Salary Range: $50,000-$60,000
FLSA Status: Full Time, Exempt
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 Senior 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.
Working in a child-friendly facility, housing several public and private agencies, the 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. Family Advocates are often the first point of contact for victims of child abuse and their caregivers. The focus of victim support and advocacy is to help reduce trauma for the child and family members and to improve case outcomes. The 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.
- Provide support, education and crisis intervention to children, adolescents, and non-offending caregivers during the forensic interview process and as needed; assist caregivers and adolescents in identifying options available to them and empowering them.
- Meet with caregivers and/or adolescents 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 and/or adolescent regarding trauma and the impact of trauma on children, adolescents, and families.
- Provide educational information to caregivers and/or adolescents about available support and service resources, victim rights and the multidisciplinary team (MDT) investigation process.
- 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 clients as needed for purposes such as housing referrals, hospital accompaniment, or court accompaniment
- Troubleshoot barriers to accessing services with clients and community service agencies.
- Assist the family in accessing services recommended by the team and provide immediate and ongoing follow-up as needed.
- Steward children, adolescents, and non-offending caregivers throughout the investigative process.
- 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 in cases when appropriate.
- Participate in regular individual supervision, staff meetings, multidisciplinary (MDT) meetings, in-service training, professional development, and other meetings as required.
- Provide 24-hour on-call crisis intervention and advocacy services as assigned
Other areas of responsibility may include:
- 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 or order 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
- Master’s degree or commensurate experience required in social work, psychology, counseling, or a related field
- LGSW, LGPC, LICSW, or LPC in the District of Columbia required; must be eligible for licensure in DC
- A minimum of two 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.
- 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 be a self-starter and work independently.
- Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team 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 and attitude
- 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
- Oral and written Spanish language skills strongly preferred
Candidates must submit the following information to be considered for the position:
- Cover letter with salary requirements
- List of three professional references (for each include: name, current title, address, phone number and email)
Equal Opportunity Employer
Safe Shores is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.