STARS Family & Youth Advocate

Pittsburgh, PA

STARS (Striving to Achieve Resilience and Success) Family & Youth Advocate is a part-time or full-time position. 

Scope of Responsibilities: The STARS (Striving to Achieve Resilience and Success) is a strengths-based, community-based, youth-driven advocacy program for youth identifying as girls who are involved in, or at risk for involvement in, the juvenile legal system. STARS uses a trauma-informed model of care to increase girls’ access to resources. The STARS Advocate’s role is individualized to the needs of the client. Provide advocacy support to meet a girl’s individual needs and goals and connecting them to community resources.

Essential Job Function:

  • Build a rapport and establish a supportive relationship with your girl to advocate on her behalf.
  • Provide support and opportunities for your girl to learn and grow and meet their goals and needs.
  • Your role will include:
    1. Facilitating communication skills for providing a strengths-based narrative to critical individuals (such as client’s guardian, guidance counselor, case manager, lawyer, judge etc.);
    2. Mobilizing visits to potential employment settings, counselor appointments and court dates; and
    3. Targeting organizations in youth’s context to secure resources that meet the youth’s unmet needs
  • Must meet with your client in person two times per week; providing 8-10 hours of advocacy on your client’s behalf, including meetings.
  • Conducts quarterly assessments regarding the girl’s progress in the program.
  • Must document sessions held with your girl via completion of weekly progress reports, contact logs, and field journal entries and participate in written weekly supervision feedback.
  • Incorporates Sanctuary tools and practices into everyday interactions to create a trauma- informed environment. Upholds the principles of Sanctuary to provide a therapeutic framework and culture.

Educational/Knowledge Requirements: Minimum requirement is a High School Diploma. An ideal candidate should be working towards a Bachelor’s or Master’s in a relevant discipline; Lived experience is a plus.  

Experience/Minimum Requirements:

  • Must have experience working with special needs/at-risk girls and families, with experience in providing gender-specific, trauma-informed approaches to prevention/intervention services.
  • Must participate in 40 hours of intensive mandatory training.
  • Knowledge of inequity issues that impact girls and young women of color.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complex issues that impact girls living in underserved, low socioeconomic areas.
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented atmosphere.
  • Knowledge of guidelines and regulations of all levels of Service Coordination Services.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills. Strong organization skills and ability to pay attention to detail.
  • Must be able to commit to working approximately 8-10 hours per week.
  • Must be available to work evenings and some weekends when required.
  • Willing to work in and travel to various neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.
  • Valid PA driver’s license with excellent driving record, reliable vehicle, insurance 300,000/100,000 and registration required.

Clearances Required:  PA Act 33 (Child Abuse) / Act 34 (Criminal History) / Federal Criminal History Record (FBI Fingerprint) / National Sex Offender Registry


Gwen’s Girls, Inc. is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, or national origin.  This policy includes the handicapped and all Vietnam-era veterans.  Gwen’s Girls utilizes only job-related criteria in making decisions concerning applicants and employees. 

NOTE: This position description is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees in this job. It is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills that may be necessary for this role. Personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.