Located in Uphams Corner in Dorchester, MA, St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children supports 600 women and children annually with shelter, clinical and educational services, job training, employment placement, and search for affordable permanent housing.
OBJECTIVE: To provide intensive case management/housing search, assessment, counseling, advocacy, referrals and discharge planning with homeless and formerly homeless families in shelter and in the community. Will provide follow up stabilization support to parents and their children as they move from shelter to their own homes
Nature and Scope: (These duties are not meant to be all inclusive and may be adjusted as necessary).
1. FAMILY SERVICES
- Develop and maintain professional goal-directed relationships with assigned families in shelter and in community.
- Conduct intakes with families in a respectful and sensitive manner
- Complete assessments to determine families’ eligibility for services and to begin understanding each family’s needs.
- Complete a Re-Housing plan with each assigned family during the first week of shelter placement.
- Assist families with their adjustment to shelter.
- Update Re-Housing plans monthly and develop a Re-Housing Stabilization Plan prior to each family’s discharge.
- Provide emotional support to families
- Provide advocacy on behalf of families
- Refer families for specialized services as needed (e.g. child care, health care, housing, educational, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, legal and family services within timeframe that best meets family’s needs and best practice standard, vocational, and financial).
- Assist families with child care, school enrollments, and transportation
- Engage with and motivate families in planning for the future
- Assist families with their search for affordable housing; work collaboratively with housing search specialists and family advocates
- Develop and maintain records on database (e.g. ETO) and hard copy records on a regular basis.
- Participate in team meetings and collaborate with co-workers to ensure good communication and good outcomes for families.
- Participate in DHCD meetings and webinars as scheduled.
- Use Outlook to manage e-mails, contacts, and schedules.
- Assist families with their adjustment to new housing situation.
- Serve as a positive role model consistent with agency guidelines regarding professionalism, boundaries, and ethical standards.
- Maintain responsive and respectful communication with staff, clients, families, and community partners
- Uses basic counseling skills of active listening, empathy, reflection and validation to develop relationships with parents and their children
- Facilitate groups as assigned
- Provide case management and stabilization services for community clients for a minimum of 1x monthly or more often as needed
- Assist families with transportation to scheduled appointments.
- Provide on call back-up to program staff on a rotating basis, consistent with agency’s On Call Policies and Procedures.
- Actively engage families in active search for permanent affordable housing
- Plan, develop and implement group work curriculum designed to teach a range of independent living skills to families
- Provide individual services to support families as they plan for their transition to affordable, permanent housing
- Assess and re-assess families to develop the most effective and comprehensive housing plan to determine barriers and capacity to move as quickly as possible into permanent, affordable housing
- Uses basic counseling skills of active listening, empathy, reflection and validation to develop children and family’s capacities to function
- Build strong relationships and establish positive communication with families based on respect and understanding of their needs
- Ensure that families’ needs are met in a timely fashion and in an ethical manner
- Establish and maintain frequent and positive communication with families and proactively reach out to connect families with a range of community based supportive resources
- Educate parents about their responsibilities and legal consequences to actions that could lead to eviction
- Conduct educational/vocational assessment of parent to determine eligibility for services according to state and agency standards
- Provide outreach services to ensure regular contact with families is maintain for 12 months to ensure families maintain stable, permanent housing
2. PROGRAM SERVICES
- Knowledgeable of and complies with program specific and agency policies and procedures and enforces rules and regulations
- Assist families with managing their health care needs and medications as necessary.
- Represent Margaret’s House and St. Mary’s Center in a positive and professional manner
- Maintain positive working relationships with funding resources, collaterals, and other community agencies
- Provide crisis interventions utilizing agency protocols
- Provides shift coverage as required
- Maintain accurate documentation, records and files in accordance with quality assurance standards
- Maintain safety, appearance, and cleanliness of the facility in compliance with health, fire, and safety regulations.
- Actively work with landlords to build positive working relationships that will lead to early warning and interventions
- Establish and maintain positive working relationships with utility companies to support families to remain stable in their own homes
- Mediate disputes between landlords and families to prevent destabilization
- Represent families in housing court to advocate for continued tenancy
- Build collaborations with community agencies that will support family’s success in permanent housing
- Promote positive program visibility and maintain positive working relationships with funding resources, collaterals, and other community agencies
- Actively engage as member of team and provide support to program staff as needed
- Responsible for on-call and emergency coverage through the pager rotation, as assigned
3. PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
- Attends and uses supervision for professional growth
- Engages in self-evaluation to establish goals for professional development
- Attends and participates in assigned program and agency meetings and trainings
4. QUALITY ASSURANCE
- Complete and distribute monthly and/or quarterly reports as needed
- Transport families in a safe and secure manner consistent with Massachusetts laws and agency policies
- Provide documentation of client progress as requested in timely fashion
- Maintain time sheets, mileage logs, daily work schedules, requests for time off in accordance with Agency policy
- Participate in program events as assigned
- Develop and update service plans in collaboration with residents, family members and other collateral in accordance with agency and licensing standards
- Identify and implement positive changes for the betterment of program
- Maintain accurate documentation, records and files in accordance with contract requirements and quality assurance standards.
- Actively engage families in offering information on the strengths and weaknesses of their housing plan and adjust plan whenever appropriate
- Complete and distribute monthly and/or quarterly reports as indicated by program timetables
- Track performance targets established and provide documentation of family’s progress as required by funding source and Agency in timely fashion
- Maintains the confidentiality of information
- Other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree in related field preferred and 3 years’ direct experience; degree in human services field highly preferred
- Experience working in group settings, case management and advocacy
- At least three (3) years’ experience and knowledge of housing subsidies and homeless and housing issues
- Bilingual in Spanish (required)
- Patient, understanding, and supportive
- Strong mediation and negotiation skills
- Ability to handle a variety of assignment and have the flexibility to work some evenings if necessary
- Ability to engage in collaborative relationships with team
- Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, organization and communication skills
- Computer skills including data entry and Outlook
- Ability to prioritize and manage multiple competing tasks
- Maintain flexible schedule to meet program needs and attend required meetings
- Ability to work well under pressure and complete projects in a timely manner
- Comfortable with receiving clear, direct feedback from supervisors and peers
- Appropriately interact with people from diverse socio-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds
- Maintains an attitude of fairness, openness, and respect and supports the development of cultural competency and diversity and inclusion at St. Mary’s
- Remains open to different opinions and viewpoints and is willing to learn from them
- Respects and values all people’s voices, including children, families and colleagues
- Must possess a sense of humor
- Highly flexible and energetic
- Enjoys working with and motivating a diverse group of residents
- Valid MA driver’s licensed required
- Must undergo a background check, in accordance with local law/regulations