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Children's Advocate

Job description


The Children’s Advocate is a professional position which provides crisis counseling and a variety of advocacy services to children who have lived in families with domestic violence. Some of these children are victims of severe physical and sexual abuse. The position works with both the child and their non-offending caregivers, throughout their time in shelter, as well as providing follow-up services when the family moves from shelter to independent housing. The Child Advocate interacts with the professionals from other disciplines and agencies involved with the child, including schools, daycares, counseling services, law enforcement and others and aids the child and family throughout the healing process. The CA works directly with the children, (aiding in their adjustment, understanding behavior, stimulating group participation) planning therapeutic activities, providing non-therapeutic counseling and supervising constructive recreational activities. Responsible for maintaining confidentiality.


Essential Responsibilities:


• Welcome and conduct orientation for non-offending caregivers and children to the shelter and during initial visit/intake educate family on their rights and responsibilities. Complete intake and needs assessment paperwork with the family. Observe family and child interactions.


• Provide crisis intervention and safety planning for families. Complete safety plans with children as age appropriate.


• Conduct interactive play sessions and conversations with children as age appropriate.


• Conduct group activities with children and families that support increasing the bond between families.


• Coordinate with schools to ensure that proper safety protocols are in place and assist families with transportation to school and registration.


• Coordinate referrals of child victims and families for additional services such as medical exams or counseling, assist them in procuring concrete services such as: housing, protective orders, domestic violence intervention, food, victim’s crime compensation, transportation, public assistance, etc…


• Coordinate with shelter advocates to help provide support services for clients involved in juvenile court cases and connects clients to resources appropriate for the needs within the scope of Haven House’s confidentiality policies. These services are available and provided at the request of the victim and his/her family.


• Participate in coordination of services with other internal/external service providers.


• Promote and provide support groups for children and/or non-offending caregivers as they become clients of the shelter.


• Document and maintain all records related to client services and file these forms in a timely fashion.


• Attend all staff meetings and case consultations sponsored by the shelter.


• Maintain strict confidentiality in all manners relating to clients, their families and the services provided.


• Conduct and record routine health and safety checks of children’s toys and equipment, discarding unsafe items


• Assist in professional training, community education presentations, as requested.


• Performs other duties and special projects as assigned by the Executive Director.


• *Mandatory ACE Training upon hire if not yet received


• *Additional training in child development upon hire if no experience


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:


• Knowledge of Domestic Violence issues and its impact on children


• Knowledge of child protection and law enforcement child abuse investigative procedures.


• Effective communication skills; both oral and written


• Cultural competency


• Ability to stay calm and handle crisis situations when they arise


• Bi-lingual (Spanish speaking) skills preferred, with ability to translate accurately without personal interpretation


• Knowledge of basic computer programs such as Microsoft Word, and Excel; needs proficient typing skills


• Excellent interpersonal skills. Must be able to interact well with the Executive Director, Board of Director’s members, office staff, Clients, and community members.


Education and Experience:


• Bachelor’s degree (Masters Preferred) in social service field minimum (social work, psychology, counseling, family studies, etc.)


• Must have a minimum of two years’ experience working with children exposed to domestic violence or child victims of child abuse, victim advocacy, the criminal justice system, case management and crisis intervention.


• Some coursework in child development preferred


• Experience working with confidential and sensitive information


Physical Demands:


• The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand; walk; sit; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee occasionally is required to reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop or kneel. The employee must occasionally life and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, peripheral vision, and ability to adjust focus.


• Light cleaning of rooms


• On-call rotation includes periodic calls during the night, which require waking from sleep and may require coming into work during off hours


Work Environment:


• This position is stationed in the emergency shelter


• There are possible safety risks in working in an emergency shelter. The agency provides a security system, but can’t account for all risks involved in domestic violence work.


• May have frequent interruptions throughout the day


• May need to change tasks rapidly and juggle several tasks at once


Scheduled Shift:


• Monday– Friday 10am-7pm


Hours: TBD


Job Type: Full-time

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