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Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America
JOB #R2101694

Senior Policy & Practice Specialist - Child Welfare

Job Description

ICF is seeking a Senior Policy & Practice Specialist to the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau (CB), provide thought leadership, subject matter expertise, anticipatory thinking and support facilitation, coordination, identification, and oversight of the execution of the Associate Commissioner’s priorities for advancing national efforts to address racial disproportionality and inequity in the child welfare system, and that strengthen the capacity of families.

While this position is based in Washington, DC, you will be expected to work from home until it is safe to do so from the office. We will continue to make decisions pertaining to office access based on public health directives and guidance, practicality, and overall business requirements.

Key Responsibilities:

The Senior Policy & Practice Specialist will provide direct support to CB’s Associate Commissioner and will serve a key role in advancing CB’s priorities. Duties could include (but are not limited to):

  • Provide direct support to the Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau to develop, communicate and advance Children’s Bureau priorities.

  • Apply a race equity lens to the child welfare system, research, and practices that will inform innovative approaches to address the disproportionate representation of children of color in the child welfare system.

  • Collaborate with partners to incorporate and emphasize the voices of individuals with lived experience in the child welfare system to inform planning and implementation of strategic priorities.

  • Exercising initiative in identifying areas in which the Children’s Bureau’s priorities can be advanced within the Federal government and among other stakeholder groups.

  • Interface and collaborate with ACF and CB leadership and staff; work across CB divisions; understand and apply appropriate standards of confidentiality and information sharing between the client agency and ICF.

  • Interact, engage, and collaborate with local, state, and national stakeholder groups in substantive ways to promote and implement CB’s priorities.

  • Use and apply public child welfare agency experience to support the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies to support Children’s Bureau priorities.

  • Identify and/or create new and innovative strategies to achieve the Children’s Bureau’s priorities and goals.

  • Identify opportunities for collaboration to support the Children’s Bureau’s work.

  • Maintain current knowledge of and relationships with key organizations and strategically leverage these relationships.

  • Enhance and extend state-of-the-art practices and strategies in the field of child welfare.

  • Maintain excellent communication among diverse staff, including CB, contractors, and related staff at all levels, while maintaining high ethical standards with respect to confidential information.

  • Prioritize and manage multiple, high profile tasks under tight deadlines.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or other professional degree, in social work, public policy, public administration, or a related field.

  • Minimum of 12 years’ experience in leadership positions in public child welfare systems and/or related programs and activities associated with child welfare, e.g., legal/judicial work in child welfare, with recognized expertise and credibility across the spectrum of child welfare topics required, with experience at the State or local level strongly preferred

    • Demonstrated understanding of and ability to think critically about the factors that contribute to children and families’ involvement in the child welfare system, with a specific focus on underserved and disproportionately represented children and families

    • Demonstrated in-depth understanding of issues related to State and Federal law, policy, and funding and the roles of the Children’s Bureau in advancing national policy and practice.

    • Knowledge and understanding of child welfare reviews including data and data systems reviews and their findings.

    • Knowledge and understanding of Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSR) policies and procedures; national outcomes trends and program improvement plans (PIPs).

    • Knowledge of evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to strengthen child welfare systems

  • Must be able to obtain government public trust clearance.

Personal Qualities:

The candidate must demonstrate strong capacity for strategic thinking, leadership, and strong influence at the national level. The ability to anticipate and analyze challenges from multiple perspectives and apply solution-focused strategies to a variety of issues is essential. The ideal candidate will be able to work in highly collaborative and multidisciplinary teams while also working well independently and at times, with high level direction only. The candidate must possess exemplary interpersonal skills, with the demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff at all levels of the client organization, including the highest levels of Federal and State leadership. The candidate must demonstrate the ability to work well in a fast-paced environment and plan, manage and complete multiple, high-profile tasks under critical timelines. The candidate must show a high degree of commitment to accuracy and detail and be able to adapt to different management and work styles.

Working at ICF

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth. If you’re seeking to make a difference in the world, visit to find your next career. ICF—together for tomorrow.

ICF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. (EOE – Minorities/Females/ Protected Veterans Status/Disability Status/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity). For more information, please read our EEO & AA policy.

Reasonable Accommodations are available for disabled veterans and applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process. To request an accommodation please email and we will be happy to assist. All information you provide will be kept confidential and will be used only to the extent required to provide needed reasonable accommodations. Read more about non-discrimination:  EEO is the law and  Pay Transparency Statement.

DC Client Office (DC88)

Who is ICF?

A global consulting services company with +7,000 people across +70 countries, but we are not your typical consultants.

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ICF is growing, and we add new open roles to our site regularly. If you're waiting for that perfect opportunity at ICF or want an inside look at what it's like to do world-changing work, join our talent network to stay updated.

Join our talent network

ICF is growing, and we add new open roles to our site regularly. If you're waiting for that perfect opportunity at ICF or want an inside look at what it's like to do world-changing work, join our talent network to stay updated.