Job Opening: Social Service Advocate, Juvenile
Department: Office of the Public Defender
Posting Date: August 3, 2022
Closing Date: open until filled
Shift: Office hours 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, additional hours as necessary
The Delaware County Office of the Public Defender provides legal representation to the individuals facing a loss of freedom in the criminal, delinquency and mental health systems in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The office employs over roughly 70 attorneys and staff to provide zealous advocacy for our clients. The office represents several thousand clients each year in the District Justice Courts, the Court of Common Pleas and the Appellate Courts of Pennsylvania.
Under the general oversight of the Public Defender, First Assistant and Juvenile Unit Chief, a Social Service Advocate, Juvenile Unit is responsible for working at the direction of the Defender legal team in criminal, delinquency and mental health proceedings to identify and address the social services needs of Defender clients, including, but not limited to:
Identifies and obtains appropriate forensic services based on the client’s needs. Such services will include access to appropriate placement, appropriate mental health and medical services, educational opportunities and other supports and services
Coordinates services with the Delaware County's Department of Human Services and making best efforts to ensure individuals treatment needs are addressed in an attempt to divert them from the Criminal/Juvenile Justice Systems
Works with attorneys to coordinate client cases and advocacy, this includes drafting psychological-social reports, assisting in communication between attorney and client when necessary, preparing correspondence, reports, and memorandum suitable for use in a Court of Law, obtaining necessary records, and relating all case information to the attorney.
Establishes and develops relationships with community services and potential supports, including, but not limited to, the local mental health authority, law enforcement, community supervision, placement supervision, and education services
Establishes and develops relationships with supports identified by the client, including, if appropriate, the client’s immediate and extended family as well as friends, mentors and other supporters.
Appears for Court settings with client and monitor progress of clients throughout the pendency of their case(s)
Assist the client in re-entry into the community
Assists in client transition with probation and development of appropriate conditions
Collaborates and coordinates with juvenile staff to ensure client needs are addressed
Assists in data collection and analysis
Completes special projects and other duties as assigned
Master’s of Science in Social Work, Counseling, Criminal Justice or related discipline;
Strong writing and oral communication skills;
Spanish fluency preferred;
Experience in working with people with serious mental illness and drug and alcohol issues preferred;
Computer skills, including experience with case management software and MS Office;
Commitment to public service; and
Resourcefulness, creativity, initiative and drive, tact, and discretion.
To apply, please fill out our online application form.