Criminal Defense Practice Forensic Social Worker (Manhattan)
- Job posted by The Legal Aid Society - New York City
Headquarters: 199 Water Street
The Criminal Defense Practice is seeking a Forensic Social Worker to provide client services in its Manhattan office. While working closely with the Criminal Defense Staff Attorneys, the Forensic Social Worker's primary role is to interview clients and any collateral contacts with the goal of gathering a life history to highlight mitigating circumstances such as mental illness, drug addiction, trauma, and/or chronic poverty which may have led to a client's involvement in the criminal justice system. The Forensic Social Worker advocates for alternatives to detention or incarceration or for lesser sentences, based on mitigating factors, as well as evaluates clients and recommends necessary treatment options.
* Interview the client, performing a thorough bio-psycho-social assessment. During this process, crisis intervention, brief treatment, or short-term counseling may also be performed, as well as education about treatment options.
* Identify and interview collateral sources of information. Collateral interviews are done with family members, friends, teachers, social workers, community members, and others connected to the client.
* Request, review, and analyze life history records (i.e. school, medical, psychiatric) in order to document specific arguments within written reports.
* Develop casework plans in conjunction with the attorneys, develop alternative sentencing plans, and provide advocacy in court.
* Assess a client's readiness for treatment, organize necessary paperwork and supporting documentation, and make referrals to substance abuse treatment, domestic violence services, mental health counseling, shelters, etc.
* Other duties as assigned
Manhattan - Criminal Defense Practice Office
TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS
* MSW degree and NYS licensure in social work (LMSW)
* Strong diagnostic skills with a background emphasis in working with clients with the following special needs: MICA, physical illnesses and disabilities, mental illness, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays, and histories of substance abuse
* Ability to interface with Judges, District Attorneys, and Correctional Personnel
* Ability to negotiate with community-based treatment centers
* Excellent persuasive writing skills
* Excellent oral communication skills
* Excellent organizational skills
* Strong computer skills
* Ability to work within a team model
Minimum Education Required