Title: Domestic Violence Legal and Family Resource Advocate
Reports To: Director of Domestic Violence and Family Resource Programs, Director of Operations, Executive Director
Last Updated: May 2016
Position: A multi-grant-funded position providing legal and/or resource advocacy to clients from the general population, as well as to victims of domestic violence.
Paid Weekly Hours: FULL TIME 37.5
Bachelor’s Degree preferred and minimum two years experience in the field of Human Services, with 1 year working with victims of Domestic Violence and families in need. Working knowledge of Legal and Court Systems preferred.
The Mechanicville Area Community Services Center, seeks to maintain good personnel policies and salary standards that will help to secure and retain competent staff, foster effective teamwork, and ensures maximum efficiency and superior working relationships. MACSC seeks to employ the best and most-qualified person for each job without regard to race, creed, sex, residence, national origin or sexual orientation. MACSC’s working environment is one based in mutual respect between staff, clients, the Board of Directors and community members. MACSC takes pride in our approach to teamwork and mutual respect, and strongly believes in fostering a work environment reflective of this approach, regardless of program-affiliation or manner of staff.
MACSC as a Family Neighborhood Resource Center is a mainstay of the greater-Mechanicville Community;
constantly adapting our programs and services to meet the community’s presenting needs. In addition to a
variety of in-house programs, MACSC serves as a co-location for a multitude of additional resources. This
inter-agency collaboration demonstrates our efforts to reduce transportation barriers to residents of
Mechanicville, avoid duplication of services, and empower clients to access available resources. As stated in
our Mission, MACSC is “A Community Center committed to enhancing the quality of life for area residents
through family support, empowerment, recreation & education.” MACSC’s organizational structure will allow for the Domestic Violence and Family Resource Advocate to provide comprehensive services to any individual with whom we meet.
Overall Program Philosophy and Summary:
The Domestic Violence Advocacy Program (DVAP) and Family Resource Programs are non-residential programs that provide comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and their children, as well as to members of the general community. All services provided by DVAP and Family Resource Programs are offered from the perspective of a non-judgmental, empowerment-based and client-focused perspective. Confidential services are provided to all clients, regardless of individual decisions, which in Domestic Violence situations may include remaining in, or returning to, their abusive situation. MACSC strives to make the best connections on behalf of clients, as appropriate to individual/family situations and needs.
In serving as the Family Resource Advocate, Staff are fundamentally the core of the Family Neighborhood Resource Center; providing information and/or referrals to individuals/families to/from any MACSC department, as well as to individuals/families within the community at large. The Family Resource Advocate’s primary role is to foster a healthy interdependency between the client and his or her natural supports and community as a whole. Ideally, in combining the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program and the Family Resource Development Program, DVAP clients will naturally transition to the Family Resource Program when safely out of crisis, and are ready to establish and work toward goals that will lend themselves to a healthy interdependency with natural and community supports.
Community relationships, and collaboration with other agencies, businesses and organizations, are key facets of the Domestic Violence and Family Resource Programs. All MACSC staff are held to the highest degree of professionalism within MACSC and the community at large. Interactions and presentations within the community must always keep in mind one’s ability to uphold the reputation of one’s department and the agency as a whole.
Domestic Violence and Family Resource Advocate Job Description:
The Domestic Violence Legal and Family Resource Advocate will assist clients by providing client-centered services based upon the client’s self-determined needs. The Resource Advocate will assist clients in the navigation of Federal, State, and Local program and services, both within MACSC, and throughout the community at large. The Resource Advocate will act as a liaison between the client and resources; facilitating the discussion of which resources may be of value in the assistance of setting goals, and achieving greater stability. For example, assistance may be provided to the client by way of information and referrals to resources such as Department of Social Services, referrals to a women’s shelter, safety planning, legal advocacy and court accompaniment, food pantry, or countless other services available throughout MACSC and the community. Assistance must be client-driven, and the efforts provided by the Resource Advocate must strive to meet the client’s presenting need(s).
Roles and responsibilities of the Domestic Violence Legal and Family Resource Advocate:
- Read, understand, and abide by the Policies and Procedures stated in both DVAP and MACSC Manuals
- Provide direct, face-to-face services for individuals/families in a respectful, client-centered relationship
- Record and input client and service information into agency databases as required by agency and grantors
- Maintain updated client files (paper and electronic) with pertinent information
- Provide client-centered advocacy regarding immediate needs and long-term goals
- Make useful and well-matched referrals as needed; connecting to services within MACSC and the community at large
- Answer DVAP hotline, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
- Answer agency phone as needed
- Assist clients/visitors at the front desk as needed
- Serve as a Legal/Resource Advocate for Saratoga County Family Court, Mechanicville City Court, Stillwater Town Court, and Halfmoon Town Court; attend Court sessions on a weekly basis
- Maintain strict confidentiality of all client information at all times
- Ensure that resource files are accurate and up-to-date
- Assist telephone and walk-in clients with their needs to the fullest extent possible; offering information, services, and referrals relevant to client needs; always attempt to complete a client intake form
- Provide information to the client regarding the scope of services available to them both within MACSC and the community at large
- Perform comprehensive, strengths-based assessment of client needs and assist clients in obtaining needed resources or referrals in order to promote and sustain their stability
- Provide education on the topic of Domestic Violence by way of individual client meetings, support group sessions and community outreach
- Facilitate an open, client-driven, empowerment-based weekly support group for victims of domestic violence and coordinate childcare for each session (currently performed by Jill Hyde)
- Create/maintain Domestic Violence and Family Resource Program training curriculum, forms, flyers, brochures, press releases, and outreach materials
- Advocate for victims of domestic violence to community agencies, Family Court, Criminal Court, Law Enforcement, and other related services as needed. Arrange for, or provide transportation and accompaniment when necessary
- Learn all OVS (NYS Office of Victim Services) regulations
- Check all CVB (Crime Victims Board) applications for completion (copies of application to be made for client file, and client if requested, as well as filing of original CVB application and other necessary forms)
- Complete all OVS (NYS Office of Victim Services) applications including the obtaining of necessary paperwork such as police reports, orders of protection, medical bills etc…
- Professional attire is required when attending work, court dates, trainings, meetings, seminars, events, etc…
- Provide program outreach by way of distribution of informational materials to clients, other local agencies and organizations. (All locations to be approved by the Director of Domestic Violence and Family Resource Programs).
- Attend trainings and meetings as assigned, when possible, taking notes and reporting back to office
Roles and responsibilities of the Resource Advocate Continued…
- Participation in the coordination and facilitation of seminars and trainings as requested
- Assist with the coordination and facilitation of children’s groups, as well as management of interns who are facilitating groups
- Complete Client Intake File for each new client worked with by phone or in person
- Client file should include: Intake Form, Service Summary Log, TANF form, CVB Application (DV files only), Client Confidentiality Form, Anonymous Survey Form, Release of Information if needed, and Emergency Cell Phone Form if needed
- Complete/update intake forms and tracking logs for each client interaction to ensure the most up-to-date information and timely submission of data into MACSC and DVAP databases
- Input client information into respective MACSC and DVAP databases within 2 days of service
- Assist Program Director with the preparation of all program-related grant applications and reports as requested
- Maintain strong communication and connection with community groups, service providers, courts and law enforcement agencies; representing DVAP and MACSC in a positive light
- Representative at monthly task force and Partnership meetings; taking minutes, emailing minutes, and attending Executive Committee meetings as needed
- Complete functional timesheet each week, maintaining accurate daily accounts of time-in, time-out on calendar or timesheet accurately
- Representation at Local, State and Federally-sponsored events as requested
- Be available for weekly DVAP/Family Resource meetings and MACSC agency staff meetings as requested as well as Program Director Meetings
If interested, please contact Meg Myers at 518-664-8322 ext 314 or email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
**MACSC is a small agency, and various duties will be requested of all employees on a regular basis (For example: carrying in food donations, filling food pantry orders, and attendance at community center events, etc…). All employees are expected to contribute to the efficient operation of the Community Center, not necessarily in the exact capacity put forth in this job description. These duties will come at the request of, and under the direction of, the Executive Director. **