Organization: SOS Children's Villages Illinois

Location: Chicago, IL

Express Interest!

About SOS Children’s Villages Illinois:

SOS Children’s Villages is the largest non-denominational children’s care provider in the world. Today, 450 Villages in 132 nations are home to more than 60,000 children.

SOS Children’s Villages provide abandoned, abused, and neglected children a home and a community to nurture them to adulthood. SOS Foster Children have the unique opportunity to live in villages with their biological brothers and sisters in an SOS single-family home with a full-time, professionally trained foster parent. They receive an abundance of services and resources to heal their emotional and physical wounds and allow them to concentrate on living and growing instead of merely surviving.

For 20 years, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois (‘SOS Illinois’) has provided the highest quality of care for Illinois’ most vulnerable children and families. Currently, SOS Illinois operates four sites and has an operating budget of $13M. Villages are located in Lockport, IL and Chicago’s Southside and Roosevelt Square. Each village offers extensive wrap-around services including comprehensive individual and group counseling, mentoring, educational and cultural enrichment opportunities, and more. Children gain a sense of safety, security, and self- confidence in a highly supportive village setting where they develop a sense of community. In addition to the Villages, SOS Illinois also operates an intervention facility, Casa Tepeyac, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Casa Tepeyac provides two types of services: a short-term shelter assisting at-risk youth ages 10-17 and Family Strengthening Services.

Key differentiators for SOS Illinois include:

  • Comprehensive wrap-around services address the child’s whole self—physical, mental, and emotional;
  • SOS Illinois Children have a 100% high school graduation rate, compared to the 54% for the general population of foster children in the United States;
  • SOS Illinois Foster Parents receive professional training and support to be effective parental figures, receive a salary and full benefits, and have access to a supportive network of other SOS Foster Parents; and
  • Charity Navigator rated SOS Children’s Villages Illinois with a four-star level for seven consecutive years – ranking SOS Illinois among the top 2% of charities in

SOS Illinois puts the child at the nucleus of the home and offers a holistic approach to foster care that touches each facet of a child’s upbringing. At SOS Illinois, children are healed physically and emotionally, and provided with the educational support, stability, and sense of security that allows them to thrive and even focus on their dreams and aspirations.

For more information on SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, please visit:

The Opportunity:

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO) provides leadership for the implementation and improvement of services and programs at each of the SOS Illinois Villages. S/he is responsible for managing all hands-on operational aspects of the agency.

The COO will be a strategic and process-minded leader. S/he will serve as a key partner to the CEO and member of the Executive Management team providing needed input to ongoing development of services and support of the organizational goals and objectives.

A results-oriented management professional, the COO will have tremendous impact by focusing on the refinement and optimization of day-to-day operations through the organization. S/he will identify opportunities and challenges and work across departments and Villages to come up with innovative solutions. The COO will oversee each Village Director (four sites) and the Clinical Director.

As primary liaison with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the COO is responsible for creating and enhancing this relationship. S/he will assure operational compliance with all monitoring and quality services standards especially in regards to DCFS, the Council on Accreditation (COA), Medicaid and other regulatory agencies. S/he will also solicit referrals and development partnerships with other child welfare agencies.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and detailed-oriented leader who is able to effectively manage and empower people to achieve results. S/he must be a continuous learner who has a demonstrated commitment and investment in teaching others. The COO will have a strong work ethic, a commitment to clear goals and measurable outcomes, an ability to learn quickly and work well in teams, and have a passion for the vision, mission, and strategies of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois.

Candidate Profile:

The COO will be passionate about fulfilling SOS Illinois’ mission. S/he will benefit from an intimate understanding of the child welfare community and will work tirelessly to implement and establish strategic objectives for the development and maintenance of SOS Illinois programs and services.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Business Acumen: The COO will be an intelligent self-starter and finisher who is resourceful and entrepreneurial, yet team oriented. The COO will have the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. With the ability to engender trust, honesty and integrity, the COO’s management style will be organized and efficient while at the same time inclusive, allowing for the building of consensus, recognition of teamwork, and the ability to resolve conflict. The COO will be an approachable leader who supports a culture of collaboration among the SOS Illinois Villages and staff. S/he will partner closely with the CEO and Executive Management team and be a calm and proactive communicator at all times.

Leading Teams: S/he will retain and build a talented team that embraces the mission and bring organizational development and improved operational effectiveness. With a ‘roll up your sleeves’ style, this individual will foster trust and collaboration among team members and use teams to address and resolve relevant issues. S/he will effectively establish rapport and effective relationships at all levels and empower colleagues to deliver results. Fundamentally, s/he will respect the work that staff and others are doing in the field and will lead by example. S/he will inspire a staff with a diverse set of skills and provide staff with a productive work environment that result in team cohesion and camaraderie.

Building Relationships and Using Influence: The COO must be able to build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and with the various external constituencies including the Board of Directors, DCFS, and the range of partner agencies and institutions. It is imperative that s/he is an excellent and persuasive communicator with exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership across the organization. The COO will be a catalyst for change and growth inspiring others to think entrepreneurially and inject new ideas. S/he will help to build and retain a talented team.

Passion for the Mission: The COO will have a true passion for the mission of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. On the most fundamental level, s/he will care deeply about the welfare of children and will promote that passion throughout the organization. S/he will embrace SOS Illinois’ culture of service and be a motivational individual with an unwavering faith in humanity. This leader will be an example for staff on how to handle challenging situations, understanding that at times, a sense of humor will carry the day. S/he will have a vision for the social services landscape and will have an eye consistently focused on the future and how to best adapt SOS Illinois to its changing environment.

The COO must have a Master’s Degree from an accredited school of social work, or in other human services field accepted by DCFS standards.

To Apply:

Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. This search is being led by Marissa Martin and Shavon Bell.

To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume using Koya’s online link: or email Marissa and Shavon directly at

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them.  For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit