Pierce County Emergency Sanctuary Therapeutic Childcare Specialist (Full-Time)

  • Tacoma, Tacoma, WA, United States
  • Full-time

Company Description

Full-Time Position - 40 hours per week; Sunday-Tuesday 8am-6pm and Floating 10 hour shift

Amara works to ensure that every child in foster care has the love, support, and comfort of a committed family – as quickly as possible, and for as long as the child needs. We work with foster and adoptive families who are committed to caring for children, whether for a month, a year, or a lifetime.

Amara has an Emergency Sanctuary in King and Pierce Counties, and we are seeking a full-time Therapeutic Childcare Specialist. This is a 40-hour-a-week position that includes weekend shifts. Come join an excellent team of direct care providers!

The Amara Emergency Sanctuary serves up to five children at a time, for up to 72 hours per child, in a homelike environment. These children, ages 0-12, have just been removed from their homes for their own safety by Child Protective Services. They enter our care at a critical time and in a highly vulnerable state. The Therapeutic Childcare Specialist is focused on helping children feel safe, nurtured, and prepared for their next step into a relative, foster, or foster/adoptive family placement. 

Therapeutic Childcare specialists provide trauma-informed care to the children at the Sanctuary. They are responsible for ensuring that the children at the Sanctuary are cared for and engaged in appropriate recreational activities. While on shift, all therapeutic childcare specialists all have additional duties related to housekeeping, meal planning, activity planning, provision stocking and sorting, recordkeeping, and communicating with state partners and other private, non-profit partners. Overnight staff members have additional duties related to housecleaning, laundry, clerical duties, and special projects. During gaps in placement, staff members may be asked to assist the program team with other tasks related to Amara’s foster care and adoption services.

Amara believes that a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enhances our ability to fulfill our mission. We strive for equality and justice in the way people are treated and the opportunities they have to succeed by working to address racism, unequal treatment and other barriers to inclusion. We strongly encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds (including communities of color, the LGBT community, veterans, and people with disabilities) to apply and join us in our work.

Job Description

The Emergency Sanctuary Therapeutic Childcare Specialist reports to the Program Manager. Responsibilities will often be shared with trained volunteers. Paid staff will lead in decision-making, liaising with state partners, reporting, and ensuring compliance with agency policies and procedures. Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Facilitate intake and discharge of children, partnering with State caseworkers per established protocol
  • Ensure all children in placement are directly supervised at all times
  • Ensure children receive Initial Health Screen from qualified medical partner and any urgent treatment needs are met; transporting and accompanying children to medical facility
  • Ensure children are fed, bathed, clothed, rested, and provided with new or additional clothing and sundries; preparing meals and providing direct care
  • At all times and regardless of child's displayed emotions or behaviors, act as a safe, accepting, nurturing adult; identify signs of distress and provide comfort and calming
  • Engage children in play or recreational or learning activities as appropriate to their capacity and interest; take children on field trips to approved locations
  • Complete all required paperwork, including daily logs, eating, activities, etc., and periodic reports to Program Manager
  • Help with daily tasks of keeping a home clean, tidy, safe, warm, and welcoming
  • Maintain confidentiality and appropriate professional boundaries with all parties at all times
  • Regular attendance is an essential function of this position


  • Strong and visible commitment to the safety, health and well-being of children
  • High school diploma or GED; AA or Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Knowledge of child development
  • At least 21 years old
  • One year minimum experience working directly with children; two years of social service education may substitute for one year of work experience
  • Ability to think and act independently
  • Patience, empathy, flexibility, and a sense of humor
  • Ability to communicate and work well with all types of people and positions, including children in placement, State staff and law enforcement personnel, and agency volunteers
  • Ability to remain calm and supportive, and meet the emotional and physical needs of children of varying developmental stages, in an active environment.
  • A valid Washington State driver’s license and the willingness and ability to safely transport children in agency van.
  • Employees who have their own vehicles must be able to provide proof of auto insurance and may be required to use their own vehicle for work purposes on occasion
  • Flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings, overnights, and weekends
  • Ability to continuously stand or walk
  • Ability to bend, squat, climb stairs and lift frequently
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds while standing, walking, going up and down stairs, squatting, twisting, etc.

Additional Information

Salary and Benefits

Pay is $16.50/hour with a shift differential for nights and weekends. Generous personal leave and benefits package, including paid time off, health, dental, life and disability insurance, 401K plan, and sabbatical.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume highlighting what experience, skills, and/or personal characteristics qualify you for this position. Please indicate how you learned about this opening. No phone calls, please. Applications will be welcomed and reviewed until the position is filled.