The Family Helpline (FHL) is a statewide Texas legal service that provides free legal information and education to members of the community who have questions regarding Texas Child Protective Services and child welfare legal issues. Helpline callers are often parents of children or relatives of children who are in involved in the Child Protective Services (CPS) system. The Family Helpline routinely interacts with other stakeholders in the child welfare community as part of the Family Helpline mission to positively impact the Texas child welfare system. The Staff Attorney position is responsible for the direct services component of the Family Helpline program and assists, by telephone and in-person, parents, families, and the public to better understand CPS policies and procedures, the child welfare legal system, and the additional legal systems that intersect with child welfare cases in Texas.
This attorney in this position is expected to:
Maintain the highest ethical and professional standards as a member of the State Bar; adhere to the American Bar Association Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Aid; embrace and support TLSC’s overall mission; and comply with all grant requirements, regulations, standards, policies, and confidentiality requirements.
This is a grant funded position.
- Explain the nature of services provided by the Family Helpline program, and provide legal information, assistance, resources and referrals to eligible callers in a compassionate, culturally sensitive and trauma-informed manner.
- Provide high-quality legal advice, assistance, and representation, where applicable, to eligible clients in a compassionate, culturally sensitive, and trauma-informed manner.
- Perform legal research and analysis, make agency referrals, and provide information on how to complete legal tasks.
- Timely and accurately enter data and notes from calls into TLSC’s case management system
- for grant reporting and child welfare stakeholder collaboration.
- At times, may provide education to community organizations through outreach, presentations
- and attendance at local community events focused on child welfare.
- May create written informational and educational content regarding the child welfare system.
- Ensure all caller, project, and computer files are maintained in an orderly manner.
- Provide all information needed/requested for TLSC reporting in a prompt manner.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- J.D. Degree.
- Licensure by the Supreme Court of Texas at least one week prior to actual start date.
- Minimum of one (1) year child welfare law experience, as a caseworker or as an attorney
- representing parents, children, or the state in Child Protective Services cases.
Knowledge / Skills (Required)
- Current knowledge of the law related to child welfare and child protection, including but not limited to: child protection law, family law, criminal law, conservatorship, possession and access, child support, enforcement and modification of court orders and judgments, paternity, termination of parental rights, adoption, negotiation and mediation, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and the child protective services system.
- High-level organization skills.
- Exceptional written and verbal communications skills.
- Strong ability to compassionately and actively listen to callers and verbally communicate the legal processes related to child protection law.
- Strong time management and attention to detail.
- Proficiency with (or the ability to learn) LegalServer (TLSC’s case management system), Adobe, and Microsoft Office products.
- Understanding of grant requirements and associated reporting needs.
- Ability to work with callers in a compassionate, patient, trauma-informed, and non-judgmental manner.
- Sedentary work that involves sitting most of the time.
- Occasional bending, squatting, and kneeling.
- Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and a negligible amount of force as needed, at times to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.
*This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.