BILINGUAL CHILD ADVOCATE
OVERVIEW: Advocates work in our shelter with survivors of domestic violence and their children to address issues including housing, benefits, employment, childcare, medical and dental care, education, legal, immigration, mental health and substance abuse. Residential Advocates also track benefit requirements, share hotline coverage including weekly backup shifts, participate in supervision and support for Part-Time and Volunteer staff as well as training for same, facilitate shelter meetings and support groups, perform regular reporting and ensure communication with each other and with the agency as a whole.
The Child Advocate works primarily in the shelter but may be required to work within the community as discussed with the Shelter Director.
- Complete intakes as needed for shelter and safe home.
- Serve as advocate/counselor and case manager for survivors and their families to address needs around benefits, employment, childcare, medical/dental care, education, legal, immigration assistance, mental health and substance abuse. Meet with guests weekly and additionally if necessary.
- Provide crisis intervention, safety planning and information about domestic violence programs and resources to safe home guests. Assist safe home guests with finding shelter when appropriate.
- Explore options, what is involved to be in a shelter, and assist safe home guests in thinking about resources they may need once they move into another program.
- Assist survivors with arranging for transportation to and from appointments.
- Co-facilitate weekly house meetings with other residential staff to ensure that shelter guests’ needs are being met as well as to address any conflicts that may occur.
- Encourage guest peer support to help each other and to share their experiences.
- Inform clients about domestic violence and community services, making necessary referrals.
- Maintain survivors’ records including service delivery records, advocacy plans and other needed documentation.
- Maintain records of groups according to confidentiality guidelines.
- Maintain daily communications log regarding guests, changes in policies/procedures, etc.
- Attend trainings that are relevant to direct service advocacy and will enhance the residential program. Attend in-service trainings when appropriate.
- With other residential staff, ensure that there is adequate shelter and safe home coverage.
- Assist other staff with direct service responsibilities.
- Promote teamwork and support. Attend program staff meetings and initiate ideas, support and conflict resolution.
- Participate in volunteer training as discussed with supervisor.
- Attend fundraising events as needed.
- Initiate and help plan special shelter events as discussed with team members.
- All other duties as assigned by the Shelter Director.
In addition to basic advocate duties:
- Provide orientation to all child residents within 24 hours from admission to shelter, 72 for weekends.
- Assist parent with child enrollment into school, including supplies and clothing if needed.
- Develop activities, field trips and events for children in shelter.
- Develop services plans within five days of intake.
- Assist mothers and advocates with specific service plans with mothers’ goals and objectives.
- Assist child clients in learning safety techniques.
- Plan education programs that include anger management, conflict resolution, and emotional awareness education.
- Maintain social service resource list that includes: medical, educational, financial, and social services available for children.
- Provide case management to child clients and families.
- CPR and First Aid Trained
40 hours per week. Monday through Friday as discussed with the supervisor, with flexibility for occasional evening, weekend and holiday coverage.
QUALIFICATIONS: Bilingual is preferred.
- Must have a minimum of three years experience in social services, customer service, daycare management or related field.
- High School Diploma or equivalent
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Commitment to supporting and empowering victims of crime and advocating against violence and sexual violence in our community and our society.
- Understand and protect client confidentiality at all times.
- Knowledge, experience and demonstration of skill in any or all of the following: crisis intervention; hotline and emergency response; victim’s rights and available services; domestic violence; sexual violence; law enforcement and court procedures.
- Basic computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook.
- Pass background screening.
- High moral character.
- Polite, compassionate, courteous and tactful with the public, victims, their families, Law Enforcement and other agency staff.