The Therapeutic & Learning Experiences Coordinator serves as the public and internal point person for the Therapets, Therapeutic Literacy Services, Summer Camps, Animal Friends for Veterans, and other therapeutic or educational programs as offered. This full-time, non-exempt position will report to the Senior Director of Impact & Programs and they will oversee key program staff within the department. As such, it is essential for the incumbent to possess exemplary customer service skills, conflict resolution skills, and an ability to think outside of the box. This position requires a strong desire to serve veterans, youth, people of all ages and abilities in need of therapeutic support, and the animals in our community, while serving as an ambassador for all.
The position oversees the mission and goals of the aforementioned programs, including (but not limited to) the following:
The Coordinator is responsible for leading all phases of Animal Friends Therapeutic programming. This includes volunteer team recruitment, training, evaluation, and communication. Working collaboratively with the Therapets Liaison, the Coordinator will assist in the development and growth of the Animal Friends Therapets certification program for dogs, cats, and rabbits.
Pet Assisted Literacy Services (PALS)
The Coordinator is responsible for leading literacy-based programming which aids in the development of the animal-human bond. The primary duties involve direct management of literacy volunteers and host sites (schools, libraries, and other institutions) for both the PALS and Reading with Rover programs.
Animal Friends for Veterans
Under the Coordinator’s leadership, and as the contact for local, regional, and national veteran organizations, this position oversees the mission and goals of Animal Friends for Veterans. As such, there is a focus on providing individualized and comprehensive animal adoption and behavior services, animal wellness clinic services, spay/neuter/vaccine services, and access to the Chow Wagon pet food bank for veterans. The Animal Friends for Veterans Liaison also works closely with all program partners, program providers, and program users, and is supported by the Animal Friends Veterans Ambassador Council (VAC).
Youth programs at Animal Friends include, but are not limited to, Kids’ Club, Summer Camps, Scout badge workshops/activities/badges/awards, public classes, school visits, field trips, community education, and more. Under the leadership of the Coordinator, the Humane Educator contributes to the mission and vision of Animal Friends by promoting humane interactions between pets and people while instilling the values of kindness, care, and compassion. We want to grow the next generation of animal welfare advocates, and he primary goals are to education the public on the humane treatment of animals with an emphasis on dogs, cats, and rabbits; developing and presenting educational programs; and creating multimedia presentations to promote animal welfare.
- Maintain a working knowledge of all programs and promote accordingly, and also cultivate and respond to new program opportunities.
- Coordinate session requests for host sites, providing necessary permission slips, volunteer information, and reminders. This involves preparing and monitoring volunteer requests and maintaining communication with the requesting site.
- Maintain all program volunteer lists and secure current copies of required volunteer clearances.
- Develop, maintain, and communicate program procedures and protocols.
- Provide training and orientation opportunities for program volunteers (day/evening/weekend options).
- Conduct personal site visits for new program host sites as needed.
- Provide program information and session format guidance when onboarding new sites.
- Order, distribute, and manage all supplies
- Review educational materials for appropriateness
- Collect, manage, and report data regarding program interactions, successes, visits, placements, hours, and other statistics as requested, including writing of weekly and monthly updates.
- Support program-related community events. This requires managing volunteer support before and during the event, table setup and teardown, actively engaging event participants to promote program awareness, and answering questions regarding Animal Friends’ offerings in general.
- Respond to inquiries from program users, in accordance to confidentiality agreement, and refer specific questions to appropriate department(s).
- Observe and provide instruction for children and other individuals petting and feeding animals in designated areas to ensure the safety of humans and animals.
- Develop appropriate vehicles for communication and professionally communicate program guidelines, updates, needs, and information to program users, staff, volunteers, host sites, and the public in a timely, professional, and efficient manner. Respond to questions and requests and distribute resources as needed as well as initiating communication with a wide range of contacts.
- Prepare and plan both on and off campus public appearances, speaking engagements, and other community educational opportunities.
- Participate in training seminars as assigned.
- Work collaboratively with Communications to ensure proper branding of all related program materials and timely promotion of programs.
- Maintain a clean and organized environment including sweeping, mopping, and other light duties as needed or assigned.
- Maintain a professional, courteous demeanor with clients, volunteers and employees at all times.
- Leverage volunteer talent by engaging their assistance within the department, thereby helping us to further our mission and vision.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s Degree preferably in a human services field (Social Work, Psychology, Sociology, Counseling, Education, or similar) required.
- Previous customer service and/or public relations experience required.
- Experience working with volunteers preferred.
- Must have animal handling experience. Prefer animal training experience, but not required.
- Previous experience working with veterans and/or youth strongly preferred.
- Must be a team player and also able to handle difficult situations independently.
- Must possess excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, computer literacy, organizational ability and time management skills.
- Must model positive, professional behavior for staff and volunteers.
- Must have access to dependable transportation and openness to local travel. Valid driver’s license and proof of insurance required.
- Must be able to work flexible hours, including weekends, evenings, and some holidays.
- Must have a sincere interest in the work, programs and mission of Animal Friends, Inc.
- Must possess excellent troubleshooting skills.
- Must be comfortable working with and around dogs, cats and rabbits of various breed, size, age, temperament, background, and health status.
- Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced, high energy environment while being able to prioritize effectively and manage workday hours efficiently.
- Must possess excellent communication skills, including public speaking, writing, and very strong phone skills.
- Must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and organizational ability.
- Must possess strong computer skills and knowledge of Microsoft products.
- Must possess valid Pennsylvania Child Abuse, State Police, and FBI Fingerprint Clearances.
- Must have a sincere interest in the vision, mission, and culture of Animal Friends.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- Communication Proficiency – Ability to express information and ideas to others orally and in writing.
- Customer / Client Focus- Actively seeks out ways to aid Animal Friends guests, program users, and/or volunteers to ensure the best possible customer service is provided.
- Teamwork Orientation – Ability to work with others to accomplish likeminded goals and tasks for the organization.
- Diversity and Inclusion – Ability and willingness to welcome, support, and value individuals with similarities and differences that may vary from your own.
- Stress Management - Ability to maintain baseline behavior / composure during stressful situations.