Primary Careworker

As a Primary Careworker, you spend one year engaged in relational ministry with teenagers.

The one-year a Primary Careworker training program has three goals:

  1. Experience deep relational ministry with youth with challenging life experiences;
  2. Live in intentional Christian community with a cohort of other primary careworkers;
  3. Experience deeper feelings of discipleship, discovering more insights about your calling as a Christian leader.

Relational Ministry

You are the primary support person for a youth to develop the courage to become an independent adult. And, more importantly, you seek to show the love of Jesus Christ to them by showing up in all of the details and commitments of everyday life.

Your job is to love youth as well as you can. That means you spend a lot of time together strengthening your relationship with them. We provide 24-hour supervision of youth, and a primary careworker’s schedule goes from 2:30pm until 8:00am the next morning – you spend the evening with youth who have spent the day at work or at school. During the evening, you spend lots of time with them. Knowing the need to “earn the right to be heard,” you’ll plan activities, have deep conversations, and simply waste time together. The schedule is routine but unusual: you’ll work two consecutive days and then have two days off, also working every other weekend.

Our youth need regular guidance, affirmation, and redirection. When you need to do that, you’ll make a ‘withdrawal.’ from the bank: you’ll engage in conflict, and how kids respond often depends on how much you have in the bank with them

As a primary careworker, your job is to love youth as well as you can. That means you spend a lot of time together strengthening your relationship. Knowing the need to “earn the right to be heard,” you’ll plan activities, have deep conversations, and simply waste time together. When you do that, you fill up your ‘bank account’ with the youth.

Our youth need regular guidance, affirmation, and redirection. When you need to do that, you’ll make a ‘withdrawal.’ from the bank: you’ll engage in conflict, and how kids respond often depends on how much you have in the bank with them

Living in intentional community

We are located in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, a city of over 500,000 people. The Dale House is 20 minutes away from mountain hikes and less than two hours away from the skiing, hiking, camping of the Rocky Mountains.

When you live at the Dale House, you join with other Primary Careworkers in a cohort model, where you experience . Your apartment is across the street from where youth live, and you share housing with other staff in the program with you.

We are a place where you will -inevitably- enter into conflict with youth and fellow staff. We commit to working through those challenges, discovering how relationships can become stronger through effective reconcilation.

Form disciples

Our supporters describe the Dale House as the place where the Gospel is most real in Colorado Springs – because it has to be. The relationships at the Dale House can be challenging, especially as we seek to love kids as Jesus sees them. As a community, we encourage each other to see how Jesus is presenting new lives to everyone in our community – both youth and staff.

As a primary, you receive training on how to care for kids given their backgrounds, trauma histories, and unique interests and goals. Primary careworkers’ jobs touch on so many possible career paths that you will finish the year with a strong sense of your strengths, challenges, and passions for ministry.

What are we looking for?

Each year, staff join us from all over the United States to experience an intentional, in-depth exploration of Christian ministry among hurting youth. This job covers a wide breadth of activities: in a given shift, you may go on a bike ride with a kid, then cook dinner for 15 people, meet with a local case worker, then have a difficult conversation with a kid for going AWOL when they should have been at work.

Because you work on a team of people, we understand that teams are stronger when people have a variety of strengths. Some people are naturally ‘fun’ and able to draw kids out of their shells to participate in house activities, while others keep track of many details for the rest of the team. At the Dale House, we don’t have a specific template of what we’re looking for – other than having a willingness to reflect on your strengths, receive feedback on where you can improve, and to ultimately, discover more about your God-given calling: as Frederick Buechner says, where “Your deep gladness meets the world’s great hunger.”

To do that best, the main criteria is someone with a mature Christian faith who is seeking to grow closer to Jesus by growing deeper in relationships with others.

Qualifications

Primary Careworkers must either have a bachelor’s degree, or one year of postsecondary school with three years’ experience in serving people. You should be at least 22 years old.

You should be willing to live in intentional community in our provided housing in Colorado Springs.

New staff usually join in June or September – but immediate openings are currently available.

This position is designed to provide broad exposure to Christian ministry, social work and counseling, and non-profit management.

Why this is a great place to work

The Dale House Project has been training Christian leaders since 1971. Originally founded via Young Life, the Dale House became a separate entity about 20 years ago. But, we still maintain ties to Young Life, including receiving benefits from our parent organization. When you work at the Dale House, you receive full medical, dental, vision benefits. We also provide housing in expensive Colorado Springs, with convenient access to all of the activities of the Rocky Mountains!

We have fifty years’ experience in forming Christian leaders and supporting youth. When we have polled former staff about their experience, here are some of the lessons they say they learned from their time at the Dale House:

My time at the DHP altered the way I view the world.

I learned how to love people well and fully. Loving people where they are at. Patience.

I learned how important it is to get the job done.

I learned more about my pastoral vocation than I did from five years in seminary.

I saw the importance of eating with people.

I learned how far saying “I’m sorry” goes.

Staff became chosen family, and that helped me model what family and love looks like to kids.

The Gospel, no matter who you are, is the only thing that heals and fills the wound of the human condition.

I learned how much pain is in the world, and how tough and precious it is to get to share in struggles with others.

Even when they leave, kids still need family. They need someone who knows them.

Your first step to apply is to fill out a two-minute inquiry on our website, www.dalehouseproject.org/trainingstaff

Stats

Organization name:
The Dale House Project

Denomination:
YoungLife

Contact:
info@dalehouse.org

Location:
7 West Dale St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Website:
http://www.dalehouseproject.org

Date Posted:
January 2, 2022

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