SFF Works Logo

The Concept

The Second Family Works program (SFWorks) is designed to offer eligible youth with initial employment opportunities, enabling them to acquire skills for self-sufficiency and financial literacy. SFWorks is focused on the development of job-oriented skills such as time management, organization, and networking, all of which require grit. Employment promotes the development of financial responsibility, positive social networking, time management, and organizational skills by rewarding hard work with monetary compensation & an opportunity to build references. If youth do not develop these skills early on they will be at a disadvantage when competing for more significant job opportunities later in life.

SFWorks operates in conjunction with Orange County Department of Social Services and the community. SFF staff facilitate job interviews with partnered employers upon a youth’s acceptance into the program. However, the employers make all hiring and firing decisions.

SFWorks acknowledges that minimum wage may not always reflect the work performed and therefore provides additional incentives to youth who sustain continuous employment for greater lengths of time, including incentives tied to academic performance and savings initiatives. SFWorks is a portal to longer-term, holistic opportunities and relationships within SFF such as assistance with college admission, acquisition of a first car, and other important needs for a successful transition into adulthood.

How To Apply & Join

A good fit for the SFWorks programs include youth:

  • Who are 14-15 years old and involved with the Orange County Department of Social Services (Child Welfare)
  • Who WANT to work
  • Who are willing to give up some of their free time (while getting paid)
  • Who are committed to not lie, cheat, or steal
  • Who are willing to make relationships with not only their employers & coworkers, but also SFF staff and other SFF participants

A complete application includes: 

Youth are required to be nominated. At this time, nominating partners include:

  • Orange County DSS (nominating youth in foster care or those who have in-home services)

After the Interview & Beyond

Once an application has been accepted, SFF staff will contact the youth to schedule an interview held at SFF. Following the interview, the youth will be notified of their acceptance into the program and subsequently invited to participate in SFF. Once participation is confirmed, SFF staff will contact employer partners to identify available job openings. If employers wish to interview the youth, SFF staff helps facilitate the job interview process, which includes offering job coaching support. If the youth is hired, SFF arranges necessary transportation according to the youth’s employment schedule.

Job Coaching & Transportation

SFF Technicians, who transport youth to and from work, provide job coaching during transit periods. Job Coaching also takes place in one-on-one or small group meetings, as well as during periodic group events held throughout the year. Job Coaching includes topics such as understanding a paycheck, work etiquette, communicating well with coworkers and customers, and the value of persevering (GRIT!). SFF Technicians also collaborate with youth and employers to coordinate work schedules, ensuring punctual and reliable attendance.






The Concept

Upon successfully completing the SFWorks program and either graduating high school or reaching the age of 18, participants may become eligible for the SFEmerge program. SFEmerge supports young adults up until the age of 25 in achieving their longer-term goals. These goals may include graduating from high school, pursuing vocational training or higher education, securing meaningful employment, enhancing physical fitness, developing leadership skills, or engaging in spiritual practices, among others. Participants will have continuous access to educational incentives, savings components, financial literacy, mental health resources, travel, and personal transportation means. SFF believes that establishing a long-term relationship and fostering mutual commitment are crucial factors in empowering individuals to make enduring positive changes in their lives. 

Financial Literacy

Check out the SFF YouTube channel to discover topics that interest SFF and are essential to progressing from a first job to securing a living wage job.

Messages from Former SFF Participants

“Don’t get caught up in a popularity contest. Focus on growing and learning all that you can – you’ll need that knowledge years later! But also enjoy it while it lasts!”    ~ age 29

“Do not make comparisons to others, everyone is individually different… One person may consider a busy office life as successful and another may see it as a waste of time [being] away from family and nature. Find what’s important to you and work towards achieving the lifestyle a little [each day].” – age 30

“Life gets way cooler after high school, but also a lot harder. You will meet a lot of new friends and may grow apart or grow differently than your old ones. Stay true to your core values and keep striving to meet your goals.” – age 29

Second Family Foundation

104 S. Estes Drive, Suite 301-S • Chapel Hill, NC 27514