CARE Navigator (School-Residential)

Job Summary:

The CARE Navigator is an essential team member, responsible for coordinating many services for the Heartspring day/residential student, and facilitating communication between Heartspring team members, parents/guardians, and all other external stakeholders. This person becomes involved with a student, shortly prior to enrollment and remains closely involved throughout the student’s time at Heartspring. This person facilitates transition planning from Heartspring. The CARE Navigator will act as an advocate for the student, and also support the entire family unit, and will be responsible for ensuring parent/guardian training is received and documented. (This role is sometimes described as a “case manager”.)

Primary Functions

  • Works closely with the Heartspring team, parents/guardians, and other external stakeholders (such as school districts, community providers, etc.) to monitor the student’s needs, and act as an advocate for the student
  • Has a genuine interest and passion for the students and families Heartspring serves
  • Serves as the main point of contact for families and external stakeholders when they need to communicate with the team, or ask questions but are unsure of who to reach out
  • Assists to coordinate, schedule, participate in, and facilitate Student Review Team Meetings and the once-a-month ‘call week’. Assumes primary responsibility for maintaining the agenda, taking meeting notes, and following up as needed to ensure tasks are completed
  • Participates in all IEP meetings and other team meetings as appropriate
  • Participates in team training as available and appropriate
  • Coordinates and tracks ongoing parent/family/guardian training for continued learning opportunities, self-care strategies, team collaboration, and to ensure preparedness in future discharge/transition planning
  • Communicates effectively verbally, and in writing, with internal team members and external stakeholders; maintaining professional conduct and confidentiality.
  • Remains knowledgeable of current trends in the social services field and other related areas; attends conferences, workshops, webinars, and other training as needed and shares this new information with Department and team members, families, and external stakeholders as appropriate
  • Promotes positive, proactive discharge/transition planning throughout the student’s stay. Identifies needs and long term plans including daily living skills, a lesser restrictive environment and/or adult services, reunification with parents/guardians, and discharge resources for students and their family
    • Consults with external stakeholders to ensure their knowledge of local resources is fully implemented into discharge planning
    • Works closely with next/future providers to ensure they are prepared to serve the student
    • Communicates with the team to ensure everyone is working towards the same discharge/transition goals
    • Communicates with Director to keep him/her informed and to seek guidance on issues such as family/external stakeholder relationships, internal team issues, funding issues, significant incidents, and general student needs
    • Develop/Utilize a Transition Checklist for internal use; and for parents to follow prior to transition and the following months
    • Works with parents to arrange an enjoyable and memorable graduation ceremony and/or reception for their child
    • Coordinates videos/Zoom calls of the student and the next/future providers for training purposes
    • Conducts Transition Surveys to parents and external stakeholders (including new providers) after the student has exited from Heartspring
  • Conducts self in a positive, respectful, and collaborative manner.  Demonstrates proactive actions and decision-making that fosters supportive work relationships and promotes a healthy, safe, and trauma-focused environment. This includes a professional presentation when representing Heartspring externally
  • Complies with expectations outlined in Heartspring Employee Handbook. Treats everyone with dignity and respect. Serves as a mandated reporter for Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation.
  • Maintains professional boundaries and confidentiality with families, guardians, and other external stakeholders
  • Communicates updates, issues, concerns, general status to families, and referral source(s) and other relevant external stakeholders as needed, and minimally once a month
  • Communicates with Director to keep him/her informed on general student needs, any high needs priorities, problems/solutions, etc.


Secondary Functions

  • Supports implementation of the strategic plan process, may assist in developing department initiatives, and provide helpful feedback
  • Assists with site visits for external stakeholders, and/or for the purpose of discharge/transition planning, and may serve as a back-up for tours
  • Is familiar with individual state requirements of students served
  • Assists families/students in applying for/utilizing Medicaid, SSI, guardianship/conservatorship, and other similar processes
  • Once enrolled: communicates with family/guardians regarding any logistics for the child such as new clothing, other items, receipt of packages, visit details, etc. 
  • Available occasionally for supporting evening and/or weekend hours as needed – for special projects, events, and/or providing direct services to students
  • Leads by example and conducts oneself as a role model
  • Assist with special projects as requested by the Director
  • A general understanding of (or be interested in learning about) different cultures
  • Provides initial response to most concerns and complaints from parents, guardians, workers, and other external stakeholders, working closely with other team members and keeping Director up to date
  • Supports the Department of Family Services in all departmental functions (including Admissions and the CARE Program), when needed/requested
  • Other duties as assigned


Work Environment

  • Office environment, indoors, climate-controlled the majority of the time
  • Occasional outdoors for special activities, events, etc.
  • The environment can be fast-paced, and priorities may change quickly, based on the situation
  • Fast-paced work environment
  • Some work areas are not air-conditioned and some duties require exposure to outside weather conditions
  • Client behavior can be offensive or intrusive
  • Risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids and may require the occasional use of gloves, cleaning chemicals/materials, and PPE.



Educational, Training, and Licensure Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree required; Preferably in Psychology, Social Work or another related field
  • 1-year (minimum) of case management experience (or very similar work experience) required


Physical Requirements

  • Ability to travel may be required
  • Ability to sit for several hours a day
  • Ability to lift up to 15 lbs regularly and up to 40 lbs occasionally
  • Ability to help as-needed, or “on-call” with students/clients in direct care environments; therefore passing physical skills and certification in physical management system
  • Bending, twisting, reaching, lifting, walking, standing, running, squatting, and bilateral manual dexterity to perform interventions and other essential job functions
  • Constant use of overall vision with continuous reading and close-up work
  • Hand and finger dexterity for frequent repetitive writing, typing, grasping, reaching, and pulling
  • Hearing and speaking skills in person, on the phone, and via video meetings/calls
  • Maintain CPR/First Aid certification


Knowledge & Skills

  • Demonstrated experience supporting children, adolescents, and/or young adults diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities (such as autism), or emotional, or mental health needs
  • Requires mental and emotional ability to remain calm, polite, and function effectively during stressful/emergency situations, and with students/clients who may be disruptive, demanding, cognitively challenged or exhibit behavioral outbursts
  • Compassionate to families in crisis
  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Close attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills with a variety of people
  • Ability to be flexible and adaptable, critical thinking, highly organized, and have excellent customer service skills.
  • Professional in all interactions
  • Time management without continual over-sight
  • Excellent oral and written skills
  • Experience with a variety of software applications and understanding database


Heartspring offers a generous benefits package including paid vacation, sick leave, medical/dental/vision insurance, and retirement plans. 

Heartspring is a drug-free campus. Heartspring is an EEO employer. 

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Creating hope and opportunity that changes the lives of children with special needs and their families

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Equal Opportunity Employer

Heartspring is an equal opportunity employer. Heartspring does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability or genetics, pregnancy, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state or federal law.

All job openings are located in Wichita, KS.

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