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The Family Advocate will assist select families referred by WDSS that are involved in the child welfare system to better understand, navigate, and access their community resources. The Family Advocate (FA) will mentor, build relationships, and support families in making decisions for their own families coping with the trauma of foster care involvement and child protective services involvement. The FA will guide families around communicating effectively with those involved in their case as well as maintaining relationships with their children during foster care placement. The Family Advocate will carry a caseload of 30 families.
About Abbott House
Abbott House is an innovative community-based organization that helps children, families, adults, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with complex needs build lasting foundations for a promising future. We operate programs in the New York Metropolitan area and Hudson Valley.
● Build relationships and support parents in coping with the trauma of foster care involvement, making decisions for their own families, communicating effectively with those involved in their case, and maintaining relationships with their children during foster care placement.
● Prepare parents and participate alongside them in all Family Team Conferences.
● Report to Assistant Director of BSFT a foster care unit supervisor and work alongside case planners.
● Implement the Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) model including key practices in the first 90 days of a case to orient parents to the service planning process; share Rise TIPS and other resources to support parents.
● Conduct visits to parents’ homes and accompany parents to appointments at various service providers.
● Provide emotional support for parents attending court dates, potentially including traveling to court with parents as needed.
● Orient parents to Family Time, offer ideas for making the most of family visits, and supervise visits periodically.
● Recognize and celebrate parents’ progress toward reunification.
● Inform parents about supportive interventions that will strengthen their families.
● Support parents in navigating resources and using negotiation skills.
● Coach parents to strengthen problem-solving skills while discovering their strengths, hopes, dreams and priorities.
● Document work in Progress Notes and/or other formats as appropriate.
● Attend all program and department meetings as appropriate.
● Perform related tasks to support parents as needed
You are the ideal candidate if you are passionate about the social services field and empowering underserved communities. Being compassionate, organized, self-motivated, driven, flexible and responsive are critical attributes to be successful in this role.
You have at least a High School diploma.
You have previous life experience being impacted by the child welfare system as a parent including having had a child placed in foster care or having had a court-ordered supervision case. Other prior child welfare involvement such as having personally experienced a child welfare investigation may also qualify. Previous child welfare cases must be closed for at least one year.
You are a natural collaborator.
You are warm, enthusiastic, able to engage and positively impact individuals.
You are someone who has a sincere appreciation for people and how they are each uniquely motivated.
You have strong interpersonal skills to assist with parent engagement and are geared towards working sensitively on topics involving trauma, stress, and healing.
You have good writing skills.
You have computer skills conducting Google searches and using Microsoft Office
You are skilled at working in a fast-paced environment on multiple projects occurring simultaneously.
You are passionate for parent leadership and preventing child welfare involvement.
You are able to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
You are able to work flexible hours.
You are able to travel extensively throughout Westchester County
You are able to uphold the mission and values of Abbott House