The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS) is proud to announce that it will be opening the first-ever Article 10 conflicts practice in all of New York City in the Bronx in July 2022. This ground-breaking practice will provide community-based, client-centered, holistic public defense for low-income parents and caretakers. NDS clients are represented by multidisciplinary teams including attorneys, advocates, team administrators and social workers. NDS is accepting applications for a Supervising Social Worker within our Bronx Conflicts Family Defense Practice.

Overview

The Family Defense Practice at NDS represents parents in family policing cases (sometimes called “child welfare” cases) filed by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) as well as related family court cases, including custody, visitation, and termination of parental rights proceedings. Through our holistic approach to representation, the Family Defense Practice provides parents with the help they need—both inside and outside of court—to keep their families safe and stable. Parents are represented not only by a high-quality attorney, but also social workers, team administrators, and parent advocates. NDS is committed to advancing due process rights for parents by fighting unwarranted state intervention in their lives and advocating for related systemic change. The Supervising Social worker is an essential part of a client’s interdisciplinary team and will work closely with Team Administrators, Social Workers, Parent Advocates and Attorneys to provide vigorous advocacy to clients with ACS, foster agencies, and service providers.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Supervise out-of-court staff;
  • Provide trauma-informed, anti-racist, intersectional, non-judgmental, and truly holistic advocacy for clients targeted by the family policing system;
  • Gather information from ACS, foster agencies, service providers and others in preparation for court;
  • Conduct client interviews and assessments to determine social service needs, as well as helping clients secure relevant services and advocating with those service providers;
  • Provide crisis management;
  • Advocate for clients at ACS and agency case conferences;
  • Conference cases and ensure training opportunities are available to staff;
  • Respond quickly and communicate clearly with clients, their families, and case workers;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with ACS leadership;
  • Work as part of the interdisciplinary team, including attorneys and other non-attorney advocates, to determine case strategy;
  • Represent NDS at meetings outside the office with other legal service organizations and at government hearings regarding indigent legal services.
  • Regularly meet and collaborate with other FDP Supervisors.

Desired Capabilities and Qualifications

  • NDS is seeking applicants with a demonstrated commitment to family defense, social justice issues and/or impacted Bronx communities;
  • Must have a Master’s Degree in Social Work;
  • Must have at least five years working with clients involved in the family policing and/or criminal justice systems;
  • Must have at least three years of experience working in an interdisciplinary setting;
  • Must have experience working with clients with mental health issues;
  • Must be able to provide supervision from an interdisciplinary perspective;
  • Must have a robust institutional knowledge of ACS policy and practices;
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal, analytical, writing, and communication skills;
  • Must possess strong organizational skills in order to supervise staff carrying a high caseload in a very fast-paced environment;
  • Must be comfortable in a court environment;
  • Lived experience with family court or the family policing system strongly preferred;
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply. Spanish language fluency is preferred.

Compensation

NDS offers a generous compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, 403(b) and vacation benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Myranda Mendez at mmendez@ndsny.org with the subject line, “NDS FDP Bronx Conflicts Supervising Social Worker Posting.” Please send your application as one document, preferably PDF. Applications will be considered candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

For more information about NDS, please visit our website at www.neighborhooddefender.org.

The Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem is committed to maintaining a diverse environment that reflects the community we serve. NDS is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply.