Director of Advocacy & Policy

April 1st, 2021
Director of Advocacy & Policy

Director of Advocacy & Policy

  • Full Time
  • Senior Level
Job Category: Policy/Advocacy
Location: Manhattan
Job Sectors: Other

Children’s Rights is a national advocacy organization that has, for over 25 years, championed the legal rights of children impacted by government systems.  Every day, children are harmed by America’s broken child welfare, juvenile justice, education, immigration, and healthcare systems. These systems disproportionately harm children of color, LGBTQ/TGNC, and other vulnerable youth.  Children’s Rights uses civil rights impact litigation, policy expertise, and public education to hold governments accountable for keeping all kids safe and healthy.  We are seeking a Director of Advocacy and Policy to be an integral part of our organization and our evolving policy and advocacy program.


Job Summary:

Children’s Rights’ core strength is the use of impact litigation to effect deep, sustainable systemic change and hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Our non-legal advocacy complements our litigation strategy but seeks to independently catalyze policy and practice changes at the national and state level in areas of high need for vulnerable children. We have done that by publishing groundbreaking reports and supporting and building coalitions to effect policy and practice changes.  Our advocacy footprint is broad and includes child welfare and juvenile justice reform, disrupting structural racism in child welfare, ensuring that children are receiving physical and mental health services, protecting the rights of system-involved LGBTQ+ youth, eliminating the unnecessary institutionalization of children, and advocating for unaccompanied immigrant youth.  Our strategic plan calls for an expanded litigation and advocacy strategy focused on disrupting structural racism in youth-serving systems and promoting access to critical mental health services for system-involved youth and the broader population of Medicaid-eligible children.

The Director of Advocacy is a member of the executive leadership team, reports to the Executive Director, and will work closely and collaboratively with the Chief Program Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Director of Communications.


Job department:  Policy

Location:  New York City or DC, but other locations considered

FLSA Status:  Exempt



      • Work in partnership with the Executive Director, Chief Program Officer and program teams to conceptualize, develop, design, and implement major advocacy projects at the national and local levels that advance the organization’s strategic objectives.
      • Lead the preparation of reports, white papers, articles, tool kits and other written materials on child advocacy issues.
      • Lead and mobilize coalitions of advocates to advance policy and practice changes in areas of high need for kids and to advance the organization’s strategic objectives around disrupting structural racism and ensuring access to mental health services.
      • Advocate for the implementation of Children’s Rights’ policy recommendations to national, state, and local lawmakers and other public officials.

Provide vital research, quantitative and qualitative analysis and policy guidance to keep staff informed of policy, practice and legislative developments and trends.

Present Children’s Rights’ work at conferences, trainings and other professional gatherings. 

      • Work collaboratively with the Communications and Marketing Department to identify key issues, trends and data that may be highlighted in Children’s Rights communication and social media campaigns.
      • Work closely with the Executive Director and the Chief Development Officer to raise private funds to support the organization’s advocacy initiatives.
      • Maintain an efficient process for providing internal advice to program staff on challenging policy and practice issues around child-serving systems.
      • Supervise policy analysts and interns to carry out the work described above. 


      • 10+ years of progressively responsible experience in policy and advocacy, including in a supervisory/leadership role. 
      • Significant experience in child welfare, juvenile justice, and/or mental health policy/advocacy/management/administration or other relevant children’s advocacy experience.
      • Knowledge of structural racism and racial equity, including demonstrated skill, reputation and confidence in speaking about these topics.
      • Master’s degree in social work, public policy, public administration or related field.
      • Experience in public policy advocacy, including engagement of impacted communities and those with lived experience with systems we seek to reform, policy development, coalition building, and strategic communications.
      • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
      • Strong organizational and project management skills.
      • Strong research and data analysis skills.
      • Sound judgment and strong interpersonal skills.
      • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with high-level child sector professionals and legal advocates.
      • Experience securing private foundation or other philanthropic support for advocacy initiatives a plus. 

Supervisory Responsibilities:

The Director of Advocacy will oversee and coordinate the work of two policy analysts at Children’s Rights.


Physical and Travel Requirements:

Prolonged periods sitting and/or standing at a desk and working on a computer.  Travel is required, although currently curtailed due to COVID.


Commensurate with experience.  Children’s Rights offers a comprehensive benefits package.


To Apply:

Please upload a cover letter and resume via by April 30, 2021.  If you have any additional questions regarding this position, you may send an email to [email protected]Due to the high volume of submissions, only applicants of interest will be contacted.  No phone calls, please.

Children’s Rights is an equal employment opportunity employer, and women, people of color, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, and people with unique lived experience or diverse professional or personal backgrounds and perspectives, are encouraged to apply.

Children's Rights

  • 88 Pine Street, Suite 800
  • New York, NY 10005
  • Phone: 212-683-2210

To apply for this job please visit

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