Program Officer

First 5 LA
Los Angeles, California
69,900 - 104,800
Jun 03, 2021
Jul 03, 2021
Focus Areas
Youth Development
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level


The Program Officer is the project-level subject matter expert and portfolio manager for one or more projects in the Family Supports Team. This role is primarily responsible for advancing First 5 LA’s systems change agenda of policy, practice change and will building through the development and management of projects in the area of Family Supports, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan. They are the content expert in their respective project or program and provides critical thinking in both project and strategy refinements and in the day-to-day monitoring and management of their project portfolio. They serve as both a direct report and content expert to their respective Senior Program Officer and the agency. The Program Officer is responsible for contributing and keeping abreast of essential knowledge, policies and systems developments in Family Supports.    


The Program Officer should demonstrate the adopted organizational values of collaboration, integrity, learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion in the execution of their key areas of responsibility:

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • Project design & implementation
  • Relationship building with internal and external stakeholders
  • Portfolio management

Essential Duties:  

Project Design & Implementation

  • Leads the development and ongoing refinement of strategy-aligned projects given the evolving policy and systems context, consistent with the First 5 LA Strategic Plan under the direction of the Senior Program Officer and/or Team Director
  • Engages in continuous active learning practices and course corrects when needed
  • Ensures projects align with the Strategic Plan priorities, Impact Framework outcomes, investment guidelines and other relevant programs and projects
  • Develops project budgets, scopes of work, and milestones. Executes contracts and provides monitoring
  • Identifies long-term sustainability options for projects when appropriate
  • Identifies capacity needs and mechanisms for capacity building to achieve targeted outcomes; elevates appropriate mechanisms for incorporation into initiative design
  • Keeps abreast of relevant research, practice and policy advancements in the field
  • Spends time learning about, understanding and advancing community voice to inform strategy, project or initiative design and management
  • Keeps abreast of community needs, relevant policies and systems; ensures work and decisions are community-oriented and include and value input from community, including grantees and families
  • Broad understanding of child development and maternal and child health landscape in Los Angeles County

Relationship Building with Internal and External Stakeholders


  • Identifies potential partners and maintains relationships between key stakeholders, as appropriate, to advance strategic objectives; represents First 5 LA on relevant external committees, work groups, and at conferences/meetings
  • Coordinates with other teams to develop mechanisms for internal and external partnership opportunities
  • Collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to promote integration and learning, strategy refinement, and innovation

Portfolio Management


  • Manages projects for progress against deliverables, outcomes or process agreed to; reviews grantee deliverables, scopes of work/performance matrices and other programmatic exhibits and activities for impact and quality
  • Reviews and conditionally approves grantee budgets, invoices and budget modifications, and routes for appropriate approval
  • Participates in reflection and learning across projects and team members to inform ongoing strategy refinement
  • In collaboration with the Office of Data for Action, shares learnings from grant-making and portfolio management to contribute knowledge to the organization and field
  • Oversees and ensures accountability across projects within a strategy; conducts cost and program analysis to consistently recommend program improvements and modifications
  • Ensures grant and contract procurement and management are consistent with requirements of a public entity
  • Applies an equity lens across all facets of programmatic work
  • Advances the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and elevates a diversity of perspectives
  • Adheres to policies and procedures to ensure alignment with State regulations, local ordinances and First 5 LA/First 5 California directives
  • Supervises contractors and consultants, as needed

Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

Organization-wide Competencies

  • Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors
  • Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Is aware of and considers relevant internal & external stakeholders and their needs (customers); identifies solutions to be responsive to stakeholder needs; considers impact when executing daily tasks
  • Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross-functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, public officials and the general public
  • Communicates Effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; demonstrates active listening and comprehension; selects and uses appropriate communication methods to keep others appropriately informed; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences
  • Demonstrates Integrity and Judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of their true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact-based and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
  • Demonstrates Critical Thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to effectively think through problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches
  • Demonstrates Strategic Thinking: Considers issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; identifies alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to layout several points of view on a course of action to accomplish goals
  • Demonstrates Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Supports equal and active participation of people and groups with diverse identities, race, ethnicities, abilities, characteristics, cultures, socio-economic status, opinions, and beliefs; continuously challenges assumptions, and is mindful of unconscious bias, and leverages differences; understands historical and current context and root causes of inequities within society, systems and institutions; values a diversity of perspectives and encourages contributions by all team members 

Job Specific Competencies


  • Role Specific Content: Knowledge of evidence-based and emerging maternal child health practices, parenting education and culturally competent program design and implementation knowledge of strategies to build integrated, universal home visiting systems and improve family engagement and program quality in existing systems; understanding of effective practices to build and sustain systems of home visiting, including funding, advocacy, and evaluation practices and local, state and national models that can inform First 5 LA’s efforts; understanding of the relationship of home visiting and other parent engagement practices, programs and systems to prevention-related child welfare, public health, mental health and social welfare policies and funding streams, eligibility requirements, service providers and service strategies
  • Project Management: Works in an organized manner with strong attention to detail; comfortable with “big picture” thinking and moving towards larger, systems-level goals; ability to effectively manage overlapping projects and deadlines; ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities; integrates changes smoothly; ability to manage high performance projects  


  • Minimum of five years of experience in one or more of the following areas is preferred: policy and systems improvement, program development, grantmaking, research, direct service delivery and/or evaluation
  • Significant experience in fields relevant to First 5 LA’s strategic plan, including early care and education, public health, child welfare, community development and civic engagement, mental health, early identification and intervention, parent engagement and support preferred


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in social science, health, education, or a related academic field preferred

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Proficiency in web-based collaboration and/or meeting platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Sli-do etc.)
  • Ability to use widely supported internet browsers

Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:

  • Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
  • Valid automobile liability insurance

Travel Requirements:

  • This position requires travel locally, statewide and nationally as needed


Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The employee will sit, talk, hear and use hands up to 2/3 of the time. The employee will stand and walk up to 1/3 of the time. The employee is routinely required to carry and/or lift up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.