Job Description Life Skills Coach and Case Manager

Life Skills Coach and Case Manager

Our client is seeking an autism-aware, open-minded, creative problem solver who enjoys working with diverse and unique populations to work as a Life Skills Coach and Case Manager with their 23-year-old autistic daughter. 

You will play an instrumental role in helping their daughter move toward greater capabilities and independence: through direct teaching, coordinating supports and services, and monitoring and documenting progress, you will be working directly with her to gain mastery over the skills she needs to live with more independence, greater confidence, and to thrive in a life she designs for herself.

 

Who is their Daughter?

 

Their daughter is a 23-year-old autistic trans woman. She lives in her own apartment, with basic daily living support provided by “supportive roommates” and nearby family. After leaving high school, she spent four years in a day program for autistic adults, which she left of her own volition in the fall of 2023.
 
She is seeking more independence and capabilities, and we, her supporting family, are seeking to assist her in becoming more independent and capable of meeting her basic daily needs. She is capable of much more but will need steady coaching, deployed with finesse, over an extended period.
 
She communicates in a variety of ways: verbally, her back and forth is slower than typical; her ability to understand and interpret outpaces her ability to respond. She is often more comfortable and more fluent in communicating, specifically by text.
 
She is easily emotionally dysregulated: an accumulation of anxiety, a sudden change in plans, or a departure from routine can show itself as anything from mild agitation to a severe meltdown. Medication has helped her control her large emotions, to be more mindful of her feelings, and to communicate her needs better, but she has a lot of room to grow. Tools and practices for anxiety management will be key: things like meditation, better communicating her needs, fitness, and therapy.
 
She requires a lot of daily living support, both direct support (preparing meals, for example) and prompting (reminders to take her medications, to get dressed, etc.) and solidifying personal hygiene routines. This support falls on the shoulders of her roommates and, when they are working, at school, or on vacation, on her family. She wants to become more responsible for her daily activities: learn how to shop for groceries, prepare simple meals, and clean her house. Teaching her these skills will require patience, understanding her strengths and weaknesses, and a slow, steady path toward mastery.
 
She has found it challenging to cultivate a social life. She loves spending time with other people, but it’s proved difficult for her to make friends. She is challenged with the basics of social communication (texting and emailing etiquette) and social norms when face-to-face. 
 
She generally stays at home by herself unless accompanied by someone else. Recently, she has gained some comfort travelling around her neighbourhood by herself: she can pick up a take-out order at a nearby restaurant if it’s ordered for her, for example. But she would like to be outside more, in her community. Since leaving the day program, she hasn’t had a lot of physical activity. She needs help finding ways to get and stay fit and building fitness into her daily routine for overall wellness. 
 
For the last year, she’s expressed a desire to focus more on the future than the past. She is curious and wants to learn more; university, where she audited courses, didn’t work well for her. She needs help focusing her attention on things she’s interested in and finding the right way to bring new learning into her life. 
 
She has had volunteer positions at local non-profit organizations, supported by her day program. She wants to continue this kind of volunteer work but focuses on organizations that support autistic and trans people. She needs help identifying possibilities for things she’s capable of, making contact, and developing a reasonable, workable schedule and support for carrying out the positions. 
 
She is extremely digitally engaged and spends almost all of her free time online. Most recently, this has involved a lot of experimenting with AI through image creation and chatbots. Her laptop and phone are akin to prosthetic devices for her: she’s very wedded to them, and they are a powerful tool—perhaps her most powerful tool—for communicating and engaging with the world. 
 

Who are you? 

 

Our client is seeking an individual ready for a challenging opportunity that allows them to significantly impact one person’s life. Ideally, you possess a knowledge of autism, either through lived experience, close relationships, or work/study. While post-secondary education in human services, coaching, education, or allied healthcare is valuable, other qualifications or lived experiences are equally welcome.
While you will work in close concert with her family, her roommates, and other professionals, you will work much of the time independently. Sometimes, this will be one-on-one with our daughter, doing direct teaching and support, and sometimes doing work or coordination to support her learning and development. 
You have mature teaching/coaching skills. You understand how to take tasks, even simple-seeming ones, and break them into teachable chunks, how to model success, track progress, iterate, and regroup. You are patient enough to communicate with our daughter, verbally and in writing, to offer encouragement, support, guidance, and training; you are kind and courageous; you have a “backbone with a heart” and can apply loving pressure when faced with pushback. 

 

You have leadership skills and strong written and verbal communication skills: you will coordinate her support team and ensure that her support is aligned and that all are working toward the same goals with a consistent approach. You must be able to communicate concisely and with compassion. Learning her way of communicating takes patience and will be essential to overall success. 

 

Her growth depends on carefully setting specific, achievable goals, assisting her in working toward those goals, and measuring progress. You need to be comfortable maintaining systems to track and share her progress with others. 

 

Their daughter is a proud trans autistic woman; you must be 2SLGBTQIA+ aware and positive.

 

The Position and its Core Responsibilities:

 

This position is not a “caregiving” one: with their daughter, daily needs and wants are something over which she wants to develop more mastery and control; the basic essentials of her daily life are managed by her with support from her roommates. While you can expect to spend significant time working one-on-one with her, this role will not involve “supervising” or “looking after” her: the dual focus is instead on helping her build skills and on coordinating the network of support that includes her roommates, her family, and other professionals.
 
We are looking for someone passionate about teaching and learning who is willing to make a focused multi-year commitment to our daughter and her thriving. 
  • Learning 

    • Gain insight into her, greet her where she stands, and see her potential. This will be informed by spending time with her and meeting with program managers and staff, roommates, family, and other professionals who have worked with or supported her.

    • Undergo the “Transition to Life” individualized coach training program from Integrated Autism Consulting and use that training as the backbone for developing an informed approach to working with her.

    • Be curious and creative, constantly learning, researching, and innovating to find best practices and approaches that work well for her learning style and capabilities.

  • Assess and Educate 

    • Assess her developmental needs (life skills, social, learning, employment, housing. community, health and wellness).

    • Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals for her in these critical areas. 

    • Create and deliver—either through direct teaching/coaching or by coordinating the work of others—education to support her in meeting the SMART goals. 

  • Coordinate 

    • Identify and coordinate other resource people (occupational therapist, personal trainer, art educator, etc.) to support her goals and your work.

    • Assist her in coordinating her schedule (and developing systems to allow her to increasingly do this independently).

    • In conjunction with her and her roommates, develop systems that allow her to take responsibility for additional aspects of her life as her capacity grows.

  • Document and Plan 

    • Maintain a progress “dashboard” for her as she works on her SMART goals.

    • Evolve the goals as she progresses.

    • Work with her and others on sketching a longer-term vision for what she wants from her life. 

  • Lead 

    • Take responsibility for leading and coordinating her support team (family, roommates, professionals) through scheduling and regular check-ins.

    • Hold regular meetings with key people in her life to discuss her SMART goals and to ensure everyone is coordinated in their approach to helping her meet them.

  • Manage 

    • Manage a small budget for supplies, tools, and equipment.

Schedule and Compensation 

The salary is between $50,000 and $60,000 based on a 40-hour-a-week flexible schedule, which could include weekends and evenings—a benefits package including drug and dental and paid vacation will be offered.  An allowance for cell phones and internet, including a technology purchase/upgrade allowance, will be provided. Local travel will be required to meet with professionals, accompany her to appointments, and coordinate resources. A valid driver’s license and vehicle are helpful, and a mileage reimbursement allowance will be provided.
 
The work hours are flexible and will vary depending on what goals are being worked on with Her. While you’ll be asked to spend a certain amount of time directly with her, we are focused on measurable outcomes versus “punching a time clock.” Sometimes, you will work directly with her in her apartment and elsewhere; other times, you’ll work autonomously from your own home on research, planning, documenting, and coordinating. This position will require a cell phone, computer and reliable internet access.  

 

If you have a passion for helping individuals with diverse abilities and leading and inspiring, we invite you to apply with a resume and cover letter by Friday, February 15, 2024 through Indeed. If you have any questions, please reach out to Jacqui at jacqui@resolvehr.ca and reference “Life Skills Coach/Case Manager” in the subject line.

As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage all interested candidates to apply. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.