Social Worker, Chicago

Job Type

Full Time




United States


The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the position of Social Worker to be based in Chicago. The Social Worker will be appointed as independent Child Advocate for unaccompanied and separated immigrant children and will also supervise volunteers appointed as Child Advocates in the Chicago area. In addition, the Social Worker will provide internal case consultations on child welfare, child development, and trauma for colleagues in the Chicago office. 

The Young Center is dedicated to promoting the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as Child Advocate for vulnerable, unaccompanied children. Our role is to identify and advocate for the best interests of children in federal custody, applying federal and state law and long-recognized principles of the best interests of the child.

The Young Center has programs in eight cities across the United States including San Antonio, Harlingen, Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Our team is a passionate and interdisciplinary group of professionals—attorneys, social workers, volunteer coordinators and administrative staff—committed to ensuring that immigrant children are recognized as children, first and foremost, and receive the full protection they deserve under the law, even though they’re caught in an immigration system that often views them as adults-in-miniature.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. The Social Worker’s primary responsibilities will be:

  • Serve as Child Advocate and supervise volunteers appointed as Child Advocate for unaccompanied and separated children in federal custody in the Chicago area
  • Visit children regularly, speak with parents, family members and stakeholders, draft case summaries
  • Collaborate with attorneys (who will draft legal analyses and engage in legal advocacy) to identify and advocate for the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children with federal agencies making decisions about the child and the child’s family
  • Provide internal case consultations on child welfare, child development and trauma for the Young Center’s Chicago office
  • Participate in trainings for prospective volunteer Child Advocates in Chicago (held over the weekend twice each year)
  • Assist with monthly reporting and other program responsibilities
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Master’s degree in social work
  • Two years of prior experience, preferably working with immigrant and refugee children and/or families
  • Bilingual in Spanish/English
  • Strong writing and communication skills; excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Experience with basic Microsoft programs (Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.)
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently, and also to work collaboratively 
  • Enthusiasm for working with volunteers
  • Passion, tenacity and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families, as well as experience in self-care strategies
  • A driver’s license for travel to shelter facilities in Illinois


  • Illinois licensure or the ability to become licensed strongly encouraged 


Salary is commensurate with experience. The Young Center provides an excellent benefits package. 

Level of Language Proficiency

Bilingual in Spanish/English

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise us in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Job offer is conditioned on clearance of fingerprint criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANS) and tuberculosis test. 

Please visit our Careers page at and apply online. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. For inquiries regarding the status of your application, please write to; phone calls will not be returned.

To learn more about the Young Center’s work, please visit