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The Home for Little Wanderers Congregate Residential Counselor in Waltham, Massachusetts


When you join The Home for Little Wanderers, you join a team of professionals dedicated to creating better, brighter futures for kids.

For over 200 years, The Home for Little Wanderers has helped build stable lives and hopeful tomorrows for vulnerable children and their families. Our 25+ community-based and residential programs serve thousands of at-risk youths from birth to age 26. Many of these children have experienced abuse, neglect, trauma, or a disrupted family life. As the oldest child welfare agency in America, we provide them with safe surroundings, permanent loving relationships, and a secure path toward a better, brighter future. To learn more about the incredible impact our employees have on the lives of children and families, click here:

Join a dynamic team of professionals implementing our trauma informed care model. Support youth in developing the skills they need to successfully transition home to families.

Under the direction of supervisor, primarily responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for clients. The Residential Counselor is expected to be knowledgeable of the program’s mission, treatment philosophy, and policies and procedures and to implement this understanding in their direct care and supervision of clients.

In this position, the Residential Counselor will counsel, observe, and provide behavioral training, outreach support, advocacy and treatment to children and their families to facilitate reunification and/or long-term out of home placement. Additional case management duties include ensuring that the individuals served are supported to lead emotionally and physically healthy lifestyles in preparation for long-term placement. This may include, but is not limited to, exercise and nutrition training, community integration, psycho- educational therapeutic counseling, human rights advocacy, medical advocacy, medication administration, social and life-skills training, as well as educational and life planning.

Position Description

Under the direction of supervisor, primarily responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for clients. The Residential Counselor is expected to be knowledgeable of the program’s mission, treatment philosophy, and policies and procedures and to implement this understanding in their direct care and supervision of clients.

Essential Functions

  • Knowledge and application of program routines/ structure. Maintain a general understanding of the population of clients with whom we work

  • Foster healthy, appropriate relationships with our clients through daily interactions

  • Develop an understanding of level system (cards, behavior contracts, etc.)

  • Supervise and coordinate activities of daily living for students, including hygiene, clothing, chores, and other activities. Assist children with the transition from each scheduled activity.

  • Provide First Aid appropriately as needed

  • May plan and participate in activities with clients/students on an individual and small group (less than 6) level in accordance with treatment plans and goals. Teach age appropriate life skills and social skills through modeling, counseling, and other techniques. Participate in groups and activities designed to enhance growth and development.

  • Participate in off campus recreational/educational activities

  • Maintain a safe and supportive environment. Manage living, dining, educational, recreational areas to provide a clean, organized environment for students. Insure adequate supervision of students through coordination of care with other staff.

  • Provide group and individual behavior support and intervention as trained, including the use of TCI appropriate physical restraint as necessary. Coordinate medical and emergency situations with the supervisor.

  • Communicate through written and verbal means with other program staff on positive skills and accomplishments as well as difficult or challenging client issues

  • Complete all assigned paperwork including time sheet, level card, goal/ level tracking, incident reporting, and 51A’s in a thorough and timely manner

  • Attend trainings

  • Participate in supervision meetings with supervisor

  • May be asked to prepare weekend meals

  • May be required to carry a mobile device

  • Perform other duties as assigned

Driving Requirements

  • May be required to operate a vehicle

  • May be required to have a valid driver’s license and a “satisfactory” driving record

  • May be required to have access to a personal vehicle for use during work hours

  • May be required to use personal vehicle to transport clients on occasion if/when needed

  • If required to transport clients, must maintain the minimum amounts of liability insurance as required by The Home and/or other regulatory requirements and vehicle registration must be current

Education and Experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent

  • One year child care experience in a residential setting with similar population of children

  • Computer literate, including Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, with the ability to learn new software applications

Physical Requirements

Continuous walking, standing, climbing, lifting of objects for 6 – 7 hour shifts. Ability to effectively restrain using proper TCI techniques when needed. Ability to read and write. Must be flexible, may have to work extended shifts. May be exposed to kicking, punching, spitting children.

  • The above is intended to describe the general content and requirements of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. It is not intended to be an exhaustive statement of all duties, responsibilities, or skills required of personnel so classified.

What The Home Can Offer You

In addition to the chance to make a lasting impact on the lives of the youth we serve, The Home for Little Wanderers offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package including:

  • Generous time off including up to 20 days per year for new full-time employees, plus 11 holidays, 5 sick days, and 2 personal days

  • Health and Dental Insurance that is effective immediately upon hire

  • Extensive training to new staff

  • Tuition reimbursement of up to $2,400 per fiscal year

  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with employer match

  • Employer paid Long-term and Short-term Disability Insurance, plus Basic Life and AD&D Insurance

  • And more!

Valuing Diversity

We are committed to excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion, while simultaneously creating a culture that supports those values. We believe the differences we bring enhance our ability to provide exceptional service and care to diverse children, families, and communities. Moreover, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging align with our values and our mission to help vulnerable children and their families build permanent, positive change.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)