The Victim Advocate provides crisis intervention (via telephone and face-to-face), education on victimization and the dynamics of abuse and control; facilitates an immediate plan of action for the victim and helps make the victim and her children physically and emotionally safe. The Advocate develops a plan and helps the victim identify goals and objective; assumes a coordinating role in providing services through the shelter and other organizations in a collaborative manner. The Advocate coordinates work with the Shelter Director and other program staff to avoid duplication of services and to ensure that each victim is receiving adequate and appropriate advocacy services at all levels in the agency and in the system.
Responsibilities - Provides advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Participates in the 24 hour crisis hotline rotation schedule and answers and responds to hotline calls based on House of Hope best practice policy. - Assists in providing 24/7 staffing services for the shelter. Screens and conducts initial intake with victims requesting services. - Provides crisis intervention, domestic violence education, and empowerment/self-advocacy education via the telephone and in-person. - Provides advocacy with service providers including law enforcement, the courts, Family Support and Children’s Divisions’, Legal Services of SW Missouri, healthcare professionals, employers, creditors, and others on behalf of the victim. - Makes victims aware of the availability and guidelines of crime victim’s compensation, assists the victim in completing the required forms and gathering the needed documentation and provides follow-up contact with the Department of Public Safety on behalf of the victim when/as needed. - Ensures precautions are taken and policies are initiated to provide security and protect confidentiality for all victims. Establishes and maintains a collaborative and cooperative relationship with court personnel, law enforcement, prosecution, victim assistance, and legal representation programs to resolve frustrations, conflicts, and other barriers to victim’s access to the justice system. - Completes an advocacy report for each victim and maintains relevant monthly statistics and records for each victim. Obtains 60 hours of continuing education in victim advocacy annually. - Works closely with the all House of Hope staff to ensure consistency in client participation and treatment goals. Assists with such shelter activities as supervising cooking, meal time, clean-up, and children’s activities; supervises family time and offers activities that promote healthy and positive interactions between residents and their children. - Monitors and responds to resident and non-resident needs and brings issues relating to policies affecting victims to the attention of the Executive Director. Provides individual guidance to promote social and emotional well being while assisting women victims of crime to identify their strengths and needs while helping them to understand the dynamics of victimization and stabilize their lives. - - Provides transportation and accompaniment to community support services, community programs, health care and other essential services/agencies. - Implements emergency procedures and conducts periodic safety drills. Participates in all staff meetings, required conferences, and in-service trainings. - Performs other direct victim services as assigned. Lead by example. Operate as a professional representing the organization at all times Qualifications - College degree in Criminal Justice, Human or Social Services Field and/or equivalent experience in direct victim services.
Knowledge and Abilities - Knowledge of the issues of domestic violence and sexual violence and victimization and a sensitivity to the plight of battered women - Crisis intervention, problem solving, and advocacy skills Knowledge of housing, financial, legal, health, and transportation resources and systems - Knowledge of the judicial system or work experience in domestic violence - Effective time management skills Ability to remain calm in crisis situations Ability to empathize with clients while maintaining appropriate boundaries - Ability to be work independently with victims of crime in high-stress situations - Ability to work with people of various ethnic, racial, social, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds Ability to adapt to a variety of environments or work demands - Knowledge of record keeping Valid driver’s license, proof of auto insurance and use of a safe automobile
In addition to the above described skills, qualifications and requirements, there is a 180 day probationary period. Applicants are required to consent to, and successfully pass, a family services comprehensive criminal and civil background checks before an offer of employment is official.