Child Welfare Senior Policy Associate

Children Now is a nonpartisan whole-child umbrella research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a unique network of more than 4700+ parent, youth, business, labor, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at including about Children Now’s core organizational values.


We are seeking a highly skilled, detail-oriented, and self-motivated Senior Policy Associate to support Children Now’s substantial child welfare policy portfolio. This position is responsible for connecting with communities, counties, and state agencies to ensure impactful and responsive implementation of new child welfare policies and programs.  This position also plays a central role in developing our child welfare policy positions and proposals, which determine our advocacy efforts at local, state, and federal levels. As a part of the Children Now policy team, this position plays a critical role in integrating our child welfare work with our health and early childhood policy work and includes applying a racial equity focus to child welfare and the related systems that impact children and their families.  The Senior Policy Associate engages in public speaking on behalf of the team and organization and participates in developing publications about child welfare policy for public release.  This position also serves as a key liaison to the organization’s partners and will have some responsibilities related to outreach and development.

This is a full-time position reporting to the Child Welfare Policy Director and will be located in Los Angeles or Oakland. Travel and in-person meetings between Children Now’s other offices and to regional meetings throughout the state and outside of California will be required.

Ideal Candidate

Candidates should be knowledgeable about the child welfare field and other critical issues impacting children and youth, and have experience with program implementation, policy development and advocacy. Experience also with health policy desired. Candidates must have exceptional communication skills (written, verbal, and interpersonal), outstanding relationship building skills, and exercise good judgment in all situations, collaborate effectively and flexibly in a fast-paced environment, and be solution oriented. This position requires someone with a strong work ethic, excellent project management skills, and who thinks strategically, takes initiative, and has a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and a firm belief in Children Now’s mission to improve the health, education, and well-being of all children.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Under the supervision of the Child Welfare Policy Director, the candidate will set goals, develop strategies, and conduct policy, advocacy and implementation work to advance Children Now’s comprehensive child welfare agenda;
  • Manage specific policy, advocacy and implementation projects, both in collaboration with other policy staff and as an independent lead, including contributing to project planning and strategy and ensuring execution of deliverables;
  • Apply knowledge of child welfare programs and policy to projects and publications to inform content;
  • Support strategy development of new child welfare and related issue areas;
  • Represent the organization effectively when engaging with individuals and organizations, conducting presentations throughout the state, and building strong relationships with partners, advocates, policymakers, consultants, and other stakeholders, including participation in key coalitions and development of joint policy strategies with key allies;
  • Conduct research and write policy briefs and fact sheets;
  • Review information from state agencies, gather feedback from communities and county systems, and collaborate with partners to support thoughtful implementation of programs and policies;
  • Provide technical assistance to state and county agencies, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders on policy implementation projects;
  • Provide content support to other teams, including other policy areas (such as Health, K-12 Education, and Early Childhood), Research, Communications and The Children’s Movement of California;
  • Track and analyze legislation, policy developments, and research related to Children Now’s issue areas;
  • Write or otherwise contribute significantly to funding proposals and grant reports to effectively convey the organization’s accomplishments, mission, strategy, and commitment to racial equity and to elevate the importance of child welfare issues in California, and support relationships with current and prospective funders, especially  foundations;
  • Conduct email, phone and in-person engagement efforts for specific informational or advocacy campaigns at the state, regional and local levels, including fast paced, quick-turn-around campaigns related to specific policy opportunities, particularly changes or actions in the political arena; and
  • Build, support, and convene coalitions and facilitate workgroups or meetings.


  • Experience with child welfare or related policy and state agency and/or legislative advocacy;
  • Substantive knowledge of state and local child welfare law, policy and programs;
  • Knowledge of health policy and programs desired;
  • Knowledge of California’s political system;
  • Ability to advocate for and condense complex policy recommendations;
  • Exceptional written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Spanish language fluency a plus;
  • Ability to contribute to non-profit development and grant writing;
  • Skills to effectively build and manage relationships with colleagues, policy makers, partners, community-based organizations, reporters, and funders.
  • Effective multi-tasking abilities and strategic and efficient time management skills;
  • Excellent project management abilities, including the ability to lead early planning and strategy development, incorporate a wide range of contributions of colleagues, partners and stakeholders, and manage multiple components and different stages of implementation;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail; and
  • Highly flexible with a positive attitude and a willingness to take on a range of assignments and to support multiple projects according to priorities.
  • Bachelor’s degree required and advanced degree in law, public policy or related field strongly preferred;


Salary range is competitive and commensurate with skills set and experience. Generous benefits.

To Apply

Please complete the online application form located here. All applicants must attach the following as part of their online application: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) two-to-three-page writing sample, and 4) three to five references (including former supervisors). Please submit attachments in PDF or Microsoft Word format only.

We do not accept phone inquiries regarding the position; please do not call. Position open until filled.

Children Now COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. Thus, Children Now has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy covering all employees. To be compliant with this policy, all new staff members shall be required to provide proof of their vaccine status at the start of their employment, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and approved.


Children Now is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to staff diversity, equity, and inclusion. Children Now values diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our work and views diversity as including differences in race, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, veteran status, job skills, education, and geographic location and any other category protected by law. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.