SFF Works Logo


The Concept

The Second Family Works program is designed to provide eligible youth with their first real job(s) so that they can develop the skills necessary to be fully self-sufficient and financially independent adults. This program is focused on the development of job-oriented skills such as time management, organization, and networking, all of which require grit. Employment promotes development of financial responsibility, positive social networking, time management, and organizational skills by rewarding hard work with monetary compensation & reference building. 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.

The Second Family Works program is run in conjunction with Orange County Department of Social Services and the community. SFF staff facilitate job interviews with partnered employers upon acceptance into the program. However, the employers make all hiring and firing decisions.

Second Family Works recognizes that minimum wage does not always equal the work performed and offers additional incentives to youth who remain consistently employed for greater periods of time such as report card and savings incentives. 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 needs that are similar to what the youth in a middle class family might experience.


How To Apply & Join

A good fit for the SFWorks programs include youth:

  • Who are 14-15 years old working 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 youth participants

A complete application includes: 

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


After the Interview & Beyond

Youth are contacted by SFF staff if the application seems like a good fit for an interview held at SFF. Following the interview, youth are notified of acceptance into the program. If accepted, SFF contacts employer partners to see who’s hiring. If employers want to interview the youth, SFF helps facilitate the job interview, including job coaching. If the youth is hired, SFF coordinates the work schedule and transportation with the youth and employer.


Job Coaching & Transportation

Job Coaches, who drive the youth to and from work, provide the coaching during transportation times. Job Coaching covers topics such as understanding a paycheck, work etiquette, getting along with coworkers and customers, and the value of preserving (GRIT!). Job Coaching also occurs in one-one-one or small group meetings and in group events held periodically throughout the year. The Job Coaches coordinate work schedules with youth and employers to ensure everyone gets to work on time and reliably.

The Job Coaching and transportation are conducted in partnership with the Orange County Department of Social Services Technicians. 






Youth who successfully participate in and complete the SFWorks program – and thus demonstrate they are and want to pursue their goals – become eligible for the SFEmerge program. SFEmerge supports youth in achieving their longer-term goals post high school. These goals may include graduating high school, obtaining vocational training, higher education, or a meaningful job, improving their physical fitness, developing leadership skills or a spiritual practice, etc. The SFEmerge program provides continual guidance, resources, and support to youth in setting and achieving their goals, up to the age of 25. Youth also have the opportunity to experience educational incentives, savings components, financial literacy, mental health resources, travel, and personal transportation means. We feel this long-term relationship and mutual commitment is key to helping youth decide to make lasting positive changes in their lives.


Financial Literacy

Checkout the SFF YouTube channel to find out what topics our youth are curious about & need to know in order to advance from a first job to a living wage job. 


Messages from SFF Youth

“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!” – Former participant, 29 years old

“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].” – Former participant, 30 years old

“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.” – Former participant, 29 years old

Get in touch

Second Family Foundation • (t) 919.967.9823 • 104 S. Estes Drive, Suite 301-S • Chapel Hill, NC 27514