Athens-Oconee CASA Advocacy Coordinator
- Experience Level
Employer: Children First, Inc.
Position: Athens-Oconee CASA Advocacy Coordinator
Status: Full-time (To begin July 2021)
Salary: $32,000-35,000 (health insurance and Simple IRA after first 90 days, 15 days of annual leave)
Through advocacy and mentorship, the Athens Oconee Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) organization empowers community members to stand up for a foster child and champion their rights in court. CASA recruits, trains, and provides ongoing support to community volunteers serving as officers of the court to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Through sustained, personal attention, CASA volunteers create positive change in children's lives, providing children with hope, stability and opportunities to thrive in preparation for healthy, productive adult lives. A CASA Advocacy Coordinators role is to support these CASAs while they accomplish these goals. More information can be found at www.athensoconeecasa.org.
The Advocacy Coordinator is primarily responsible for the administrative case management of the open dependency court cases serviced by CASA. In doing so, the Advocacy Coordinator provides supervision and direction to Peer Coordinators and CASA volunteer advocates and ensures volunteer compliance with Agency policies. The Advocacy Coordinator also collaborates with staff to screen potential volunteers and provide volunteer advocate training. An essential part of the Advocacy Coordinator position is working with the CASA volunteer to ensure each child’s physical, emotional, psychological, and educational needs are met. To collect information on the child’s needs, an Advocacy Coordinator will spend a moderate amount of time in court hearings, in DFCS meetings, editing and providing feedback on CASA court reports, and in communication with the CASA volunteers on their case load.
Please submit your application, resume and cover letter on our website https://www.childrenfirst-inc.org/athens-oconee-casa-advocacy-coordinator.html
Primary: (Average 60% of yearly time)
- Supervision, support and management of volunteer advocates and their assigned cases \
- Support volunteer advocates in the completion of court-mandated duties, including, but not limited to, developing and submitting monthly contact logs, court reports and case plans, and participating and documenting court hearings and case meetings.
- Exercise discretion and independent judgment to assist advocates in creative problem solving, utilizing Agency and community resources and ensuring objectivity, accuracy, and consistency in dependency permanency planning while maintaining focus on best interest principles.
- Maintain monthly minimum contact with advocates, providing coaching, feedback, and support tailored to individual case and volunteer needs.
- Facilitate and mediate relationships between advocates and professionals, family members, and others as needed.
- Assess and strategically match advocates with cases in a timely manner.
- Annually evaluate and document advocate performance in the fulfillment of their duties
- Identify and share information about specialized services and resources with advocates and CASA staff.
- Participate and collaborate with CASA staff to troubleshoot case concern and implement solution-based ideas.
- Attend and document court and DFCS meetings for those cases not currently being served by a CASA volunteer.
- Maintain organized, accurate and up-to-date physical and electronic case records in compliance with Agency protocols, HIPAA laws, and ensure data integrity for reporting needs.
- Establish and maintain effective, collegial working relationships with CASA and Children First staff, board and volunteers, as well as with representatives of the respective courts, attorney panel, education service providers and other community service providers and entities.
- One would need to possess solid, persuasive skills with ability to maintain positive interpersonal relationships with diverse community members and professionals in a collaborative manner.
- Attend and participate in weekly and monthly meetings with the CASA and Children First staff.
Secondary Duties May Include: (Average 40 % of yearly time)
- Support Athens Oconee CASA to provide comprehensive, extended training for volunteer advocacy and mentorship. (20% of time)
- Provide assistance with training of new advocates and the continuing education and retention of established advocates. This will include working training sessions that are outside the Monday-Friday 9-5 hours.
- Screen all volunteers background checks.
- Create and participate in Children First, Inc and Athens-Oconee CASA Marketing Campaigns (10% of time)
- Facilitate and attend Volunteer Recruitment, utilizing social media and other promotional avenues. This could include public speaking opportunities.
- Invest, grow and support CASA and Children First, Inc social media platforms and initiatives, by managing CASA or Children First Inc. social media accounts.
- Create and distribute Children First Newsletter (5% of time)
- Participate in Community Meetings as a representative of the agency. (2% of time)
- Participate in agency fundraisers (1 % of time)
- The CASA Program Coordinator or the Children First, Inc. Executive Director may assign other tasks from time to time; Athens Oconee CASA is a small non-profit organization requiring flexibility from its staff (2% of time)
- Candidate will need access to their own transportation around Clarke and Oconee counties on a weekly basis and then transportation through-out the state up to ten times a year, this is likely to include overnight and weekend work at times.
- Associates/Bachelor's degree, preferably in social-service related field
- Experience in the fields of social service, juvenile law, education and volunteer program management and/or case management required.
- Knowledge of the needs and strengths of transitional youth with an appreciation of the middle and late adolescent stages of development; direct service experience supporting youth in foster care strongly preferred.
- Strong working knowledge of community resources in the city of Athens and the greater Clarke and Oconee County Areas
- Spanish-English bilingual candidates encouraged to apply.
- Must complete Volunteer Advocate Training; and undertake related self-development activities.
- Comfortable with learning and using new software programs including database management systems. Needed computer skills include proficiency with Microsoft Office programs (Microsoft Word, Excel, Teams, and Outlook), Google systems, and mainstream social networking applications with the ability to learn and incorporate new technology and software.
- Strong written communication skills, including editing skills; candidates should be prepared to provide a writing sample upon request.
- Will need to write clearly and informatively. Can edit work for spelling and grammar. Can vary writing style to meet needs. Must be able to read and interpret written information. Must be able to provide constructive objective feedback.
- Excellent oral communication skills, including the ability to welcome feedback, calmly evaluate and make mindful, strategic decisions in emotionally charged situations and in the absence of complete clarity. Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations. Listens and gets clarification. Responds well to questions. Coaches' others through situations.
- Flexibility with hours, including some evenings and weekends.
- Possess an ability to independently manage one's workload and schedule while also remaining open to collaboration and teamwork.
- Must demonstrated follow-through on commitments, with accountability for own actions.
- Demonstrated respect of all people regardless of socioeconomic background, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, disability or gender and experience working with culturally diverse.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and exercise diplomacy and discretion in communication with others.
- Commitment and passion for the mission of CASA and Children First, Inc.
- Professionalism: Follows through on commitments. Approaches others in a tactful manner. Reacts well under pressure. Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position. Accepts responsibility for own actions.
- Teamwork: Creates and maintains a team environment. Gives and welcomes feedback. Contributes to building a positive team spirit. Puts the success of the team above own individual interests. Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives. Supports everyone's effort to succeed. Assumes the best of other people's actions.
- Delegation: Delegates and monitors work assignments of others. Matches the responsibility to the person. Gives authority to work independently. Can sets expectations and provides recognition for results.
- Problem Solving: Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner. Gathers and analyzes information skillfully. Develops alternative solutions.
- Planning/Organizing: Strong organizational and time management skills. Ability to multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines. Prioritizes and plans work activities. Uses time effectively. Can sets goals and objectives. Assists others with organizing their tasks. Demonstrates independent timekeeping skills.
- Interpersonal Skills: Self-motivated with ability to take initiative. Has desire to surpass expectations. Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming. Listens to others without interrupting. Keeps emotions under control. Remains open to constructive feedback and other's ideas.
- Customer Service: Manages difficult or emotional situations. Responds promptly to clients, and volunteers needs. Solicits feedback to improve service. Facilitates communication.
- Initiative: Volunteers readily. Undertakes self-development activities. Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities. Asks for and offers help when needed. Be willing to take on new tasks even if no prior experience in the task area.
- Travel: Have reliable transportation and ability to schedule some travel.
- Ability to travel frequently from the office within the state. Some overnight and out of state stays will be required.
- Background Check: Must satisfactorily pass all applicable background checks which will include fingerprint screening, motor vehicles check, sex offender registry, and DFCS records check. .
Other Miscellaneous Requirements:
- Ability to sit and type at computer for at least 5 hours per workday.
- Participate in continuing education opportunities as appropriate.
- Ability to lift 5-10 pounds of office supplies or AV equipment
- Occasionally carry out or assist with other duties not listed on this job description.
- Ability to work some nights and weekends throughout each month.
Physical Requirements and Work Environment:
This position requires the manual dexterity sufficient to operate phones, computers, and other office equipment. The position requires the physical ability to kneel, bend, and perform light lifting. This person must have the ability to write and speak clearly using the English language to convey information and be able to hear at normal speaking levels both in person and over the telephone. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The working conditions are good with little or no exposure to extremes in health, safety hazards, and/or hazardous materials. Work is performed in an office setting, in homes and in the community.
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