Posting: Family Service Advocate


Join the team at the Northwestern District Attorney's Office!


POSITION TITLE: FAMILY SERVICE ADVOCATE



ABOUT THE OFFICE: The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office (NWDAO) serves the people of Hampshire and Franklin counties and the town of Athol. In partnership with the communities it serves, the NWDAO is dedicated to the pursuit of truth, justice, and the protection of the public through fair and effective prosecutions and progressive prevention initiatives. Although the primary responsibility of the Office is prosecuting crime, we also have a strong focus on progressive education and prevention efforts in the areas of domestic & sexual violence, child abuse, juvenile justice, elders and persons with disabilities, and consumer protection. We are the law office of the People and are steadfast guardians of the rights and liberties of every citizen. We advocate for making our communities safer and stronger, while protecting civil rights and promoting social and racial justice.


MAIN FUNCTIONS:

Primarily responsible for the provision of information, support and advocacy services for child (under 18) victims, witnesses and survivors throughout the criminal justice process by ensuring the delivery of mandated rights enumerated in M.G.L Chapter 258B.


DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Compliance with the Victim Bill of Rights pursuant to M.G.L c. 258B including notification of all court hearings, postponements and continuances;

• Provide information and assistance to victims and/or their parent/guardian regarding victim’s right to provide a Victim Impact Statement to the court;

• To offer direct services to child victims and witnesses and their families including crisis intervention, assessment and evaluation of needs for referrals, orientation of court procedures and accompaniment to court;

• Maintain case files in a manner commensurate with office policy;

• Document all case activity;

• Maintain ongoing communication with Assistant District Attorneys on mutual child abuse cases regarding case status, victim concerns and input;

• Establish positive relationships with outside service providers, other law enforcement agencies, Department of Children and Families (DCF) and court personnel for consultation

and cooperation;

• Provide crisis assessment and intervention regarding child abuse, perform domestic violence screening and make appropriate referrals;

• Participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team (with DCF and law enforcement) for purposes of the S.A.I.N. interviews of children, investigations, case reviews, and prosecution of child abuse cases, interacting with child victims and assessing family needs;

• Participate in Outreach, Interdisciplinary Professional training and Public Awareness Education as required;

• Coordinating advocacy for victims and families involved in the probable cause hearings or trials for sexually dangerous person commitment proceedings (inform the family of the pending procedure and provide information on the process and the victim’s role, provide support services or referrals as needed by the victim and family, notify the victims and family of significant events and accompany them to court, and serve as a liaison with the assigned Assistant District Attorney);

• Offer court coverage and support to the Victim Witness Assistance Unit as needed; • Perform any other duties as required.


QUALIFICATIONS:

• Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in social services, criminal justice, early childhood education or related field

• Must have excellent writing and communication skills and a desire to work with children and families

• Knowledge and experience in criminal justice system, direct victim services, or child protection strongly preferred

• Must have access to a reliable vehicle and ability to travel within the district • Bilingual Spanish fluency a plus


SALARY: Salary $40,000 - $50,000 plus medical and other employee benefits.


BENEFITS:

The NWDAO is pleased to offer a comprehensive benefits package to its employees.

The overall benefits available include: Paid Vacation, Sick and Personal Leave Time; Health, Dental and Vision Insurance through the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission; and a pre-tax Health Savings Account optional plan. In addition, the NWDAO provides employees the opportunity to elect Life Insurance, Long-Term Disability Insurance, Deferred Compensation Savings, Tuition Remission, along with other programs.

NWDAO employees also participate in the Commonwealth’s State Retirement Plan, which can become a defined benefit plan for those that both vest and subsequently retire from state service.

The NWDAO provides the ability for new full-time employees to accrue two weeks of paid vacation leave per year, up to 5 personal days of leave per year (depending upon the quarter of the year that one’s employment begins), 11 recognized state / federal paid holidays, and the opportunity to accrue up to 9.375 hours of paid sick leave per month.


COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, INCLUSION & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office is committed to cultivating and sustaining an equitable and inclusive work environment where diversity is celebrated and all employees feel valued, respected, and engaged. We strive to have a staff diverse in culture, background, and perspective. We afford equal opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, military status, sexual orientation, sexual identity, handicap/disability, gender, gender identity, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected class. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that staff can bring to our District Attorney office.


TO APPLY:

Applicants must submit cover letter, resume and Employment Application Form (form located under the “Employment & Internships” tab at www.northwesternda.org) to martha.murphy-kane@state.ma.us. Candidates are encouraged to visit the NWDAO website at www.northwesternda.org to learn more about the work of the office.