Community Advocate: DV Co-Located Advocate - The Network

Website Sarah's inn

Sarah’s Inn is a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of those affected by domestic violence and to break the cycle of violence for future generations. Our services and initiatives focus on ending relationship violence through domestic violence crisis intervention, community education, and violence prevention programs for youth.

Job Title: Community Advocate: DV Co–Located Advocate

Department: Intervention/Community Advocacy

Reports To: Community Advocacy Program Supervisor

FLSA status: Exempt/Full-time

Position Summary:

The goal of the Domestic Violence Co-Location Program (DVCLP) is to enhance the effectiveness of the child welfare interventions into the lives of families experiencing domestic violence. The Community Advocate for the DVCLP is responsible for providing support to both child welfare professionals working with families experiencing domestic violence and to all members of the family experiencing domestic violence and child welfare interventions. This position partners with DCFS to specifically target the shared goals of the domestic violence community and DCFS to end violence in Illinois families, reduce risk, enhance the safety of adult and child survivors, foster offender accountability, support parental strengths and protective capacities, and improve outcomes for children and families experiencing domestic violence in the child welfare system that promote safety, stability, wellbeing and healing. The Community Advocate will aim to improve communication and coordination among child welfare and other community-based services and systems. The Community Advocate reports to the Community Advocacy Program Supervisor, will work closely with the Associate Director on the DVCLP, and will work collaboratively with our Intervention team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Other duties may be assigned.

Provide consultation to child welfare professionals.

The purpose of the consultation is to help build the capacity of child welfare professionals to adequately understand and interpret the dynamics and impact of the domestic violence on the family, and to craft effective interventions that enhance the safety, stability, wellbeing and healing of all members of the family.

  • Provide expert guidance, advice, professional opinions, and strategies related to domestic violence based upon the information gathered at the point of the intervention to child welfare workers
  • Provide guidance on questions for the child welfare worker to ask and information to gather.
  • Identify each parent/adult as either the adult survivor or parent using violence and coercive control (PUVCC)
  • Provide expertise in identifying the following: (1) the perpetrator’s pattern of coercive control and battering tactics, and power and control, (2) the dynamics of domestic violence present in the particular home, and (3) the immediate and future safety risks to the adult and child survivors.
  • Identify the potential options for safety strategies.
  • Identify the adult survivor’s strengths and protective efforts, and collaboratively build interventions that enhance these strengths and foster protective factors.
  • Identify precautionary measures that the adult survivor took.
  • Analyze the impact of the perpetrator’s violence on the children and risk of harm.
  • Determine high risk indicators for intimate partner homicide.

Support DCFS involved Families and Provide Data for the DVCLP

The purpose of direct contact with families is to assist and support the family during the child welfare intervention, and to gather and interpret information that forms the basis for the effective intervention governed by an Informed Consent process.

  • The DVLCA will engage with all members of the families to provide information about child welfare, support and education on domestic violence, domestic violence safety planning, crisis intervention, advocacy, expedited access to domestic violence services, and referral to other community or social services.
  • Direct contact with families may occur in the survivor’s home in accordance with the Home Visiting Policy, shelter, DCFS Office, Child and Family Team Meeting, partner Domestic Violence Agency, or other safe location.
  • The Community Advocate is not providing individual or group counseling, or long-term ongoing services to the family. Rather, these services will be provided by other staff at the Partner Domestic Violence agency or another agency by a separate domestic violence advocate or service provider.
  • Update and maintain database for project and provide reports as needed.
  • Ensure appropriate releases are signed in order to communicate with partner organizations, including DCFS.

Educate child welfare professionals about domestic violence and Sarah’s Inn services.

The purpose of trainings/education is to increase cross-system understanding of child welfare and domestic violence by specifically focusing on identified topics that enhance the ability of child welfare professionals to meet the complex needs of families experiencing domestic violence and to ensure that the domestic violence community, in turn understands the experiences of families in the child welfare system.

  • In collaboration with Sarah’s Inn’s Training & Education Program, provide training to child welfare staff partner domestic violence staff, judges and community partners/stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with Sarah’s Inn’s Training & Education Program, coordinate and train on topics, including but not limited to, dynamics and impact of domestic violence, unique needs of adult victims and children, partnering with domestic violence survivors to achieve child safety, safety planning strategies, perpetrator engagement and accountability, the impact of perpetrators’ violence on children and DV/child welfare best practice.
  • In coordination with the Domestic Violence Co-location Project partners, develop opportunities for co-trainings between agency and DCFS.
  • Participate in DCFS training opportunities.

Actively participate in Community Collaborations and Education

The purpose of involving the DVCLA in community collaborations is to include the child welfare voice at community tables involving domestic violence and to coordinate a cross-sector team that collaborates to meet the needs of child welfare involved families.

  • Engage in current stakeholder initiatives and/or create new community stakeholder teams as necessary.
  • Provide community education presentations and professional trainings.
  • Participate in community awareness events.
  • Provide internal training to staff, volunteers, and interns.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This job has no supervisory responsibilities.


  • Two days at DCFS Cook North Region Office, 1911/1921 S. Indiana, Chicago, IL
  • Two days at DCFS Cook Central Office, 1026 S. Damen, Chicago, IL
  • Wednesdays at Sarah’s Inn’s Program Office, 1547 Circle Ave, Forest Park, IL

Some adjustments around Sarah’s Inn staff meetings and development days


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience:

  • BA degree and/or equivalent experience required.
  • One year or more experience providing direct service advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence and their families preferred.
  • One year or more experience providing counseling, advocacy, and/or case management services to families (volunteer and internship experiences included) preferred.
  • One year or more experience working with or within the child welfare system preferred.
  • One year or more experience in coordination of services and development of community partnerships preferred.
  • Completion of an Illinois Certified 40-Hour Domestic Violence Training preferred or required to complete within two months of employment.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Fluency in Spanish, oral and written, required.
  • Demonstrated computer experience.
  • Knowledge of victims’, children and youth issues specifically related to domestic violence preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and handle a variety of tasks, and meet established deadlines.
  • Ability to develop and maintain positive relationships with a wide variety of people, including but not limited to board members, staff, volunteers, interns, government officials, community partners, organizational donors and media.
  • Commitment to and experience in working with people from diverse cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Ability to work some evening and weekend hours.
  • Valid driver’s license, access to a reliable car with current insurance.

Success Factors/Job Competencies:

  • Integrity & Ethics – models SAI Vision, Mission & Values
  • Customer Focus – demonstrates commitment to customer
  • Collaboration & Teamwork – embraces an inclusive workplace
  • Quality – produces quality work product
  • Innovation/Continuous Improvement – finds new and better ways of doing things
  • Job Knowledge – demonstrates a clear understanding of and executes roles and responsibilities
  • Time Management/Productivity – manages time and resources effectively
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making – demonstrates proper judgment, problem solving and decision making
  • Independence/Initiative – works with little or no supervision and seeks out new work
  • Communication – effectively communicates

Physical demands and work environment:

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical demands: While performing duties of job, incumbent is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects; reach with hands and arms; talk and hear. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision and distance vision.

Performance Standards:

  • Annual performance evaluation
  • Attainment of annual goals established between supervisor and incumbent

Sarah’s Inn’s Compensation Package Currently Includes: BlueCross BlueShield Health Insurance for Individuals and Families (HMO and PPO Options Available); Disability and Life Insurance Policies; Voluntary Dental and Vision Insurance and Retirement Plan Available; 15 Days of Vacation and 10 Days of Sick Time Off Per Year

Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume and desired salary to Please denote in the subject line: Applying for the Community Advocate: DVCLP position.

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $45,000.00 – $47,500.00 per year

To apply for this job please visit