“Our mission is to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children successfully rejoin the community, reunify with their families, and build healthy, independent, and secure lives.”
Hour Children was founded by Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, CSJ to support women and families impacted by a mother’s incarceration. The name acknowledges the key hours that impact the life of a child with an incarcerated mother – the hour of her arrest, the hour of their visit, and the hour of their reunification. In 1986, Sister Tesa developed a home in Long Island City for children whose mothers were incarcerated and whom she got to know when she brought their children to visit at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women – the maximum security prison for women in New York State. She quickly realized that the women would need additional support if they were to successfully reunite with their children after their release. Incorporated in 1992, Hour Children has since become a leading provider of wraparound prison – and community-based family services to support women and children as they reunite, stabilize, and transform their lives. Programming is holistic and supportive so that no child’s life is defined by their mother’s sentence, and to set the stage for their mother’s success.
Hour Children’s programs include programming for incarcerated mothers, supportive housing at re-entry and beyond, job training, a community food pantry, programs for children through teen years, and two thrift shops, which provide jobs and training for the women and earn revenue to help fund programming. Hour Children provides services to over 4,500 clients each year, including housing to almost 100 families. All programming and services are united by the organization’s mission and centered on Hour Children’s values:
Every person has the capacity for change;
All human beings are worthy of dignity and respect;
Diversity makes us stronger and is critical for our growth;
One size does not fit all; personalized services are tailored to each individual served;
Hour Children fosters trust with its community through accountability and responsibility;
Hour Children’s commitment starts inside the prison system, providing hope, structure, and support.
Hour Children is governed by a board of 13 members and has an operating budget of approximately $5.5 million. Headquartered in Long Island City, Hour Children has a committed staff of 60 dispersed between programs at: Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, Taconic Correctional Facility, and Rikers Island; housing in Corona, Flushing, Long Island City, Richmond Hill, and Steinway; children and teen after-school and summer programs in Long Island City; and thrift shops in Astoria and Long Island City.
Effectively managing an organization providing comprehensive, wraparound services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children, the Executive Director of Hour Children will provide the overall leadership, direction, and vision for the organization and its programs as well as its advocacy efforts.
Working closely with the Board of Directors and reporting to the President of the Board, the Executive Director will ensure that Hour Children is fiscally and administratively sound and that its infrastructure and programs are well managed and balanced. The Executive Director will engender the trust and confidence of the Board, staff, clients, trustees, volunteers, and donors as well as the greater public. The Executive Director will ensure that client services and programs maintain the highest level of quality, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness while responding to the needs of Hour Children women and their families.
PRIORITIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director will thoroughly understand Hour Children – its history, mission, constituencies, partners, structure, and the value of its programs and services. They will have the following priorities and key responsibilities:
Leadership – Lead with an inspirational and strategic vision that fully embraces the mission;
Supervise, mentor, inspire, empower, and collaborate with a highly motivated, committed, and knowledgeable staff – delegating appropriate responsibilities and authority, holding individuals accountable for specific and collective performance, maintaining morale, and providing direction;
Programs – Know how Hour Children ’s programs are structured, staffed, and funded, how impact and performance are measured, how money is being spent, and what it costs to ensure and deliver high-quality services efficiently; ensure the integration of and collaboration between the different sites as appropriate; promote and further develop the organization’s impact and outreach;
General Management, Administration, and Finance – Understand the elements of Hour Children ’s staffing and finances; in partnership with the Business Manager, establish budget and planning strategies and set priorities that correlate with current and future activities; hold self and the organization to the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and accountability;
Review Hour Children’s systems and modes of communication and data collection; quickly understand and tweak as necessary how the organization measures progress; support its efforts and capacity to track impact and disseminate it both internally and to its funders and partners;
Sustain and further Hour Children’s current diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives with both Board and staff; be intentional about leadership with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens.
Resource Development – Quickly establish relationships with existing key public and private donors in order to facilitate the ongoing flow of support and contributions; grow and broaden the funding base of individual donors, foundations, and corporations; work closely with the Board of Directors to inspire continued and greater participation with fundraising efforts to identify, plan, and execute new and innovative ways to raise money;
Be a fundraiser who is enthusiastic, creative, and strategic;
Public Role – Serve as a highly visible spokesperson and advocate for Hour Children, including at the city and state levels; identify, engage, and coalesce partners that share elements of Hour Children’s programs and services and that also serve those who have interacted with the criminal justice system; strategically position Hour Children as a leader and a model for effectiveness and life-changing, family-saving impact;
Future Growth – Build upon Hour Children’s history of success; develop a vision for future growth and expanded impact.
Establish a strong working partnership with the Board of Directors; forge relationships that will bring forth their best ideas and efforts in support of Hour Children; with the Board President, engage and coordinate efforts of various Board committees; recommend new Board members when appropriate;
Implement Board policies, goals, and objectives.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The Executive Director shall be, will demonstrate, or will have:
Proven leadership, problem-solving, and strategic planning and implementation capability with a nonprofit organization, government organization, or the private sector*, whose stakeholders or partners interact or have interacted with the criminal justice system;
A deep understanding of children and child development as well as a familiarity with issues of substance abuse.
Experience and expertise in human services with a focus on effective delivery of high-quality services that include a social justice perspective;
Extensive operational management experience; able to balance multiple priorities and maintain forward momentum; a keen understanding of the financial and management systems and compliance guidelines required to support a geographically dispersed and complex operation;
Experience in successfully growing an organization; able to decline opportunities that do not fit the mission, envision and operationalize new initiatives that do fit, and understand how decisions – funding, resource, staff allocations, etc. – are being experienced by staff and clients;
A track record of success as an advocate and fundraiser; comfortable at the policy table and the funding table;
A comfort level with technology for both operations and communications including social media, marketing, and external communications; a clear ability to identify and capitalize on public relations opportunities as they arise;
An ability to respect, listen to, and work well with internal and external constituencies from a wide range of culturally diverse groups; a good listener; comfortable receiving feedback and new ideas from many sources; able to communicate effectively at all levels and within a wide range of stakeholders and partners.
1] provided the individual has significant service as a volunteer or nonprofit board member
Hour Children is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of its staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. Hour Children does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. These activities include but are not limited to hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services.