Chief Operating Officer

Center for Family Representation

Posted: 2/19/2021

Position Type: Full-Time

Function: Other

Primary domain: Human Services

City: New York

Postal code: 10013

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$10M - $20M


Mission statement:

Our mission is to keep families together. We provide legal and social work services to vulnerable families facing separation through foster care and juvenile detention. CFR works to eliminate the harm of foster care and juvenile incarceration on children. Youth who experience lengthy stays in foster care fare poorly, as do those who are incarcerated, with poor educational and mental health outcomes and greater risk of homelessness and criminal justice involvement as adults. We believe families and youth are better served with supportive services in their communities and legal and social work advocacy designed to keep families together and stable. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


For the past 18 years, the Center for Family Representation (CFR) has served primarily Black and Brown families whose children are at risk of foster care or incarceration, addressing the underlying causes of family instability with attorneys, social workers and parent mentors. We founded CFR with a handful of staff and a $250,000 budget and now serve 2400 clients each year with 120 staff and a budget of over $13 million. 92% of our clients are people of color, a third face criminal charges in addition to child welfare investigations, a fifth have experienced partner violence, 28% identify as non-citizens and a quarter will experience homelessness. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of our service model at preserving family safety and integrity, and at saving millions in reduced foster care costs. Our model is being replicated nationally. CFR works to prevent or minimize the time any child must spend away from family to minimize the harm of separation and the long term, harmful effects of lengthy foster care or incarceration. CFR’s early work was in providing holistic and interdisciplinary legal representation to parents facing child welfare investigations and prosecutions for child maltreatment. Over the past four years, we’ve expanded, and our service model now includes a Juvenile Justice Practice, to represent youth in family and criminal court, and our Home for Good Initiative, which provides interdisciplinary representation to clients in immigration, criminal defense, housing and public benefits advocacy and administrative proceedings to improve our clients’ employment opportunities.

The financial impact of CFR’s model is significant.  At least 86 cents on every dollar goes directly to programming, and  CFR estimates it has saved the City of New York close to $50 million in reduced foster care costs. 


The Center for Family Representation is seeking a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to serve as an organizational leader, and as strategic partner to the Executive Director, CFO and senior agency leadership. The COO will oversee talent management, human resources, operations, some vendor management, administration, and information technology. 

Reporting to the Executive Director, the COO will manage at least 2 direct reports and a total team of 5 staff, as well as 2-3 consultants who may be assisting CFR with discrete projects. 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Organizational Leadership 

  • Partner with the ED, CFO and Practice Directors  on strategic planning efforts, including ensuring that each practice area has the support it needs to meet its goals and insure that those are aligned with the overall organizational priorities

  • Plan and participate in regular senior leadership team meetings and management retreats to come together to reflect on progress toward goals and to plan for the next stretch of work, ensuring alignment with organizational priorities and working with executive leadership on strategic planning 

  • Serve as culture builder and carrier; supporting CFR to uphold its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Serve as a culture carrier, leading by example, mentoring and influencing others, especially senior staff, supervisors and program directors, and listening deeply to the whole staff

  • Build systems and processes that will enable program, development, and infrastructure teams to work together collaboratively and effectively

  • Serve as a thought partner and sounding board to the Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, and team Directors

Talent, Culture, and Human Resources

  • Design and refine all human resources processes to ensure they reflect best practices, including in recruiting, performance management, professional development culture stewardship, and all staff relations

  • Oversee CFR’s efforts to codify and institutionalize its values and culture, and to embed its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into organizational practices and culture; in particular, this person will be responsible for designing routines to address microaggressions, and regular programming to support all staff in discussions on their work together as it is impacted by race and DEI issues

  • Develop and oversee staff  relations processes, anticipate challenges whenever possible, and develop, recommend, and initiate appropriate steps for resolution; ensure appropriate systems and structures for decision-making and conflict management

  • Refine and implement annual goal setting processes; develop professional learning programming that supports organizational and individual staff goals

  • Establish a cohesive vision for performance management, succession, and workforce planning 

  • Ensure best-in-class recruitment practices, with a focus on hiring high-performing and diverse staff at all levels

  • Work with Executive Director, CFO and management  to ensure that CFR is managing its relationship with its union effectively; be first point of contact for the Union and train and support management staff on the implementation of CFR’s first union contract; lead and coordinate efforts to negotiate renewal union contracts.

Operations and Infrastructure 

  • Ensure CFR is working with the most up-to-date tools and resources available and is readily able to leverage technological systems and solutions to meet goals

  • Work with the IT Director in planning to ensure connectivity and communications needs are met; keep abreast of appropriate ways to enhance the organization’s technology infrastructure and ensure staff have the IT skills necessary to meet their goals

  • Oversee CFR’s  IT infrastructure, managing the Director of IT, external vendors and internal staff to ensure CFR has the technology to work both efficiently and effectively

  • Oversee vendor management, office administration, space planning, relocations, facilities maintenance, and disaster planning, supervising at least two administrative staff and, at various times, contractors, and consultants

  • Serve as organizational leader responsible for management of CFR’s legal matters related to Operations and Infrastructure, working with outside counsel, as needed, to manage CFR’s legal affairs

  • Provide support in areas such as corporate compliance, employment, and intellectual property 



The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A commitment to social justice, and to supporting Black and Brown families and youth or similarly marginalized and racially harmed populations, working with interdisciplinary teams to achieve these goals

  • Minimum of twelve years serving as an organizational leader, with a track record of leading organizational development and human resources, and strong knowledge of information technology, contracts, vendor management, and operations

  • Experience defining and stewarding organizational culture with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, with the intellectual depth and maturity to work with the Executive Director, CFO, Deputy CFO and program directors, as well as supervisor and senior staff

  • Deep experience leading and managing diverse teams, serving as a coach and mentor to management staff in a range of functional areas, particularly around giving constructive feedback, developing supervisory skills, assessing the need for progressive discipline and supporting professional growth of staff reporting to managers 

  • Demonstrated success managing, advising and partnering with program and development teams, helping them manage toward goals in an agile and flexible way

  • Outstanding organizational and project management skills with an overall execution orientation and high attention to detail


Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience. 


Commensurate with Experience

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


The Center for Family Representation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and staff. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, or current employment status. 

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with common purpose.  We’re partnering with the team at the Center for Family Representation to build a diverse team that works to promote justice for families and youth. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

Posted By: On-Ramps


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