Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has provided nearly 18,000 children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by training more than 41,000 attorneys and legal staff and cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND seeks a Social Services Coordinator for its New York office to work with unaccompanied children who are currently in or recently released from immigration detention facilities. The Social Services Coordinator will be responsible for working with KIND’s clients, KIND legal staff, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) case workers, and clients’ families to identify needs and gaps in services, and assist clients in accessing services related to housing, education, health, mental health, transportation, food, and child care. The Social Services Coordinator will work with clients detained at an ORR shelter in New York City, as well as child clients released in the New York metropolitan region.
The Social Services Coordinator’s responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to, the following:
- Develop and maintain a knowledge base of social services available to clients in assigned work areas in collaboration with the non-detailed Social Services Coordinator in the New York City area;
- Establish working relationships and partnerships with local service providers in each service area to enhance the referral process;
- Conduct psychosocial assessments of referred clients and develop a comprehensive service plan in conjunction with the child, the child’s family, and the child’s attorney, when appropriate, and maintain documentation regarding attempts to access services and service delivery;
- Communicate and collaborate with ORR facility staff to create post-18 plans for detained children approaching 18 years of age and post-release plans for detained children under 18 years of age who have obtained immigration status;
- Complete referrals to services, assist clients and families in completing intake requirements for these services and follow up as necessary;
- Assist KIND Legal staff on working with child clients and their families in crisis and transition;
- Educate KIND Legal Staff on best practices in working with children that have experienced trauma; and
- On occasion, if needed, assist KIND legal staff in conducting “Know Your Rights” presentations and screenings of children who have recently entered the ORR facility
- On occasion, support with special projects related to the delivery of services to children as determined by supervisor.
Educational and Experience Requirements
The ideal candidate will have experience working with and within immigrant communities in the US, will have working knowledge of the challenges and limitations in accessing public services for undocumented children and families, and will have a high level of cultural competence.
- Degree in social work, counseling, or related specialty required; MSW preferred;
- Two to three years of experience working with children providing social services, preferably immigrant and refugee children, or experience working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma;
- Advanced fluency in Spanish required;
- Ability to work collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team;
- A strong record of intercultural responsiveness, sensitivity and awareness, and cross-cultural communication skills;
- Excellent organizational and time management skills; and
- Self-starter who will be able to create a network of resources and contacts within a large metropolitan area.
- Prior experience working with attorneys, law firms, or other legal service providers;
- Experience working with a diverse team of social service providers and advocating on behalf of clients;
- A strong record of trauma-informed and cross-cultural care practices;
- Experience working with populations from Latin America and/or issues affecting immigrant youth integration
- Applications, including a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references, should be submitted online at: https://supportkind.org/jobs/
- Applications that do not contain all of the above-listed required materials will not be considered.
- Applications should be submitted as soon as possible. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled, and applicants selected for interviews will be duly notified. Please no inquiries or phone calls.
- KIND is an EOE committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in both its staff and work.
- The selected applicant will be asked to undergo a background check before acceptance of the final offer.
For more information and to apply, click here.