WINGS favors a strengths based approach to working with residents. The Children’s Advocate is responsible for coordinating services for children, providing informal counseling and supervising interns. This advocacy position will assess, implement, and oversee activities that support the needs of the children of WINGS.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities including, but not limited to:
Work with Family Advocate to identify at-risk children and arrange to provide additional support (i.e. referrals, counseling, mentors, etc.).
Assess each child referred to the program for needs, strengths, and identify level of need.
Provide crisis intervention activities to the parent and child
Conduct case management activities such as conflict management, parenting, social and life skills
Develop a service plan by meeting with clients weekly or as needed to monitor and revise the plan
Provide follow-up services as needed
Develop and coordinate schedule of agency-wide enrichment activities to include group, family and children’s activities.
Work with child(ren) to promote discussion of the child(ren)’s experiences; encouraging children to speak openly about the abusive/violent event(s) and serve to reduce their sense of isolation allowing them to begin emotional healing.
Prepare and provide intervention for children through groups using a curriculum that provides structure for discussions about family violence, personal safety, and identification of feelings.
Develop safety plan with children.
Meet regularly with children individually to provide emotional support.
Refer child(ren) to outside agencies to provide needed services, if necessary.
Facilitate supportive and educational groups for child residents as it relates to homelessness and/or domestic violence using a non-judgmental approach.
Provide counseling, encouragement, and enrichment activities for children in ways that will enhance their life and improve their potential for healthy psychological adjustment.
Act as an advocate for child residents. This may include education, legal, medical, counseling, public assistance, housing, and other community service providers.
Provide supervision to interns who provide services working with the children in Transitional Living Housing and Safe House.
Administer measures to the parent (client) and children to assess effectiveness of our treatment in order to provide guidance and direction for setting goals.
Prepare and facilitate parenting classes along with Family Advocates and Interns
Immediately report child abuse to Department of Children and Family Services as mandated by law and in accordance with agency procedures.
Conduct, attend, and participate in training and education.
Attend bi-weekly supervision, staff meetings and All-Staff meetings.
Collaborate with outside agencies in their work on clients’ service plans
Provides services in accordance with the Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professionals code of ethics
Perform additional responsibilities as assigned.
Qualifications and Characteristics:
Education: Master’s Degree in social work, psychology or related field. Must be licensed or license eligible (LSW, LPC, LCSW, LCPC)
Experience – Prefer a minimum of 3-5 years of experience in social services and the ability to work efficiently and independently. Must have experience working with children and be highly organized with attention to detail. Strong project management, interpersonal, problem solving skills with professional boundaries.
Training –40-hour domestic violence training, ICDVP and CPR & First Aid Certification and commitment to complete within 3 months of hire date (ICDVP may take longer).
Technical – Excellent working knowledge and skill with Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, and Access preferred. Excellent verbal and written communication and documentation skills, a must. Remain cognizant of current developments in the field of domestic violence. 2 languages (or more) preferred.
Social Skills – Must be able to respond appropriately in emergency situations; must be able to function well with minimal supervision.
Leadership Skills – Must demonstrate professionalism, flexibility, good judgment, and commitment to teamwork. Supervision experience preferred.
Flexibility - must be willing to work variable hours including evening, weekends, and holidays, serve as an on call staff on a rotating basis, and with minimal notice work at any of the locations within the Wings Program
Transportation - must have own transportation, valid driver’s license, good driving record, and automobile insurance
Physical Skills - must be able to operate common household and office equipment., must be able to climb stairs, hear and/or see fire and intruder alarms, must be able to lift 50-pound child.
Although the organization started as an advocate strictly for homeless women and children, WINGS has expanded 30 years later to become one of the largest domestic violence service and housing providers in the state of Illinois. Single individuals (women/men/transgender) and their children are able to receive temporary safe shelter through WINGS housing while staff provides one-on-one, individuali...zed assistance that allows the clients to set personal goals that will enable them to work, continue their education, and care for themselves and their children. WINGS provides comprehensive services that focus on strengths assessment, goal setting, life skills development, financial education, career coaching, therapeutic counseling, children’s activities, and peer mentoring.