This position is with the Juvenile Advocacy Project of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. The Project provides legal representation to children in foster care and children who have been charged with a delinquency. The Project’s goal is to connect these children to needed therapeutic, emotional, and education services. The Project’s social worker assists the attorneys with obtaining treatment, placement, and services for each client served. This includes: functioning as part of the representation team; making referrals as directed by the assigned attorney; attending staffings on behalf of the attorneys; recording findings to the file; advocating on behalf of clients at the staffing; gathering information from case management, providers and the community based care agency; completing SIPP applications for clients, including gathering the necessary supporting documentation for the application, as directed by the assigned attorney; visiting clients in their placements or other locations and documenting visits in the file; reviewing home studies and reporting findings to attorneys; conducting assessments of evaluations, placements or services and reporting observations to attorneys. Work schedule is as follows: generally, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., with occasional evening or weekend work.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Function as part of a team to include the attorney and paralegal. This includes sharing information and engaging in ongoing communication and dialogue with other team members about each case. Additionally, work with other staff members to form a positive, supportive team atmosphere.
- Make referrals for services and placements as directed by the assigned attorney.
- Maintain a state-wide directory of placements and service providers, as well as maintaining relationships with established placements and providers. Additionally, this position requires the Project social worker to actively research and procure new placements and community providers on a state-wide level.
- Attend and advocate for clients at staffings on behalf of the team, and report findings to the attorneys.
- Gather information as requested by team members from case management, providers and the community-based care provider.
- Assist attorneys with planning for each client’s permanence on an ongoing basis as requested by team members throughout the life of the case.
- Maintain availability to the attorneys to assist with any issues arising on the child’s case, i.e. visitation, medical care, Medicaid, flex funds, daycare, etc.
- Interfaces with the Department of Children and Families staff on behalf of the Project as requested.
- Assist with obtaining records and reports on the Project’s cases, when necessary.
- Visit children in their placements and other locations as requested by the attorneys, and report findings and observations from visits to the attorney.
- Perform assessments of services, evaluations, placements, including home studies, as requested by the attorney; report findings and observations to attorney.
- Assist the child placing agency responsible for placing the Project’s client with the adoption process wherever possible, i.e. expediting fingerprinting, assisting with transitional visitation, providing court documents, birth certificates, medical records, etc., and locating placements.
- Participate in planning sessions and workgroups within the community and with the Children’s Services Council to develop a better child welfare system.
- Attends staff and other meetings in the community, as assigned.
- Maintain client and family confidentiality.
- Stay current on emerging professional information, and incorporate the information into case management services on an ongoing basis.
- Comply with all agency policies and procedures.
- Keep an accurate accounting of time spent on each client’s case through Legal Server.
- MSW required. Relevant child welfare experience may substitute for degree.
- Two years’ recent experience in an applicable area of practice.
- Knowledge of dependency, delinquency, substance abuse and mental health.
- Working knowledge of computer software such as basic Microsoft Office applications/programs (Word, Excel spreadsheet, WordPerfect) required.
- Effective and excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing, as well as organizational and planning skills required.
- Ability to communicate with clients, families, and staff from community agencies and engender cooperation from same.
- Motivational interviewing, crisis support and de-escalation skills.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively collaborate with community resources.
- Must pass Level 2 background screening.
- Position requires extensive travel in the local area. Must have a reliable vehicle, and requires maintaining a valid Florida State driver license with a satisfactory driving record, and eligibility for coverage under any applicable agency insurance.
- Ability and willingness to participate in ongoing professional development activities in order to keep current on new developments in the field and to enhance skills already maintained.
SALARY RANGE: Commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package.
APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINE: Email resume and cover letter with salary requirements to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, August 9, 2017.
The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Inc., is an Equal Opportunity Employer. OEO/ADA