Domestic Abuse Adult Advocate
Since 1989, Rivers of Hope (ROH) has ensured that adult and youth victims living in the midst of violence and crisis receive a rapid response and ongoing support to ensure long-term safety and independence. The organization serves residents of Sherburne and Wright Counties and is the sole provider of community advocacy and support services for victims of domestic violence in these communities. In collaboration with schools, law enforcement and the court system, in 2016 we had 5,000 contacts with over 1,200 individuals.
The mission of Rivers of Hope is to promote a community coordinated response to end family and teen dating violence through education, advocacy and community based support.
Job Profile and Reporting Relationships
A non-exempt position responsible for providing direct support to victims who are in need of crisis intervention and support services as a result of domestic violence. Provide crisis intervention, assessment, information, safety planning, and referrals for victims of domestic violence with compassion and empathy. This work may be conducted on the telephone or in person. The Adult Advocate reports to the Program Manager.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
General Advocacy to Clients
- Provide in person support and/or answer incoming calls from Law Enforcement or from victims of domestic violence on the Rivers of Hope 24-hour Crisis Line. Incoming calls outside of daytime business hours (8:30-4:30) may be rolled to a cell or home phone line.
- Provide crisis intervention, needs assessment, information, safety planning, and referrals for victims of domestic violence.
- Assist ROH clients to develop a safety plan, find shelter, and escape violence.
- Provide assistance with coordinating motel, food and transportation vouchers.
- May provide transportation to shelter, court or other location as needed.
- Facilitate an educational/support group for women in crisis.
Provide Legal Advocacy Services
- Inform client of Victim Rights.
- Assist victims in making a police report and/or filing and
- Accompany victims to court and prepare her/him for the court procedure or for an upcoming court date.
- Provide advocacy services on behalf of the client to understand and effectively navigate process through contacts with professionals within the court and law enforcement systems.
- Establish, build and maintain professional relationships within the court and legal system. This may include contacts with judges, attorneys, prosecutors, court administration, probation officers and law enforcement.
- Assist victims with reparations applications and appropriate follow up concerning court cases.
- Accompany the clients to court and other law enforcement locations to offer support and additional advocacy as needed.
- Track client cases when requested by client through the Criminal Justice system in order to monitor, report and perform appropriate follow-up.
Provide Referral Information to Additional Resources
- Maintain a thorough and current listing and knowledge of resources in the community.
- Provide suggestions of community resources that will best help clients.
- Maintain professional relationships with community resource professionals so victims can easily be referred for effective services.
Professional Coordination with Legal Professionals
- Maintain contact with law enforcement personnel in to continue to have effective working relationships with Rivers of Hope and to encourage and educate all aspects of domestic violence.
- Maintain contact with the county prosecutors to improve guidelines for the prosecution of domestic abuse and OFP violations.
- Maintain a working relationship with members of the judicial system to foster positive communication, understanding and awareness of client needs within the system.
- Schedule a “ride along” quarterly with law enforcement to maintain and improve relationship with officers.
- Work with all staff to provide positive public relations and in assuring that the Philosophy and Mission of Rivers of Hope is carried out on a daily basis.
- Attend appropriate training to enhance professional skills.
- Attend staff meetings and other meetings as required.
- Compile client caseload statistical data monthly.
- Other duties as assigned by the Program Manager.
- Subscribe to the mission and principles of MCCC and model behavior consistent with the mission and principles.
- Ability to be flexible and adapt to different team dynamics.
- Must complete a 40-hour domestic violence training session within the first month of employment. Previous experience working with victims of domestic abuse may be substituted for training depending on specific qualifications.
- Must be available some nights and/or weekends and occasional holidays.
- Must pass a criminal background check prior to starting work.
- Ability to model welcoming and inclusive behavior toward people of all genders, ages, races, religions, cultures, abilities, sexual orientation, educational and economic backgrounds.
- Attend meetings or trainings as appropriate to this position.
Minimum Education and Experience
A Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in human services, counseling, social work, or similar field. Previous experience providing services to victims of domestic violence preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Experience, ability, and willingness to communicate and work well with staff and clients from a variety of racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds, and with various religious beliefs, lifestyles, sexual orientation, identities, age variance and differing abilities.
- Ability to identify economic, social, cultural, physical and environmental factors which support or limit family or individual functioning.
- Ability to show leadership and exercise mature and sound judgment in problem-solving and the decision-making process.
- Demonstrated ability to work well independently and as part of a team environment, with proven ability to provide leadership and support in the development of team decisions and program policies.
- Strong crisis intervention skills with ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks under stressful conditions.
- Excellent analytical, decision-making, time management and organization skills.
- High degree of confidentiality, diplomacy, discretion and tact.
- Experience in networking and advocating with other agencies on behalf of abused adults and youth.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and strong information technology, database, organizational and record-keeping skills.
- Ability to work in an environment which requires the use of PC approximately 30% of the time; ability to perform repetitive motion of fingers, hands and wrists.
- Willingness to be flexible with work hours to accommodate the needs of the organization.
- Ability to travel intermittently for meetings and events.
- Must possess and maintain a valid state driver’s license and insured reliable vehicle.
Light lifting or materials and equipment in the typical office environment.
The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position. Rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this position description.
ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
Rivers of Hope recognizes that employees play different but equally important roles. Everyone associated with ROH must recognize the impact her or his role plays in our overall success. The success and future opportunities for individual employees is built around the overall success of the organization. Everyone associated with ROH is to project a professional image. Our practices will remain congruent with the mission and strategic plan. Because of this, the following principles and practices have been adopted by the staff team and we strive to live by them:
Mission Integrity and Value Base – We are dedicated to the mission of the organization and focus on its accomplishment. We are value-centered and act on the values of shared leadership, mutual respect, equality, trust and compassion.
Accountability/Reliability – We are committed to carrying our weight or saying when unable to do so. We understand our roles and are accountable for our responsibilities. We work to understand and respect the roles of others. We keep our work on track and on time.
Honesty, Trust, and Confidentiality – We trust that we can be truthful and will be safely heard. We are confident that others will act in an equally trustworthy way. We will communicate with each other directly and privately and be patient with each other. We respect the confidentiality of our colleagues and constituencies. We follow the ethics of our respective professions.
Mutual Respect and Civility – We follow the Golden Rule and treat others as we would like to be treated. We respect the ideas and opinions of others and generously contribute our own. We clearly communicate and respect the boundaries of our work while respecting the boundaries of others. We respect one another’s culture, history, and humanity. We honor and include everyone’s expertise and treat everyone as an equal.
Non-violent Communication and Acceptance – We observe without judgment and understand the feelings and needs behind our own actions and the actions of others. We make clear and doable requests to meet our needs and the needs of others. We act out of the belief that while our strategies may come into conflict, our needs do not. Through this communication we find solutions that meet all our needs.
Shared Leadership – We empower all stakeholders (leaders, co-workers, constituencies and clients), by listening and responding to their needs. We recognize each other’s expertise. We are team players who help our co-workers accomplish their goals when invited to do so. We offer help whenever we can.
Excellence – We are committed to excellence and to achieving our fullest potential as individuals and as an organization.
Stewardship – We are good stewards of the people, programs, and resources entrusted to us by the public and funders. We responsibly safeguard all aspects of the organization in full participation with the community.
Flexibility and Creativity – We promote and accept change. We have the freedom to make mistakes and we strive to grow and learn from them. We work to expand our knowledge and skills/abilities.
Balance of Work and Life – We achieve a balance of work and life with the flexibility to meet the needs of both. We keep our job responsibilities in perspective and create opportunities to celebrate joy and have fun with one another.