Position: Counselor Advocate
Department: Casa Sandra – Transitional Housing Program for Social Change
Location (s): Bronx
Reports To: Associate Director of Residential Programs
Classification: Full Time – Non-Exempt
Work Model: Hybrid
The Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) partners with Latinx communities to end gender-based violence. Created as a grassroots response to intimate partner violence and sexual assault, VIP has always centered survivors in its leadership and has worked to create a community of staff that reflects the rich national, ethnic and racial diversity of the communities it serves. VIP runs four non-residential social service programs and two residential shelter and housing programs, in addition to a robust communications and outreach department.
Casa Sandra, or the Transitional Housing Program for Social Change (THPSC) is a transitional 5 story complex for survivors of intimate partner violence, housing 17 families. Survivors and their dependent children are provided with one-year leases and supportive services in order to help them stabilize post-crisis, and find a path towards permanent housing. Staff works with each participant to create an individualized service plan that addresses the holistic needs of each family. Supportive services include: case management, access to health and wellness services, housing advocacy, educational/vocational workshops, financial planning, and job preparation, attainment and retention.
Counselor Advocates are responsible for working with each resident on their caseload and assist them with creating an individualized action plan that addresses their immediate and long-term needs. Counselor Advocates will work closely with the Program Assistant and other staff to ensure smooth program operation. Below is a list of essential functions specific to the Counselor Advocate role.
- Conduct initial needs assessments to help identify the presenting needs and goals of the residents and re-evaluate on an on-going basis.
- Assist the residents with creating a safety plan and prioritizing their needs.
- Develop and implement individualized service plans for residents, using a strengths-based approach.
- Provide intense, supportive case management services that include crisis counseling, information and referrals, advocacy and accompaniment as needed;
- Provide weekly (scheduled) case management sessions with residents.
- Complete program intakes and psychosocial for prospective participants of the program;
- Provide interventions that promote positive relationships among participants, their families, housemates and communities;
- Coordinate groups, activities and assist in facilitating events that promote community-building, individual development and empowerment;
- Maintain proper documentation (record keeping, reports and statistical information) on a timely manner for all clients;
- Maintain up to date resources and manage program linkages.
- Conduct in home inspections
- Assist in the development and maintenance of linkages with community-based educational, vocational, employment, and support services alongside the AD and PA
- Establish formal relationships with DHS, HRA, and NYC shelters for survivors of domestic violence.
- Provide complete and accurate information about resident outcomes and services
- Work collaboratively with colleagues, supervisors and other service providers to ensure the highest quality of service;
- Adhere to mandated reporting requirements as they relate to such issues on child abuse/neglect, suicide/homicide concerns, etc.
- Participate in various programmatic meetings: Case Conference Meetings, staff meetings, team meetings;
- Participate in community outreach and /or educational workshops, as needed by program;
- Support and comply with the values and policies of the Violence Intervention Program;
- Provide coverage as needed, this includes but is not limited to on-call evening and weekend coverage.
- Perform other tasks and administrative duties as needed.
Data Collection & Entry:
- Review all data entry for accuracy and compliance
- Prepare internal and external reports to ensure level of performance and compliance
- Make recommendations for improvement or enhancement to data processes to ensure standards in data entry, collection, and retrieval
- Prepares and or review agency and program wide quantitative and qualitative data
- Prepares program report(s) for Associate Director and Senior Director for Board Meetings, Audits, Annual Reports, etc.
- Monitors and approves program expenditures ensuring that budget allocations are not overspent
- Work closely with Data Department in providing programmatic and statistical data for support of grant(s) application(s)
- BSW or BA required, MSW preferred
- Fully Bilingual Required (English/Spanish – verbal and written);
- A minimum of two (2) years crisis intervention, advocacy and counseling experience in the area of domestic violence, sexual assault, or related field;
- Strong verbal, written, communication and documenting skills;
- Must be well organized and be able to work independently and collectively,
- Must be knowledgeable in working with diverse communities, particularly Latinx, people of color, and low income populations, and must deliver services with cultural humility;
- Must be able to exercise good judgment and sensitivity at all times;
- Must maintain agency, program and client confidentiality at all times;
- Must work well with a team and bring self-awareness and accountability to the workplace;
- Strong Knowledge of the social and political affects of domestic abuse on victims, women, children/youth and society.
- Must be sensitive, non-judgmental and empathic towards survivors of domestic violence.
- Capacity to de-escalate and manage crisis situations.
- Genuine desire to work with identified population (e.g., Latinos, low-income, immigrant and people of color) and deliver culturally competent services.
- Excellent writing, communication, and documenting skills required.
- Flexible schedule is required to meet clients’ needs (i.e., on-call; evenings; weekends).
- Knowledge of NYC housing laws that directly affect residents in a supportive/transitional housing environment is required.
- Must be able to exercise good judgment and sensitivity at all times
- Must ensure agency, program and client confidentiality at all times.
- Must display high standards of ethical conduct. Exhibits honesty and integrity. Refrains from theft-related, dishonest or unethical behavior;
- Must be reliable and a team player.
Expected Work Schedule:
The Counselor Advocate is expected to work 35 hours per week, with an additional commitment that includes being on rotation for on-call coverage during the evenings and weekend shifts, as required. The Counselor Advocate schedule is expected to be Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 7pm.
Compensation & Benefits
- Full-time, exempt position, working 35 hours per week with a pay rate of $24.73/hour or $45,000/year.
- We cover 90% of the cost of medical (United Healthcare/Oxford), dental (Aetna) and vision (VSP) coverage for employee and spouse/children/family. Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Accounts available.
- Paid Time Off program, 12 paid holidays, a mid-year and end-of-year office closure.
- Summer Friday schedule (optional)
- Commuter benefits (Mass Transit & Parking)
- 403b retirement plan
- Employee Assistance Program
- Disability & Life Insurance
- Monthly health & wellness activities
- Team appreciation days
Note: As a contractor of The City of New York, all VIP employees, interns and volunteers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.