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Social Services Advocate - YAD Malden

Company: Committee for Public Counsel Services
Location: Malden
Posted on: May 3, 2021

Job Description:

The Youth Advocacy Division, Malden Trial Office is seeking applicants for a full-time Social Services Advocate position. Social Services Advocates work with the attorneys and other defense team members to help juvenile defendants achieve the best possible legal and life outcomes. DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation. We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs. It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility each member of the CPCS community. AGENCY & DIVISION OVERVIEW CPCS is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one. The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, child welfare, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters. The Youth Advocacy Division (YAD), the juvenile defender division of CPCS, is committed to ensuring that every indigent child in Massachusetts has access to zealous legal representation, which incorporates a Positive Youth Development approach, in delinquency and youthful offender cases from a diverse and ever improving community of juvenile defenders consisting of both private appointed counsel and staff public defenders. In addition to delinquency and youthful offender cases, YAD advocates handle juvenile appeals, GCL revocation cases, juvenile lifer parole release hearings, juvenile murder cases, and a range of other juvenile related matters. YAD provides leadership, training, support, and oversight to the entire juvenile defense bar in Massachusetts. POSITION OVERVIEW YAD is seeking a Social Service Advocate (SSA) for its Malden Office. The SSA works with the attorneys and other defense team members to help juvenile defendants achieve the best possible legal and life outcomes. Research has shown that meeting the formative developmental needs of young people is essential to both short and long term legal success. The SSA is an essential member of the legal team and works with the client in the context of the attorney-client privilege. SSAs play a critical role in screening clients for possible competence and/or criminal responsibility issues. As part of working with the attorney on the pending legal case, the SSA also helps to identify the social and clinical issues that preceded arrest and those that may result from court involvement. The SSA promotes positive youth development by providing forensic case management utilizing a therapeutic approach in large part by identifying, and connecting clients with, a variety of clinical, educational, vocational, and social resources, opportunities, and services. As an integral member of the team, the SSA role includes bio-psychosocial interviewing and assessment, social history investigation, forensic case management, advocacy for clients within court, educational, mental health, and social service systems; family interactions and interventions; treatment and alternative sentencing planning; report writing; and actively connecting clients with programs and needed services. This work occurs at all stages of the court process, from pre-arraignment to disposition (including DYS staffings and the RRT). Each SSA shares responsibility with the Attorney-in-Charge of the office for facilitating the use of the Positive Youth Development Approach by the entire office staff. The SSA identifies and develops relationships with community based organizations and other community resources. The SSA also cultivates relationships with local private social workers and facilitates the increased engagement of social workers by private assigned counsel. MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS + Bachelors degree in social work, or other related degree, and one year of related experience, or an equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience; + Must have insured, reliable and available transportation, and a valid MA drivers license; and, + Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely. Masters degree in social work, psychology or related field and a minimum of two years post-BA full-time, relevant work experience strongly preferred. Application Applicants should submit (1) a resume, (2) a thoughtful written cover letter of interest no longer than two pages, and (3) a writing sample, such as a bio-psychosocial history or client summary of no more than 6 pages. KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES + Experience working with children, adolescents, and families, preferably within communities of racial or linguistic minorities; + Commitment to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system; + Knowledge of social, psychological, economic, community, legal, and medical factors that impact children and their families; + Knowledge of Positive Youth Development and adolescent development; + Experience working with high risk adolescents and families; + Skills in client interviewing, assessment, case management, and treatment planning; + Awareness and knowledge of Trauma and its impact on child and adolescent development and family functioning; + Skilled in interacting with persons of various social, racial, cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds; + Knowledge of public and private social services systems and resources, especially those serving children and teens; + Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively orally and in writing; + Proven ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team; + Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within the office and the service provider community; + Ability to prioritize and manage multiple clients and responsibilities; and, + Bilingual candidates preferred. RESPONSIBILITIES The Social Services Advocates responsibilities include, but are not limited to: Interviewing and Assessment + Conducting both brief and in-depth client bio-psychosocial interviews to obtain the clients personal history, as well as an inventory of the clients strengths and challenges; + Assessing needs and identifying appropriate resources and interventions; + Detailing a clients personal history through collecting and analyzing all relevant records, interviewing the clients family members and other individuals important to the client as well as collateral contacts; and, + Recommending the use of other experts for clients who require further evaluation. Forensic Case Management and Client Advocacy + Maintaining close contact with the client and their family throughout the duration of the delinquency case to build strong working relationships to increase the likelihood that the client understands and takes advantage of the opportunities for diversion from commitment to DYS, meets conditions of bail release, assists defense team with defense, and prepares for court appearances; + Assisting defense attorneys with retaining and preparing other experts for clients who require further evaluation (i.e., substance use disorder, neurological, psychiatric); + Advocating for clients with all relevant state agencies, educational systems, and community based providers and service organizations; and, + Transporting clients to court, appointments, interviews, and services as needed. Dispositional Planning and Accessing Services + Collaborating with defense team members to develop defense strategies and dispositional options; + Gaining comprehensive knowledge of local and statewide resources from private and public services systems. Working collaboratively with communitybased and state service providers to foster partnerships to improve access to needed services for YAD clients; + Accessing private and public social services and developing treatment plans as alternatives to DYS detention/commitment/incarceration, and for improved life outcomes for the client; + Preparing written assessments, persuasive disposition and treatment plan reports, and Aid in Sentencing Memoranda to assist defense attorney in negotiating diversion, plea agreements, sentencing and DYS placement outcomes; and, + Presenting informal and formal testimony during court proceedings. EEO Statement The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies. Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact the Director of Human Resources Management, Lisa Bacon, at ID: 2021-1999 Post: careers: 4/15/2021 Post End Date: 5/6/2021 Salary: $52,992.00-72,858.00, commensurate with years of experience External Company URL: Street: 6 Pleasant Street

Keywords: Committee for Public Counsel Services, Malden , Social Services Advocate - YAD Malden, Other , Malden, Massachusetts

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