VCI Advocate

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Job Title: Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) Advocate

Pay: $50,000 to $65,000 (based on skills & experience)

FLSA Status: Full-time with benefits package (health, dental, vision, FSA after 60 days), 40 hours of PTO for the first year with paid company holidays off.

Schedule: Full-time, temporary for 12 months with the possibility of extension

Travel: Local travel required

Details: This position is slated to start February 1, 2022

Summary: Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH) is a Black-led, community-based nonprofit that works with teens and young adults in West and Southwest Philadelphia ages 15 to 24 who have been impacted by violence. With a special focus on those who are labeled as having violent histories, YEAH acknowledges teens as the experts of their own lives and prioritizes pushing back against oppressive systems and addressing structural barriers that often lead to violence.

The Youth Empowerment and Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) is a program component within YEAH that focuses on providing holistic and culturally relevant community support and case management services to teens and young adults within the juvenile justice system. The main goals of this initiative include:

●      Engaging and supporting teens and young adults both prior to release and when released from the Juvenile Justice Services Center (JJSC).

●      Providing intensive support services as pilot programming to teens and young adults within the juvenile justice system to address victimization, gaps in services, violence reduction, continuity of care, and the overall well-being of youth related to culturally relevant behavioral health & restorative justice services.

●      Providing monetary incentives in addition to training, community engagement, and psychoeducational workshops that improve the quality of life of teens and young adults in Philadelphia and build skills relevant to life and violence reduction.

●      Connecting teens and young adults to sustainable services in and outside of YEAH beneficial to the individual based on their circumstance.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: The VCI advocate will maintain a rotating caseload of up to 25 teens and young adults (total) to provide in person, intensive and holistic case management and community support services to assist referred teens and young adults with life goals. This position is also responsible for providing ongoing legal support and court advocacy to those on their case load. This includes attending all court dates, working in partnership with lawyers, providing monthly court updates to YEAH staff, and overall assisting young people with getting out of the system. Examples of this position also include assisting with immediate and long term needs such as groceries, ensuring homes are safe and furnished, clothes etc; Helping young people get reconnected with school, connecting to internship, training, or employment opportunities; obtaining vital documents (birth certificates, social security cards, IDs), opening bank accounts, background checks for employment, driving permits, consistent physical and mental health services (doctor visits, therapy appointments), and transportation when needed to attend community events and opportunities. This is a case management position and the candidate will be responsible for spending intentional time in the community with young people, conducting home visits, school visits, visits within the JJSC, providing ongoing court advocacy, documentation such as assessments and progress notes, and weekly trainings or group facilitation. This position works to assist young people with getting things in their lives that help them thrive and this candidate must be highly skilled in providing high quality case management.

Job Requirements: Valid driver’s license and ability to drive both personal and company car are required. Philadelphia residency or becoming a resident within 3 months is required. Bachelor’s required; Master’s preferred. Candidates must have a demonstrated background and expertise of working with Black identifying teenagers and young adults and providing outstanding case management, providing outstanding advocacy in systems, specifically the court system; demonstrated track record of successfully building healthy and trusting relationships with this population; candidates should be detail oriented, have life and professional experience in social work, human services, and providing intensive wrap around support; a strong interest in social justice and the ability to grasp concepts around violence, race, and systems, as well as the ability to stand up against systems and advocate for the best interest of young people; excellent verbal and written communication skills; and excellent time management and organizational skills. Candidates must have the ability to work well independently and have the confidence and skills to manage their time effectively, take initiative in the case management role, and be action oriented. Schedule varies on some days, but most days will be 10am to 6pm or 1pm to 9pm, and candidates must be willing to work evenings with some weekends. Those who identify racially or ethnically as Black or Brown and have been personally impacted by the criminal justice system or violence (directly or indirectly) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Primary Responsibilities:

●      Develop and build healthy, trusting relationships with teens and young adults.

●      Provide intensive community support, wrap around and advocacy services to teens and young adults within the juvenile justice system and see them at least once per week in a community setting.

●      Conduct home visits, school visits, jail visits; intake assessments, biopsychosocial assessments, support plans, and discharge planning.

●      Attend ongoing court dates and provide advocacy and support during legal process for individuals on caseload.

●      Assist with helping teens and young adults obtain vital documents, driving permits, employment, training, and any other goals related to individual needs and social determinants of health. (Helping family obtain groceries, getting bills paid, home furniture needs etc.)

●      Create and develop relationships with local organizations and other entities teens and young adults receive services from.

●      Maintain contact with PO’s, lawyers, CUA workers, therapists, mental health providers etc. related to providing case management and advocacy for young adults and ensuring quality coordination of wrap around services.

●      Create and deliver weekly workshops and groups relevant to young people.

●      Maintain documentation and utilize a case management database to provide qualitative updates on progress.

Additional Responsibilities:

●      Assist with community outreach efforts

●      Attend and participate in community events

●      Assist with group facilitation

●      All other duties assigned