Upbring Careers

Recreational Specialist

Job ID
Regular Full-Time
# of Openings Remaining


Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is a 135 year-old nonprofit organization with a rich legacy of serving vulnerable people across Texas. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Upbring serves more than 30,000 people annually and provides innovative programs and services for children including foster care, adoption, education, residential treatment and community services. For more information, visit Upbring.org.


The Recreational Specialist is responsible for implementing and maintaining on ongoing activities program and points program for the residents.


Essential duties

  • Design age-appropriate activities for the residents.
  • Supervise residents during activities, on and off campus activities.
  • Maintain recreational supplies and equipment.
  • Provide cottages with recreational schedules and supplies.
  • Ensure directions and guidelines are presented during activities.
  • Participate in cottage and staff meetings utilize positive child management techniques including verbal redirection, de-escalations and physical containment.
  • Reinforce positive behavior by providing healthy, positive incentives for residents.
  • Be a positive role model for residents.
  • Maintain safe and orderly environment for residents.
  • Maintain calendar of scheduled events and activities for each resident.
  • Document residents progress in activities for monthly & quarterly reports.
  • Model constructive behavior and communication skills.
  • Conduct recreational admission assessments.
  • Teach residents about money management skills using the allowance accounts and a point store.
  • Facilitate team building and other groups.
  • Develop extra activities for intense level youth.
  • Works with the Business Office Manager to keep track of all financial expenditures.
  • Keep up with all required training hours according to minimum standard.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Program Director or Team Lead


Working Relationships

  • Coordinate responsibilities and appropriate activities with other organizational programs and components.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with management, staff, residents, families and sponsors, community partners, and professional service providers.
  • Work closely with the Program Director and staff to ensure residents are receiving the highest quality of care and the program is operating efficiently and effectively and is meeting the goals and objectives of the program and the needs of the resident.
  • Work as team player and exhibit professional behavior and a positive attitude with both internal and external clients that reflects positively on the Agency and is consistent with Agency policies and practices.



Minimum qualifications

  • Minimum of one (1) year experience in a social or recreational program within the last five (5) years.
  • Possess interpersonal skills, as well as organizational and planning skills.
  • Ability to work as a positive team member.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Possess sensitivity to the service population's cultural and socio-economic characteristics.
  • Ability to establish a respectful relationship with persons served in order to help them gain skills and confidence.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other personal and/or service providers or professionals.
  • Capacity to maintain a helping role and to intervene appropriately in order to meet service goals.
  • Value a nurturing family as the ideal environment for a person.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to empowering others to solve their own problems.
  • Demonstrate a conviction about the capacity of people to grow and change.
  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision.
  • Possess a valid driver's license and have and excellent driving record.
  • Ability to lift 120 pounds safely with assistance.
  • Ability to accomplish, with or without assistance, physically and emotionally demanding containment of a resident, when necessary, using proper techniques.
  • Ability to work effectively within a church related agency and specifically, with the Lutheran Church constituency.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Social Services, Human Services, Psychology, Special Education, or closely related field
  • 3 years relevant experience in a social or recreational program within the last five(5) years.
  • Experience managing challenging behaviors



  • Ability to stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, stand, walk, push, pull, lift and grasp.
  • Must be able to perceive the attributes of objects such as size, shape, temperature and/or texture by touching with skin, particularly that of the fingertips.
  • Ability to express and exchange ideas via spoken word during activities in which they must convey detail or important spoken instructions to others accurately, sometimes quickly and loudly.
  • Hearing to perceive the nature of sounds with no less than 40 db loss @ Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz with or without correction; ability to perceive detailed information through oral communication and to make fine discriminations in sound.
  • Perform repetitive motions with wrists, hands and fingers.
  • Be able to exert up to 100 pounds of force occasionally and to be able to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects.
  • Work requires a minimum standard of visual acuity with or without correction that will enable people in the role to complete administrative and clerical tasks and visually observe residents on the unit and in therapeutic activities.


The physical requirements for this position with or without reasonable accommodation are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. While performing this position the employee with or without reasonable accommodation should have the ability to walk, stand, sit, kneel, speak, and hear with aid, see, read, reach with arms and hands, and use equipment that is essential to performing the job, such as a computer, copier, fax machine, telephone, and automobile, if applicable. This position requires frequent walking and standing and sitting for long periods of time. It may require the moving, carrying or lifting of items or residents greater than 50lbs with or without assistance.


The statements herein indicate the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by an employee in this position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job. Management may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities of the job and may request the employee to perform other duties and responsibilities not listed at his/her discretion. This job description is not a contract between the employee occupying the position and the employer. Upbring is an at-will employer.


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