Position Title: HAWC SAFEPLAN Advocate
Department: HAWC Legal Services
Reports to: Senior Safeplan Advocate
Effective Date: 03/08/18
This full-time position provides crisis intervention, advocacy and referral services to victims of domestic violence. The SAFEPLAN Advocate will be based in the Lynn District Court but will also work in the Essex County Probate and Salem District Courts providing assistance to victims seeking restraining orders and harassment prevention orders. The position reports to the HAWC Senior Safeplan Advocate.
The SAFEPLAN Program SAFEPLAN is a court-based civil advocacy program created by Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) in 1995. SAFEPLAN is a partnership between MOVA and community-based domestic violence and sexual assault programs. SAFEPLAN Advocates are housed in district and probate and family courts throughout the Commonwealth, and work in collaboration with court personnel, district attorneys’ offices, and other allied criminal justice and social service agencies. Together, they provide a system of advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking considering a 209A restraining order or a 258E harassment prevention order. SAFEPLAN Advocates are available in one of the three SAFEPLAN courts HAWC serves during the court’s open hours.
● Commitment/experience working with victims of domestic violence
● Knowledge of domestic violence and crisis intervention
● Knowledge of the judicial system and abuse prevention order process
● Bilingual/Bicultural preferred
● Strong interpersonal, verbal and written skills
● Ability to work independently and as part of a team
● Completion of HAWC’s pre-service training in compliance with M.G.L. 233 s.20(k)
● Complete additional legal advocacy training and MOVA SAFEPLAN Certification
Assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking who come to court seeking protective orders through:
● Crisis assessment and intervention services
● Information on legal options and the process to obtain a protective order
● Assistance in completing protective order application forms
● Creation of a comprehensive, individual safety plan with each SAFEPLAN client, whether or not the client chooses to pursue the protective order
● Referrals and connection to appropriate follow-up services and resources deemed appropriate for each individual client, or by client request including, but not limited to other services provided by HAWC such as counseling, group support, legal services; or other programs outside of HAWC; or District Attorney Victim Witness Advocates
● Discussion of the dynamics of abuse with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
● Accompaniment and advocacy in court during civil proceedings;
● Availability to assist victims, in accordance with the court coverage agreement.
Advocate safety is paramount. Advocates are not required to stand with anyone with whom they feel unsafe.If an advocate does not wish to stand with someone, they can offer him/ her general information about the 209A process and give him/her a referral to the HAWC hotline.
Additional roles and responsibilities to enhance service delivery to victims:
● Development and advancement of professional and collaborative working relationships including, but not limited to, clerks, judges, attorneys, prosecutors, security officers, and victim witness advocates
● Adherence to HAWC guidelines and protocols to ensure client confidentiality
● Attendance at regular supervision with the HAWC Senior Safeplan Advocate regarding specific cases,day-to-day activities, performance evaluations, or case related guidance and overall quality of work issues
● Attendance at MOVA quarterly regional meetings and continuing education sessions to discuss systemic advocacy issues and to receive ongoing training
● Knowledge of the SAFEPLAN Policies and Procedures Manual and job-related tasks within the boundaries set forth by the manual
● Complete statistical data forms for every client contact
● Performance of other SAFEPLAN-related tasks, duties and assignments as requested by HAWC and MOVA
● Able to flex hours to meet position responsibilities.
Competitive benefits; AA/EO employer
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required