AT YOUTHCARE: We value hard work and dedication to helping homeless youth move from survival mode into thriving and healthy young adulthood. We also value a sense of humor and respect of each other and the youth we serve. YouthCare serves young people of many racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and religious beliefs, and we seek a workforce that reflects that diversity.
ABOUT YOUTHCARE: YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and empowered to achieve their potential. Founded in 1974, YouthCare was one of the first programs to serve runaway and homeless youth on the West Coast. The goal was to help young people find safety today and build a future for tomorrow. Over four decades, we’ve defined best practices and developed programs that are a national standard for excellence. Using a youth-centered approach, we ensure that young people experiencing homelessness ages 12-24 have the hope, skills, and confidence to gain long-term stability.
ABOUT OUR PREVENTION PROGRAMS: YouthCare’s Prevention programs provide community-based case management services for specialized populations that provides timely intervention for young people and families that are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness. Working in formalized collaboration with other social services agencies in King County, Prevention staff work with families, within schools and juvenile detention, provide services for young people how have experienced labor or sex trafficking, operate the Safe Place program, and provide a wide range of other services to address the needs of young people and families.
POSITION SUMMARY: The Community Advocate will be responsible for providing intensive case management services to 12-24-year-old young people who are victims/survivors of human trafficking to include both labor and sex trafficking. The Community Advocate is an independent, self-driven position that focuses on improving young people’s safety, social support, self-efficacy skills, and connection to resources. The Community Advocate works collaboratively with YouthCare staff, other community partners, the natural supports in a young person’s life, and the young person to help them increase their safety, agency, and dignity. Major tasks of the position include identifying, engaging, and supporting young people and families coping with issues such as unstable housing or homelessness, mental illness, histories of trauma and violence, involvement in the juvenile justice system, drug/alcohol issues, pregnancy or parenting issues, etc. Per contract requirements, the Community Advocate is responsible for enrolling approximately 15 young people per year onto the caseload, and is expected to develop and maintain relationships with other service providers in order to facilitate referrals. This position will include travel throughout King County.
- Maintain a caseload of approximately 15 young people who have been trafficked for labor or sex. Meet or have contact with each participant on a regular basis to provide support and to promote safety and stability.
- Assess participants in need of services. Work with participants to develop service plans that include linkages with community resources, family, natural supports, other YouthCare programs, or external providers as clinically appropriate.
- Assist and advocate for young people in navigating systems to include immigration, juvenile detention, foster care, and DCYF. Work collaboratively with clients and internal and external staff to increase safety and support.
- Serve as a key coordinator for young people, working closely within the legal system, as necessary, and partnering and coordinating with legal services to support the young person through legal cases.
- Provide direct support to eligible young people including face-to-face counseling, advocacy, transportation, and assisting young people in meeting their basic needs of food, housing, and safety.
- Engage young people through Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Informed Care, Harm Reduction, and strengths-based approaches.
- Develop and maintain relationship with Law Enforcement, juvenile court, and other systems young people may interact with; coordinate Multidisciplinary Teams across systems to best address young peoples’ goals
- Actively participate in collaborative work within YouthCare and other agencies providing similar services to coordinate services and referrals
- In an on-call rotation, provide phone response or occasional in-person support as part of a 24/7 response when a young person is identified being exploited, or sexual exploitation is suspected. Also, provide occasional support to the Safe Place program, which include 24/7 coverage and adherence to YouthCare’s Taking Call Policy (see below).
- Complete and submit all documentation and grant reporting in a timely manner
- Ensure all client-related data is both current and accurate in the YouthCare’s Evaluation System (YES).
- Participate in weekly supervision meetings, bi-monthly team meetings, and monthly clinical consult meetings. Participate in additional meetings as required.
- Attend in-service trainings and grant funder sponsored meetings as required for position.
This job description is not intended to cover every aspect of your job at YouthCare. We are a team that works together to meet the needs of our clients and every member of the team is expected to pitch in and help even beyond the specific responsibilities listed in this description.
Non-management employees are represented by Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).
- BA in Social Work, Psychology, or related field. Degree may be substituted on a year-for-year basis by a High School Diploma, GED, or Associate’s Degree and successful experience working with vulnerable young people.
- Ability to relate in an empathetic, supportive, non-judgmental manner to young people and their families.
- Strong engagement and relationship-building skills. Ability to maintain professional boundaries with clients while building trust and respect.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Access to a personal vehicle and a willingness to transport young people in your personal vehicle. Possession of required liability insurance to transport young people in your personal vehicle.
- Ability to follow YouthCare’s Taking Call policy when providing occasional Safe Place coverage. Policy requirements are:
- No use of alcohol or any substance that would cause the staff member to be under the influence. Staff members taking call are expected to abide by YouthCare’s Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace policy as if on-duty.
- Maintain cell phone coverage for entire time period staff is taking call. Respond to calls and messages promptly.
- Be able to answer calls at any time and physically be present if necessary.
- Maintain the ability to be accessible for calls across King County within 45 minutes.
- Experience working with young people who have experienced homelessness and/or who have been exploited.
- Experience working in crisis situations and with de-escalation techniques.
- Understanding of issues affecting young people experiencing homelessness and/or who are survivors of human trafficking.
- Understanding of community resources for program participants.
- Experience in safety planning with clients.
- Flexibility and willingness to meet with participants in various community locations.
- Ability to successfully work independently and as a member of a team.
- Experience and credentials must comply with program contract requirements including but not limited to DSHS background check and must be at least 21 years of age.
- BA degree, experience can substitute on a year by year basis, except for those positions where a degree is required by contract/licensing.
- Verbal and written fluency in both English and Spanish.
- Knowledge of and direct experience working with, young people that have been sexually exploited.
- Knowledge of systems and resources relevant to the population.
- Knowledge and experience of crisis intervention, child abuse/neglect, juvenile justice, domestic violence, housing and homelessness, substance abuse, mental health issues, public assistance rights, sexual abuse and assault, family dynamics.
- Experience networking and advocating with other agencies to access housing, medical, financial, legal, educational and other resources on behalf of young people or young adults.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:
- Valid state identification or passport.
- Current TB Test.
- Food Handler’s Card.
- Successful completion of pre-service training as required by contracting agency. Training will include: New Employee Training, Cultural Proficiency training, CPR/First Aid and HIV/AIDS training, and CSEC and Right Response training, and Defensive Driving and 15-Passenger Van training.
- When driving YouthCare vehicles, you must possess a valid WA State Driver’s License; meet minimum safe driver criteria established by the agency and our insurance company.
- Computer software skills including Windows, Microsoft outlook, Microsoft Word.
- Initiative, creativity, reliability, flexibility, thoroughness.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills with good quality spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- High integrity when dealing with a broad array of cultures and restricted and/or confidential information.
- Ability to deal therapeutically with behavioral and emotional problems presented by young people and understanding of emotionally, physically and sexually abused young people.
- Ability to coordinate overall program functioning.
- Ability to accurately maintain and produce files, records, logs and reports.
- Ability to maintain professional boundaries with clients while building trust and respect.
- Ability and willingness to stay awake and alert during overnight shifts.
- Ability to verbally and physically respond to an aggressive person in ways that de-escalate, establish and maintain staff and young peoples’ safety.
- May be required to assume responsibilities or duties within the agency not specifically delineated in this job description for short periods of time or on an infrequent basis.
- Commitment to YouthCare’s initiative to build cultural proficiency across the agency. Acceptance of a variety of lifestyles, behaviors, and cultural and spiritual practices.
Ability to perform range of physical motions, exerting up to 50 pounds. Lifting and carrying up to 50 pounds; standing, walking, sitting for long periods of time, kneeling, squatting, and stooping; running for brief periods of time; and go up and down stairs.
WORK SCHEDULE: This position is Full-time regular and non-exempt, and may require working days, evenings, nights and weekends and alternate work locations.
BENEFITS: YouthCare provides a competitive benefits package to full time employees including medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, short-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave after successful completion of the 90-day Introductory Period.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT: YouthCare is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are based on merit and business needs and YouthCare is committed to recruiting, hiring, training, and promoting qualified people of all backgrounds, regardless of actual or perceived sex; race; color; religious creed; national origin; ancestry; age; marital status; pregnancy; nursing parent status; physical, mental or sensory disability; medical condition; genetic information; sexual orientation; gender (including gender identity or expression); military or veteran status; or any other basis protected by federal, state and/or local laws. People of Color and Members of the LGBTQ community are strongly encouraged to apply.
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