspects of Marin CASA’s programs and operations and building the visibility and resources to fulfill its mission.

This role requires exemplary and culturally competent communication skills, successful experience in fundraising and partnership development and keen resource management. The ED must be able to cultivate and maintain strong and authentic relationships with a wide range of partners and community leaders. The ED works with program leaders to ensure continued positive engagement with the local social welfare agency and the court and seeks out opportunities to deepen relationships with government leaders, other nonprofit executives, as well as funders and donors. The role requires a leader who can engage in fostering the healthy communication and self-care required of this environment which is impacted by the trauma often experienced by the children they serve. The ED will steward and advance an internal culture that reflects the compassion, fortitude, and hope that the agency holds for its clients.

Well-honed communication skills including public speaking, written communications, and knowledge of public relations, social and traditional media skills will be beneficial in building visibility for the organization. Authenticity is key. This person must be able to speak knowingly of the challenges these youth experience and be passionate about creating stability and safety for them. The ED must be able to successfully engage with individual donors and other funders to build support for this work and communicate the lasting impact that a CASA can provide to a child.

This role is hands-on in all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the organization including scoping and managing technology to support the work, developing business processes and vendor management, as well as human resources. Together with a contract bookkeeper and Board support, the ED is responsible for budgeting and financial matters. The role requires strong problem-solving skills in service to the programmatic needs of the organization and the vision to imagine new ways to build strength and resilience for the organization.

Working closely with the Board Chair, the ED will help to expand and strengthen the Board. The ED will create opportunities for deeper Board engagement and increased fundraising activities. The ED is an important conduit of information to the Board about the needs within the county and new models emerging in the sector. Together with the Board and staff, the ED will grow the organization’s impact with individual clients and at the county level around awareness and support of these youth.

Marin CASA’s prior ED also held responsibilities as the Director of Program. In the newly configured roles, those responsibilities have been separated allowing the ED to focus on building the resources and operations to support a larger staff and program. A new Program Director will be recruited to engaged in the overall program management, supervision of CASAs and program staff.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Marin CASA recruits, screens, trains, and supervises volunteers who are provided with more than 30 hours of formal training, ongoing supervision, and regular continuing education opportunities. Marin CASA volunteers remain with the child from when the court requests support to the end of each case, sometimes years later.

Each CASA advocates for the child’s fundamental needs including medical, mental health, educational, cultural, and a permanent home. The CASAs review records and research information; they talk to everyone involved in the child’s life. CASAs have contact with social workers, attorneys, parents, teachers, family members, foster parents, health professionals and, of course, the children themselves. They build a relationship with the child, learn his or her unique history and provide consistency and stability during an extremely difficult time in that child’s life. They consider the child’s wishes and formally present to the court their research and recommendations for care. Marin CASAs advocacy is driven by the guiding principle that children grow and develop best with their family of origin if that can be safely achieved.

The value of a CASA cannot be overstated. CASAs have the unique opportunity to be focused solely on the best interests of the child. By being a consistent and caring presence in the child’s life during a time of great disruption and uncertainty, a CASA can be the one stable thing a child experiences. Research shows that outcomes for youth who are provided with a CASA are significantly better than those without this support.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Leadership

  • Represent Marin CASA in a way that embodies the organizational values, reflects cultural competence with the diverse communities of Marin County and builds support for the organization and foster youth;
  • Provide vision and leadership to the Board and staff with an eye to building organizational capacity to meet the demand for these services and ensure Marin CASA’s positive reputation within the community;
  • Be an effective and visible advocate for Marin CASA and for those it serves; represent the organization to key partners, supporters, and the public;
  • Be a capable partner and contributor to the work of California CASA and the national CASA organizations;
  • Work closely with the Board to ensure strong Board governance; assist the Board in the recruitment of board members and actively inform the Board of anything of importance to the successful operations and strategic direction of Marin CASA.

Fundraising and Communication

  • Be the chief advocate and external face of Marin CASA; cultivate robust partnerships, steward new and prospective donors, recognize and deepen relationships with current supporters, and educate the public-at-large to further Marin CASA’s mission and sustain the organization;
  • Effectively and appropriately represent the organization to the public; be a compelling and passionate advocate for the organization and the needs of youth in the child welfare system;
  • Ensure that the Board is supported in its fundraising efforts, grow the Board’s capacity and comfort in fundraising activities, and allocate appropriate staff time to sustain these efforts;
  • Actively reach out to a wide range of constituents including philanthropic decision-makers, advisors, nonprofit partners, corporations, and individuals to develop their support for Marin CASA;
  • Ensure the organization’s fiscal sustainability by actively participating in fundraising including growing individual support through major donors, developing, and maintaining key foundation relationships and critical contacts in local, regional, state, and federal government and agencies;
  • Plan and facilitate Marin CASA’s fundraising events and donor communications;
  • Facilitate grant development and reporting.

Operational, Program and Staff Management

  • Recruit, nurture and inspire a passionate, diverse professional staff; clearly delineate responsibilities with appropriate authority and establish accountability;
  • Support and partner with the staff to ensure programs continue to meet Marin CASA’s high standards for addressing client’s needs;
  • Ensure the staff and volunteers have access to the tools, training and information required for managing their programs and areas of responsibility; encourage open and productive communication;
  • Prepare and present the annual budget to the Board for approval, regularly review and report variances;
  • Facilitate the organization’s day-to-day operations to meet the organizational needs and ensure compliance with the national and state CASA standards;
  • Provide regular reporting to keep the Board appropriately informed of any significant change in financial or operational status; ensure organizational risks are well known and managed;
  • Ensure compliance with all policies, legal and contractual obligations.

EXPERIENCE

A successful ED candidate will likely have:

  • A strong competence with diverse cultures and life experiences combined with demonstrated leadership skills; Experience with social welfare, mental health services and the foster care system highly valued;
  • Fundraising skills and the passion to effectively communicate the mission of Marin CASA, actively develop and steward donors and advance key partnerships;
  • Hands-on financial and business management skills; nonprofit experience highly desired;
  • Experience as the face of an organization; well-developed interpersonal skills including excellent oral and written communication skills; excellent listening skills; Spanish language skills a plus;
  • Experience working with a Board; capable of partnering to strengthen the Board’s capacity;
  • Able to build a culture that prepares and cares for those who are navigating deeply challenging and sometimes traumatic situations;
  • A history of strong collaboration; someone who actively seeks strategic partnerships and develops effective relationships;
  • Emotionally mature, someone who is both confident and approachable; who inspires and honors trust and confidentiality;
  • Solutions-oriented; able to inspire possibility and retain attention on accomplishing important work;
  • Resourceful—able to set goals and respond to challenges creatively;
  • Deep appreciation for volunteers; committed to deep listening and continued learning;
  • Exercises the highest ethical and behavioral standards.

For additional details or to submit your resume and cover letter for review, please contact;

Nancy Painter

Nancy@painterexecutivesearch.com

(415) 202- 6240

Marin CASA is deeply committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all of its employees. This commitment means Marin CASA actively seeks and employs qualified persons in all job classifications, and administers all personnel actions affecting employees without discrimination on the basis of ancestry, age, color, disability (physical and mental, includes HIV and AIDS), genetic information, gender, gender identity (including transgender identity), gender expression, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin, race, religion (includes religious dress and grooming), sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Marin CASA conducts reference checks and criminal background checks on all new hires. Applicants for employment must consent to these checks. Marin CASA requires the following background screens: Livescan with Child Abuse Central Index, Social Security Verification, National/Local Sex Offender Registries, Megan’s Law, OFAC (government watch list) and National Criminal Database. A candidate whose background check is unacceptable to Marin CASA will not be hired.