Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children who are returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
Building on KIND’s mission and its longstanding work domestically and internationally, KIND will have a continuous presence on the U.S.-Mexico border with attorneys and staff in Juarez and Tijuana and counterparts working at the federal level advocates in Mexico City.
KIND seeks a Social Services Coordinator to work as part of the Social Services Team and in collaboration with Mexico Legal Programs and International Teams to provide direct support, socio-emotional programming, develop best practices, protocols, and training on relevant topics for KIND staff and stakeholders. Based in Tijuana, México, this role will be particularly valuable for children who migrate to the U.S. as it will assist in avoiding re-traumatization and allow for enhanced continuity of care for children who obtain legal representation at KIND field offices in the United States. The Social Services Coordinator will work with unaccompanied children and families in various settings (shelters, camps, community sites, etc.) facing migration challenges at the U.S.-Mexico border through KIND’s Tijuana, Mexico operations. The desired candidate will have experience working with International NGOs in direct service provision, substantial knowledge and understanding of unaccompanied and refugee children's issues and working knowledge of working with populations on the move.
- Develop and maintain a knowledge base of social services to include food assistance, health care, shelters, available to clients in assigned work areas (Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and other relevant border areas).
- Establish working relationships and partnerships with local service providers and administrators in Tijuana and other relevant border areas, in collaboration with KIND’s Mexico Legal Programs and International teams.
- Collaborate with civil society and government shelter social workers, other local NGO, and international providers (UNICEF, IRC, etc.) to identify service gaps and opportunities for improving conditions for refugee children in various settings, under the guidance and direction of KIND’s Mexico Legal Programs and International teams.
- Establish system to support resource-sharing among partner agencies.
- Develop appropriate psycho-social support during Know Your Rights (KYR’s) and intake sessions that are conducted in various settings (shelters, etc.), in collaboration with KIND Legal Programs staff.
- Conduct psychosocial assessments of referred clients and develop a comprehensive service plan in conjunction with the child, the child’s family, and the child’s attorney, when appropriate; maintain documentation regarding attempts to access services and service delivery.
- Complete referrals to services, assist clients and families in completing intake requirements for these services and follow up as necessary; prepare required reports on provided services.
- Collaborate with KIND Legal staff counseling children regarding their migration options and playing a supportive role to help children reach decisions in line with their desires and wellbeing.
- Develop and implement socioemotional tools and techniques to help children maintain optimal health and wellbeing during their migration journey, including calming and self-advocacy strategies to help ensure children have agency in their own process.
- Conduct trainings with social service providers in Mexico for information sharing and best practices for working with migrant children, particularly with traumatized children and adults who are seeking humanitarian protections, in collaboration with the Mexico Legal Programs and International teams.
- Aid and guidance to KIND Legal staff on working with child clients and their families in crisis and transition.
- Educate KIND Legal Staff and local stakeholders and government officials on best practices in working with children that have experienced trauma.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Undergraduate degree from an accredited school in field of psychology, child development, social work, marriage, and family counseling, or other relevant or equivalent program.
- Fluency in Spanish (oral and written) required, high level of English proficiency.
- Clinical experience working with families and traumatized populations; high level of cultural responsiveness desired; Trauma Informed Training, preferred.
- Familiarity with, or experience working within migrant shelters and children’s shelters in and around Tijuana, Mexico desired.
- Ability to work collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team, strong record of intercultural responsiveness, sensitivity and awareness, and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Experience designing curriculum, outreach, and training.
- Excellent organizational and time management skills; and self-starter who will be able to create a network of resources and contacts within a large metropolitan area.
- Prior experience working with attorneys, law firms, or other legal service providers as well as government bodies, child welfare entities, and international organizations.
- Experience working with a diverse team of social service providers and advocating on behalf of migrant children.
- A strong record of trauma-informed and cross-cultural care practices. Knowledge and understanding of working with LGBTQ community desired.
- Experience working with migrant children in Mexico.
- Two to three (2-3) years of relevant experience working with children providing social services and therapeutic interventions, preferably migrant and refugee children, or experience working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other traumas
- Ability to travel as well as work within an office environment, have regular interaction via telephone, teleconference, IM, and email with KIND’s team and have in-person meetings with clients.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.
KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.