Social Services Advocate

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Job Opening: Social Services Advocate
Department: Public Defender
Hours: 35 hrs / 8:30am - 4:30pm
Salary: $24.75 hourly


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.

Essential Duties

Under the general oversight of the Public Defender, First Assistant and relevant unit chief, a Social Worker 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:

Interviews clients

Identifies and obtains appropriate services based on the client’s stated needs. Such services will include access to housing, appropriate mental health and medical services, employment and educational opportunities, and other supports and services

Contact with client’s attorney prior to any contact with clients. If the attorney wants to attend the client meeting, make the necessary accommodations

Works with attorneys to coordinate client cases and advocacy, this includes providing a mini-psychological-social work up on the client to attorney, 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, the housing authority, adult education services, community leaders, and religious communities

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)

Assists in client transition to probation and development of appropriate conditions

Collaborates and coordinates with jail staff to ensure client needs are addressed

Participates in outreach

Assists in data collection and analysis

Completes special projects and other duties as assigned


Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Education or Human Services

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

Demonstrated commitment to public service and capacity for fairness

Resourcefulness, creativity, initiative and drive, tact, and discretion

Residence Requirement: The County of Delaware has a residency requirement for employees. Anyone applying for this job must reside in Delaware County or be willing to move to the County within three months of starting employment.


Please provide a cover letter with the application, they are required for this positon.

To apply, please fill out our online application form.

Contact Us

  •   201 West Front Street,
         Media, PA 19063
  •   8:30AM - 4:30PM
           Monday - Friday
  •   610-891-4000

About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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