Safe Shores – The D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center is an organization striving for excellence as a service provider and as a workplace. Safe Shores values respect, honesty, trustworthiness, professionalism, growth and learning, taking care to give care, innovation, teamwork and collaboration. The Bilingual Family Advocate is a highly skilled, experienced, respected and resourceful mental health professional who can work well as a member of our team and is passionate about developing and implementing innovative, effective solutions to help children and families heal.
The Bilingual Family Advocate is responsible for providing advocacy, crisis intervention and short-term case management services to child victims, their non-offending caregivers and family members. The focus of victim support and advocacy is to help reduce trauma for the child and family members and to improve case outcomes. The Bilingual Family Advocate focuses on the child and their family by helping caregivers identify and access services the family may need, acting as a liaison with the Multidisciplinary Team and supporting them throughout the investigative process. This position requires participation in an on-call rotation for after-hours and weekend forensic interviewing and advocacy. This position is a mandated reporter for child abuse and neglect under District of Columbia Statute §4-1321.02.
Bilingual Family Advocate Responsibilities
- Provide support and education to child and family during the forensic interview process; assist caregivers in identifying available support and service resources, victim rights options and understanding the multidisciplinary team (MDT) investigation process.
- Provide crisis intervention and support to parents, children and adolescent clients, as needed.
- Meet with non-offending caregivers to assess social service and victim’s compensation needs, connect them with child serving community-based agencies and follow up to ensure services are obtained.
- Provide information to the non-offending caregiver regarding trauma and the impact on children and families.
- Provide educational information to caregivers about and the Participate in the MDT process by coordinating client services, as needed, with clinical staff and MDT members (attorneys, law enforcement, social workers, and medical personnel).
- Provide accompaniment to children and families as needed for purposes such as housing referrals, hospital accompaniment, or court accompaniment.
- Troubleshoot barriers to accessing services with caregivers and community service agencies.
- Assist the family in accessing services recommended by the team and provide immediate and ongoing follow-up as needed.
- Act as an advocate/liaison between families and law enforcement, child protective services, medical and mental health service providers, and the prosecutor’s office.
- Assist in developing information and resources to support children and caregivers.
- Perform a safety assessment of the family and develop and recommend a safety plan for the child victim and family in cases when appropriate.
- Participate in regular individual supervision, staff meetings, multidisciplinary (MDT) meetings, in service training and other meetings as required.
- Provide 24-hour on-call crisis intervention and advocacy services as assigned.
- Provide direction to volunteers or interns in the Family Advocacy Services Program who work in the Youth Activities Program and on Family Advocacy Services administrative tasks.
- Staff the Youth Activities Program, which includes the supervision of clients on the program floor, engaging clients in the waiting/play areas and assessing play/learning levels for age- appropriate activities, and preparing and serving light snacks/meals.
- Assist in or lead the facilitation of client groups as needed.
- Maintain and assure quality and confidentiality of electronic and paper files, statistical tracking, and inventory.
- Arrange emergency clothing or other material/referral resources for clients.
- Assist in maintenance of material needs such as the clothing closet or youth activity program food and toys, as needed.
- Assist in the implementation of Family Advocacy Services’ seasonal drives as needed.
- Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with interpreters through the Victim Services Interpreter Bank.
Essential Qualifications as a Bilingual Family Advocate
- Ability to speak and write fluently in both English and Spanish.
- Master’s degree required in social work, psychology, counseling, or a related field; commensurate experience Two (2) years of professional advocacy or crisis counseling may be considered.
- LGSW or equivalent licensure in the District of Columbia preferred.
- A minimum of two (2) years of professional experience working with children and families who have experienced abuse and trauma, and/or general mental health practice.
- Experience in working with the criminal justice or child welfare system.
- Knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of child sexual abuse, family violence and substance abuse.
- Knowledge of the criminal justice and child welfare system.
- Demonstrates strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills through ability to handle complaints, mediate disputes, resolve grievances and conflicts, and negotiate with others.
- Ability to organize and prioritize tasks to maximize results and ensure deadlines are met.
- Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team, maintain positive relationships and collaborate with a wide range of professionals including law enforcement, social services, medical and mental health providers.
- Ability to be flexible and adjust to a quickly changing schedule and handle distractions and interruptions.
- Knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity and ability to exhibit sensitivity in dealing with people of varied backgrounds, beliefs and abilities.
- Excellent communication skills, positive attitude and professional demeanor
- Knowledge of local community resources and programs.
- Energy and enthusiasm for helping and working directly with children; commitment to children’s advocacy center mission/model.
- High level of comfort with technology and proficiency with MS Office applications and the internet; excellent writing skills.
- Ability to successfully pass Child Protection Registry clearance and criminal background check.
- Formal training and/or certification as victim advocate or crisis counselor.
- Experience working within a multidisciplinary team.
Candidates must submit the following information to be considered for the position:
1. Cover letter
3. List of three professional references (for each include: name, current title, address, phone number and email)