Community Advocate: Austin & Oak Park - 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

Looking for a great nonprofit organization with a strong community presence? You have found the right place at Sarah’s Inn. Work with an organization that prioritizes staff development and work-life balance. Join our team of caring, knowledgeable, and passionate professionals who are dedicated to the mission of ending domestic violence.

Sarah’s Inn offers competitive pay and benefits, including a flexible one-day per week remote work day, paid time off (25 days of vacation and sick time), 10 paid holidays per year, a Flexible Spending Account, a retirement plan, and robust health insurance plans (90% covered by the agency for individual coverage, 30% covered by agency for spouse/family coverage). The agency also provides a $35.00 monthly cell/tech reimbursement and mileage/parking reimbursement. 100% agency paid short-term and long-term disability and a $35,000 life insurance policy. Voluntary dental, vision and additional life insurance plans available.

Job Title: Community Advocate (Austin & Oak Park)

Department: Intervention

Reports To: Community Advocacy Program Supervisor

FLSA status: Exempt/Full-time

Salary: $42,000 – $45,000 annually

Position Summary: Provide counseling, advocacy and direct service to victims of domestic violence and their families including crisis intervention, emotional support, safety planning, general and legal advocacy, referral, domestic violence education and support and education group services. In addition, develop partnerships with community programs and alliances to provide education and build widespread support for victims and their families.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: If invited for an interview, a full job description will be provided.

Provide comprehensive and quality services to victims of domestic violence and their families (includes children and teen witnesses).
• Provide on-going counseling and emotional support to victims of domestic violence and their families through in-person individual sessions and group sessions.
• Provide crisis intervention, general and legal advocacy, referral, domestic violence education, safety planning, and emotional support for victims of domestic violence and their families over the phone or in-person.
• Organize and prioritize daily services and responsibilities to ensure that client needs are met.
• Advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence and their families within various systems to include social service, housing, economic, legal, health care and education.
• Ensure professional relationships with clients to create an atmosphere of empathy, safety and support.
• Maintain accurate and current information regarding issues and policies impacting adults and their families.
• Design, plan and facilitate support and education groups.
• Update and enhance knowledge of community resources and materials relevant to the clients we serve.
• Coordinate responsibilities with team members to ensure client needs are met.
• Update client files in a timely and accurate manner.
• Update client case notes and service codes in a timely and accurate manner.
• Achieve productivity expectations pertaining to service hours and caseload.
• Maintain knowledge of internal organizational guidelines and protocols.
• Work effectively with Intervention interns and volunteers.

Assist qualifying clients with the Coordinated Entry (CE) System.
• Work with the Community Advocate – Housing & Proviso to coordinate clients needing housing through the CE System.
• Work with Sarah’s Inn staff to enter their clients into the Coordinated Entry System.
• Organize and prioritize daily services and responsibilities to ensure that client needs are met.
• Work with and take referrals from partner organizations referring qualified clients for entry into the Coordinated Entry System.
• Attend meetings and trainings through the Alliance to End Homelessness and others pertaining to HMIS.

Build and enhance community relationships.
• Represent the organization with professionalism at community meetings and events, and demonstrate diplomacy and tact in all interactions with various system representatives and community partners.
• Participate and provide leadership on various external committees, task forces, and councils as assigned.
• Collaborate with other community and county agencies on behalf of the clients we serve.
• Develop and maintain partnerships with community programs that are in line with the mission of Sarah’s Inn.
• Develop partnerships with programs in Oak Park and the Austin Community to grow referrals to Sarah’s Inn’s services.
• Develop and maintain relationships with partners in particular as it pertains to Austin Coming Together (ACT) a Neighborhood Network of United Way. This may include serving on a subcommittee of ACT.

Participate in the on-call rotation for crisis line in order to support crisis line volunteers and clients (if exempt/full-time).
• Provide back-up support using the on-call phone for the crisis line off hours (evenings, nights, and weekends) for a week-long shift. Position could have up to 4 week-long shifts a year.
• Ensure support of volunteers who are on the line. Providing coverage if needed, answering questions, providing guidance, and taking over when clients are in need of support only staff can approve (hotel stays, transportation, food, etc.).
• Texting shift reminders to the volunteers who are scheduled.
• When on-call, responsible for responding to text line requests. The text line is directly linked to the on-call phone.
• Provide prompt feedback about concerns or successes during the on-call shift to the Volunteer and In-Kind Coordinator.
• Responsible for understanding and implementing the on-call and financial assistance procedures including awareness of technology used and troubleshooting as needed.

Location: Currently most time spent at Sarah’s Inn in Forest Park, however the goal is to grow relationships in the Austin Community so that 2-3 days would be spent at a location in Chicago.

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).
• 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, preferred.
• Demonstrated computer experience.
• Knowledge of victims’, children and youth issues specifically related to domestic violence.
• 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.

Sarah’s Inn is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, or disability. EOE/M/F/D/V
Interested Candidates should submit cover letter and resume to – Indicate “Applying for Community Advocate: Austin & Oak Park” in the Subject Line.

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