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Employment Opportunity – Aboriginal Youth Safehouse – Youth Care Counsellor (Tuesday – Saturday, 7am – 3pm)

December 14, 2023

Who we are:

 UNYA has been supporting the health and wellbeing of Indigenous youth in the Metro Vancouver area for over 30 years. As a respected non-profit, charitable organization, we recognize Indigenous youth as experts in their own lives and strive to provide youth with programs and opportunities that are relevant and meaningful to them.

At Urban Native Youth Association UNYA we have developed a Philosophy of Care foundation, drawing from best practices. These philosophies are the grounding framework that shapes all of our decisions and every interaction we have with the youth we serve. Following these philosophies empowers our staff to meet youth where they are at, by giving them the ability to balance flexibility and structure. This allows us to meet our youth’s needs, and ensure that our youth experience a consistent quality of care across all UNYA programs. Our 5 key philosophies are:


  • Trauma-Informed Practice
  • Two-Eyed Seeing
  • Harm Reduction Practice
  • Youth/Person Centered Practice
  • Culture as Therapy

Highlights of this opportunity:

As a member of the Aboriginal Youth Safehouse program team the Youth Care Counsellor is responsible for supporting the youth in identifying their individual needs and setting positive goals for the future. The 24-hour program provides stabilization care and temporary housing to those who do not have a safe space to stay. The position focuses on each youth’s unique strengths and supports them to obtain housing, employment, education, training, and life-skills, as well as to positively address alcohol and drug, mental health, and physical health issues, or anything else youth feel they need support with.  The Aboriginal Youth Safehouse Team reports directly to the Program Manager. This position maintains a schedule of five, 8-hour shifts from Tuesday to Saturday 7am – 3pm.

Qualifications and Conditions:

  1. Educational experience required (example: Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field, 2 years of recent related experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience)
  2. Experience working with the Indigenous community. Must demonstrate a good working knowledge of community resources in Vancouver, particularly youth & Indigenous-specific resources.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of the family and social issues that Indigenous youth face today, including the generational impacts of the residential school system on families and communities.
  4. Must demonstrate the ability to identify with mandate, policies and procedures of the organization.
  5. Must have a criminal record check completed by and satisfactory to UNYA.
  6. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination will be required.
  7. Given the needs of the youth accessing our programs, priority will be given to qualified Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, Inuit candidates as per section 41 of the Human Rights code.
  8. Vehicle/driving abstract/first aid requirements (if relevant to the position)

As members of the Aboriginal Youth Safehouse program the Youth Care Counsellors are responsible for supporting youth in identifying their individual needs and setting positive goals for the future.

As members of the Aboriginal Youth Safehouse program the Youth Care Counsellors are responsible for supporting youth in identifying their individual needs and setting positive goals for the future.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Establish rapport with youth who self-refer to the program. Gather information through interviewing techniques, observing the youth, and soliciting information from professionals involved with the youth.
  2. Assess youth and provide them with a connection to appropriate resources and services.
  3. Implement care-plans and intervention strategies using a variety for techniques, such as the Person-Centered Approach, Family Systems Approach, and Trauma Informed Approach. Provide one-on-one informal counselling.
  4. Create a safe space for all youth and staff by responding to behaviors and situations through a trauma informed lens, modelling respectful behavior.
  5. Demonstrate commitment to the team as a positive, active participant who treats others in a respectful and supportive manner.
  6. Establish and maintain a network of positive working relationships with other UNYA programs and other community programs/resources.
  7. Maintain appropriate statistical records, logs, case files, and client reports in order to meet both UNYA and its funder’s requirements.
  8. Positively and proactively address any concerns, incidents or crises which affect youth participants, program operation and mandate, UNYA policies, and community relations.
  9. Adhere to UNYA’s Philosophy of Care, and all program-specific and organization-wide policies and procedures.
  10. Perform any other duty deemed necessary by the Program Manager or Director of Programs to ensure the safe, healthy, and productive operation of the Aboriginal Youth Safehouse.
  11. May be required to work at other locations within Vancouver.

What we offer: 

  • Salary range: $27.11 – $31.58 (based on years of service)
  • 40 hours a week
  • Comprehensive Benefits package
  • Vacation, Sick, and Wellness days
  • Access to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which consists of no-cost counselling services to UNYA staff
  • Support from UNYA’s Elder in Residence for cultural and spiritual guidance or teachings
  • Monthly Staff development

 How to apply:

If you would like to become a part of this tremendous team, send a cover letter and resume indicating the position you are applying to the attention of the Hiring Manager at [email protected]. Posting will close when position is filled. Only those shortlisted will be contacted.

***We are an Indigenous youth organization whose mandate is to provide meaningful opportunities for Indigenous youth. We encourage qualified Indigenous – First Nations, Metis, and Inuit, applicants to apply. If you identify as Indigenous, please let us know in your application! Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.