Chief Program Officer


Department: administrative

Essential Functions:

Reporting to the CEO, the Chief Program Officer (CPO) is responsible for leading CCCS mission delivery efforts and managing a comprehensive array of services and initiatives. Overseeing approximately $4.5M in agency revenue and 68 program staff members with three direct reports, the CPO will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for all CCCS programs delivered across multiple sites.

The CPO provides leadership to the strategic planning process and will implement new programmatic initiatives as dictated by the plan. In addition, the CPO has a key role on the leadership team, serves as an external advocate for CCCS, serves as the liaison to CCCS’s program partners and staff support to the Program Services Committee thus working with CCCS’s Board of Directors to keep them apprised of program related strategies and challenges and outcomes.

The CPO also sets the tone for ensuring the agency’s quality of service to clients through consistent attention to data, processes and procedures and continuous quality improvement methods. This position engages staff at all levels in evaluating and improving service outputs and outcomes. He/she will review on an ongoing basis services being offered and develop new programs as needs emerge. He/she will be responsible for all program activities pertaining to licensure, human rights, personnel, finance, and contracts.

Key Responsibilities:

Program Leadership and Management

  • Provide strategic leadership, direction and monitoring of agency programs

  • Play a significant role in the creation and implementation of the agency’s current strategic plan

  • Implement organizational vision as established in CCCS’ strategic plan

  • Ensure that organizational policies and procedures are well documented and regularly updated

  • Provide administrative oversight in translating agency policies and procedures into effective programs and services

  • Oversee all post-adoption requests and responses with support from designated team members

  • Work with staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management and service delivery

Knowledge Management

  • Create and ensure the implementation and monitoring of an annual Performance Quality Improvement Plan. Provide leadership in building and sustaining a culture of inquiry and continuous improvement based on data and implement changes targeted at process or program improvement.

  • Keep abreast and maintain knowledge of current and developing trends, research and best practice models in the areas of early childhood education and development, youth development, child welfare, social services, and leadership and management.

  • Assume a lead role in the community or program needs assessment process(es) when required by funding sources or for the agency’s strategic planning process.

  • Assure that the agency’s programs are in compliance with licensing, regulatory and accreditation standards.

Team Building and Development

  • Lead a high performing team of program supervisors and directors

  • Attract, develop, coach and retain high-performing team members empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control and performance.

  • Provide reflective supervision for program supervisors modeling superior agile leadership.

  • Oversee professional development by seeking out and securing training opportunities for program staff to further their skills and improve agency outcomes. Lead the organization through an annual agency-wide training plan and track program specific trainings in partnership with Human Resources

Relationship Building

  • Identify opportunities for CCCS to leverage cross-program strengths to take advantage of new opportunities and/or to address organizational challenges.

  • Increase external partnerships and programmatic alliances through linkage agreements and other collaborative opportunities

  • In conjunction with the CEO, represent the agency in the community through participation in organizations such as the Illinois Coalition on Youth (ICOY) and Child Welfare League of America and through attendance at related community events and activities and contractual meetings.

Administrative Leadership

  • Develop, implement and manage the program aspects of the annual budget in conjunction with the CFOO and CEO.

  • Provide administrative oversight in the development and monitoring of the budgets for each of the program areas. Look for efficiencies within and across programs.

  • Liaison to the Program Services Committee of the Board of Directors. Participate as lead staff to other Board of Director’s standing committees as assigned.

  • Provide program expertise for the CDO in reviewing content for donor communications and participate in fundraising activities as needed to support the advancement and growth of programs.

  • Assist the Resource Development Committee and participate in fundraising activities as needed to support the advancement and growth of program.

  • In conjunction with the CDO, provide support to the Junior Board through the provision of direction related to mission driven events and volunteer opportunities.Participate in personnel actions for hiring, salary adjustments, promotions, job changes and terminations. Recommend changes in personnel policies.

  • Prepare reports as required by the CEO and the Board of Directors

  • Act as CEO’s designee when necessary

  • Participate in other program, agency and staff committees

  • Perform other duties as assigned

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Unwavering commitment to CCCS’ mission and high-quality programs and excellence in organizational and project management with the ability to achieve strategic objectives and manage a large budget.

  • Significant experience in program budgeting and fiscal management

  • Exceptional communication and influencing skills

  • Track record of effectively leading a direct service organization with a complex mix of programs; ability to leverage strengths across program areas; excellent project management skills.

  • Experience in communicating program impact with individual and organization donors Proven track record of program growth and expansion.

  • Commitment to quality programs, ethical practices and data-driven evaluation

  • Working knowledge of early childhood education, youth development and child welfare policy and knowledge of groups, organizations and other agencies providing like or same types of services, Head Start/Early Head Start experience a plus.

  • Ability to work well with diverse populations.

  • Able to work well on a team and in a group as a leader.

  • Excellent judgment and demonstrated ability to make sound decisions in complex situations.

  • Excellent computer skills

  • Action-oriented, flexible, compassionate and courageous


  • Minimum of ten years’ professional work experience which includes direct service, supervision of professional staff, management of programs and administrative responsibilities.


  • Master’s degree in social work or related degree from an accredited college or university.

Please send your cover letter and resume to Toya Griffin-Aaron and include your last name and the position title in the subject line: for example, “Jones – Chief Program Officer.” Include your cover letter and resume as attachments titled “YourNameLetter” and “YourNameResume.” In your cover letter, please tell us how you found out about this opportunity.


Our mission is to provide innovative, community-based education and social service programs that address the current and emerging needs of vulnerable children and their families. Since 1849, Chicago Child Care Society (CCCS) has served children and families. Located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, CCCS is the oldest continually operating child welfare agency in the state of Illinois.