BDS is a multi-disciplinary defense office representing low-income New Yorkers in criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal matters. Our expertise lies in the intersection of these legal systems that disproportionately impact poor, Black, Latinx, and immigrant communities.
BDS represents thousands of people each year who have diverse, complex, and multi-faceted legal needs. In addition to a zealous legal defense, our interdisciplinary teams of attorneys, social workers and advocates provide a wide range of legal and advocacy services, including housing, public benefits, education, and employment issues. BDS is a public defense office where staff work collaboratively and across disciplines to deliver high-quality legal services that serve the people we represent, their families and communities in Brooklyn.
BDS’ Family Defense Practice (FDP) is the primary provider of legal representation for parents and caretakers who are accused of neglect or abuse in Brooklyn Family Court under Article 10 of the Family Court Act. Attorneys handle clients’ Article 10 cases and any related matters, including Termination of Parental Rights, custody, family offense, paternity, visitation, or other petitions.
FDP’s interdisciplinary teams of attorneys, social workers, and advocates provide comprehensive representation to parents which includes zealous legal representation and litigation as well as social work advocacy at foster care and other agencies that impact the future of the family. FDP staff also works closely with BDS’ other practices to ensure clients have access to needed additional services and resources through our interdisciplinary practice model.
Under the direct supervision of the Associate Director of Social Work, the Social Worker is an integral part of the family defense team to advocate, both in and out of court, for clients facing abuse and neglect allegations.
· Partner with an interdisciplinary team in providing comprehensive legal representation and determining case strategy for clients facing abuse and neglect allegations.
· Advocate for clients at Administration for Children Services (ACS) and foster care case conferences.
· Conduct assessments of client needs and develop appropriate social work strategies.
· Refer clients for services and communicate with providers about clients' needs and goals.
· Draw on a broad range of theories, knowledge, research, and skills to facilitate collaboration across health, welfare and other systems that impact clients’ well-being
· Provide supportive counseling and support clients as they navigate intersecting systems
· Visit clients at home and in the community.
· Maintain case notes and documentation in electronic databases.
· Provide crisis intervention when needed.
· Additional responsibilities as assigned.
· New York State Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), or a master’s degree in Social Work, or willing and eligible to become licensed within six months of starting the position.
· Experience working with family court, the family legal system, and/or mental health is strongly preferred.
· Ability to work as part of the defense team in a client-centered practice and maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained while working on the case.
· Strong clinical assessment skills.
· Excellent writing, interpersonal, analytical, and organizational skills.
· Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues on an interdisciplinary team.
· Ability to take responsibility for a caseload of clients with varying needs and case-related deadlines, ensuring timely action and intervention.
· Social workers fluent in another language in addition to English are strongly encouraged to apply, particularly Spanish, Haitian Creole, Russian, or Mandarin.
This is a full-time, non-exempt, salaried position. The normal schedule is Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, with occasional need for external visits/meetings outside those hours. The position is based in Downtown Brooklyn, NY 11201, and requires frequent travel in the NYC Metro Area. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some work for this position would initially be conducted remotely. We work with staff to ensure that essential in-person functions are conducted as safely as possible and will continue to do so as in-person work increases over the coming months.
Salary is commensurate with education and experience, starting at $65,000 for a 2021 MSW graduate. BDS also offers comprehensive benefits including health and dental insurance, short-term disability and life insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, pre-tax commuter benefit, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, and above-average vacation, sick, holiday, family, and medical leave policies.
Click HERE to apply by submitting a cover letter and resume on our online application portal. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.
Brooklyn Defender Services is a proud equal opportunity employer committed to celebrating diversity and maintaining an equitable and inclusive work environment. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, expressions, orientations, disabilities, and experiences to apply. If you need accommodation due to a disability or another reason, please contact the Director of Human Resources, Christina Wallace, at email@example.com
BDS is a multi-disciplinary defense office representing low-income New Yorkers in criminal, family, immigration, and civil legal matters. Our expertise lies in the intersection of these legal systems that disproportionately impact…