Kitchen Cook
Helping Hand Home for Children

Company Overview

Helping Hand Home provides residential treatment services, therapeutic foster care, adoption services, and an on-site charter school for emotionally disturbed children. We are a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization located in Austin, Texas licensed by the State of Texas, and governed by the membership of the Helping Hand Society.
The Home is the oldest continuously operating residential childcare agency in Travis County, and a priceless resource kept strong and viable through community support

Job Summary

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Prepares, serves, and cleans up after meals for the children and staff at the HHH. Maintains the highest standards of kitchen sanitation and nutrition. Assists in inventory and the purchasing of food and disposable items for the home.

SHIFT/WORK HOURS: 40 hours per week with opportunities for overtime to cover other shifts.

FLSA STATUS: Non-Exempt

SUPERVISOR: Food Service Manager

SAFETY: Each employee is accountable and responsible to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the title “Helping Hand.” Our children’s safety, as well as your own, is our primary focus.

Job Responsibilities

  • Prepares meals according to menu plans ensuring the children receive adequate portions according to NSLP guidelines.
  • Must complete meal count sheets and production records daily for breakfast and lunch.
  • Prepares freshly made food products regularly with a minimum of processed foods.
  • Introduces unfamiliar foods to the children in a positive manner.
  • Serves traditional holiday meals, ethnic foods representing the cultural backgrounds of the children.
  • Shelves food and supplies in an organized manner, disposes of expired food products, and rotates food stock regularly.
  • Maintains the highest standards of sanitation while preparing the meals and keeps the kitchen in compliance with health department standards of sanitation.
  • Cleans all kitchen, dining room, and coffee area equipment according to the posted monthly cleaning schedule.
  • Adheres to safety procedures with the children.
  • Has the ability to work responsibly without direct supervision.
  • Identifies need for and safely / effectively implements crisis intervention techniques as trained.

Required Skills & Qualifications

  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent; must be at least 18 years of age; and have a current TB test or chest x-ray. 
  • Experience in food service is preferred.
  • Ability to attend and qualify for the food manager’s certification is required.
  • Knowledge of the policies and procedures of the Helping Hand Home for Children and the
  • Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Minimum Standards for residential treatment facilities.
  • Thorough knowledge of nutrition and state standards in storing, preparing, and serving food.
  • Thorough knowledge of proper sanitation methods and safety measures in a kitchen.
  • Skills in planning and preparing quality meals which provide children with sufficient nutrients needed for proper growth and development.
  • Ability to serve as a positive role model for children at the Home; to interact therapeutically with the children and to ensure their emotional well being and physical safety; to follow the Home's policy on confidentiality and Child Abuse and Neglect as well as related state laws.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and productively with supervisors and co-workers; to work effectively as a member of an inter-disciplinary team; to maintain professional relationships; and to resolve conflict appropriately.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally uses proper chain of command.
  • Ability to grow professionally and learn new skills; to accept constructive feedback and modify behavior accordingly.
  • Ability to work in a stressful and occasionally unpredictable environment; skill in handling crisis situations without overreaction or loss of objectivity.
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