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Criminal Defense Practice Social Worker (Temporary)

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Published 14 days ago

The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a Master’s Level Social Worker with a commitment to social justice to work in a temporary role in our Criminal Defense Practice (CDP).

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of over 400 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients. 

Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national levels. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

Criminal Defense Practice

Strategizing with lawyers, CDP Social Workers at The Bronx Defenders assist clients with issues that precipitate and are exacerbated by contact with the criminal system. CDP Social Workers are responsible for conducting assessments, making referrals to treatment programs and social service providers, and working with attorneys throughout the duration of the criminal case. 

The Bronx Defenders is seeking a thoughtful and dedicated advocate to work in our Criminal Defense Practice to serve as a Social Worker on a temporary full-time basis for a period of 9 months. The temporary CDP Social Worker will support the critical work of our social work practice by building the capacity of our practice to respond to the urgent needs of our clients.

Responsibilities

Strategizing with lawyers and other advocates, CDP Social Workers at The Bronx Defenders assist clients with issues that precipitate and are exacerbated by contact with the criminal legal system. Social workers are responsible for conducting assessments, making referrals to treatment programs and social service providers, and working with attorneys throughout the duration of the criminal case.

  • Interview and assess clients to identify strengths, resources, and needs
  • Connect clients with a wide variety of social services and benefits by facilitating timely and accurate referrals 
  • Provide case management support and advocacy
  • Maintain a database of community-based programs and resources responsive to our clients’ needs and that of the practice
  • Serve as a liaison between The Bronx Defenders and community-based programs, coordinating presentations from community providers to BxD staff on services available to clients
  • Work collaboratively with clients, lawyers, and other advocates on a multi-disciplinary holistic defense team
  • Availability to work flexible hours, including occasional nights and/or weekends to manage client emergencies, participate in client meetings outside of traditional work hours, and serve as back up during staff shortages

Qualifications:

To be eligible, candidates must have:

  • M.S.W. from an accredited School of Social Work

Applicants must demonstrate: 

  • Experience working in and with racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically marginalized communities 
  • Experience working with clients charged in the criminal legal system
  • Dedication to directly defending people ensnared in family, criminal, civil, and immigration legal systems
  • Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate, and connect with people with various backgrounds, identities, and experiences 
  • Effective communication and active listening skills
  • Ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively with an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and non-lawyers
  • Ability to multitask, maintain order and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment 
  • Meticulous attention to detail, ensuring accuracy of information input into our electronic client database
  • Ability to exercise excellent judgment, discretion, and confidentiality with sensitive matters
  • Ability to think critically and creatively in fast-paced settings
  • Ability to receive feedback constructively, reflect and shift behavior accordingly
  • Commitment to fierce advocacy, and willingness to strategically challenge authority in defense of clients
  • Effective verbal and written advocacy skills
  • Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level
  • Knowledge of substance use disorder, domestic violence, parenting, and mental health systems
  • Spanish language proficiency is a plus

The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a Master’s Level Social Worker with a commitment to social justice to work in a temporary role in our Criminal Defense Practice (CDP…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
    Temporary
  • Application Deadline
    April 27, 2021
  • Education
    Other Education Requirement

Salary

$64,350 - $83,500

Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $64,350 - $83,500. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.

Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $64,350 - $83,500…

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish language proficiency is a plus

Spanish language proficiency is a plus

Location

Temporarily Remote
Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
360 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451

How to Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided and select the position of interest. Upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If writing a cover letter is not accessible to you, you may upload your resume as a document and separately upload a video or audio statement instead of a cover letter if that is more accessible to you. Your cover letter or video/audio statement should share why you want to do this work at our office, some key lived and/or professional experiences that have prepared you for this position, and any additional information you would like for us to consider. This information allows us to understand your distinct perspective, experience, and potential beyond the work history summarized on your resume. Your cover letter may be up to one page if written or up to 3 minutes if an audio/video statement. Please remember that you may submit a written cover letter or an audio/video, but not both, and applications without either will not be considered. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible.

The application deadline is April 27, 2021, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified.

 Please contact Caitlin Becker, Managing Director of Social Work, via email at caitlinb@bronxdefenders.org with any questions regarding the position.

The Bronx Defenders is an equal opportunity employer and is cultivating an anti-oppressive workplace that embraces staff with a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and experiences. We acknowledge the ways in which systemic oppression and injustice can undermine access to professional opportunities and are committed to conducting hiring and promotion processes that are equitable and accessible to those commonly excluded from the workforce. We do not discriminate against and in fact specifically encourage applicants from marginalized communities to apply, including those who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, transgender, gender non-conforming, disabled, neurodivergent, and those directly impacted by criminal, civil, family and immigration legal systems. We value lived as well as professional experience and particularly welcome applications from the Bronx community that we serve. 

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided and select the position of interest. Upload your resume and a cover letter in one document when prompted. If writing a…

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