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Social Services Advocate - MHLD Brockton

Company: State of Massachusetts
Location: Brockton
Posted on: September 11, 2023

Job Description:

*** *** *** *** *** **ALL APPLICANTS MUST APPLY DIRECTLY THROUGH THE CPCS iCIMS WEBSITE. IF YOU APPLY THROUGH MASS CAREERS AND DO NOT COMPLETE THE CPCS iCIMS APPLICATION, YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS POSITION. PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO APPLY (CUT AND PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER IF THE EMBEDDED LINK DOES NOT WORK):*** The Committee for Public Counsel Services, the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a Social Services Advocate for the Mental Health Litigation Division Brockton Trial Office. Social Services Advocates work with staff Trial Attorneys to defend against civil commitment and involuntary treatment, as well as related cases involving MHLD clients, in accordance with expressed client wishes and preferences. *We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.* *_Our Values_* *C**ourage Accountability Respect Excellence* _DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT_ * * CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation. We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs. It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility of each member of the CPCS community. *AGENCY OVERVIEW* CPCS is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one. The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, family regulation, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters. The clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS staff to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, genders and/or sexual orientation identities, abilities, and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics. * * *DIVISION OVERVIEW* * * The Mental Health Litigation Division (MHLD) provides leadership, training, support, and oversight for four staffed trial offices, trial and support unit, training unit, an appellate unit, and a panel of private trial and appellate attorneys. The Division is committed to protecting the legal and constitutional rights of persons facing civil commitment to public and private psychiatric facilities, the involuntary administration of extraordinary medical treatment, including anti-psychotic medications, and the appointment of a guardian. We are dedicated to zealous advocacy and a client centered model. * * *OFFICE OVERVIEW* Brockton is the seventh largest city in Massachusetts and is sometimes referred to as the "City of Champions," due to the success of native boxers Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler as well as its successful Brockton High School sports programs. Brockton also hosts its own amateur baseball team, the Brockton Rox. The Brockton Office is located in downtown Brockton adjacent to the Plymouth County Judicial Complex. Brockton is a diverse community which includes a large Cape Verdean population. * * *POSITION OVERVIEW* * * MHLD is seeking to fill a full-time Social Services Advocate (SSA) position for the Brockton Commitment Unit, serving Bridgewater State Hospital and several other facilities in the area. Bridgewater State Hospital is a civil commitment institution that incarcerates people who are involved in the criminal legal system. All clients at Bridgewater State Hospital also have previous criminal charges with a range of severity. The SSA uses the Brockton office as their primary office location but is responsible for cases in any of the hospitals and courts assigned to that office. Under the supervision of the Director of Social Services Advocacy, the SSA works with staff Trial Attorneys to defend against civil commitment and involuntary treatment, as well as related cases involving MHLD clients, in accordance with expressed client wishes and preferences. The SSA is an integral member of the legal team and works with the client in the context of attorney-client confidentiality and privilege. The SSA plays a critical role in identifying the social, medical, psychological, and rehabilitative issues that preceded the clients court involvement. The SSA promotes community integration under the least restrictive setting principle, by providing recovery-oriented, holistic assessment, care coordination, and advocacy for clients within court, educational, rehabilitative, mental health and social service systems. The SSA will be expected to utilize a client-directed, strengths-based, non-judgmental approach to direct client work. Due to the nature of the work, there is often a requirement to meet with clients on short notice; therefore, there is an expectation that the SSA is flexible with their schedule. *RESPONSIBILITIES* The duties of Social Services Advocates include, but are not limited to: Interviewing and Assessment * Conducting both brief and in-depth client biopsychosocial interviews to obtain the clients relevant history, as well as an inventory of the clients strengths, preferences, and challenges; * Assessing needs and identifying appropriate resources and supports to meet those needs; * Detailing a clients service history through collecting and analyzing all relevant records, interviewing clients, as well as any relevant supports; * Writing biopsychosocial reports for the purpose of treatment referrals, court letters, and written advocacy; and, * Recommending the use of other experts for clients who require further evaluation. Client Care Coordination and Advocacy * Maintaining close contact with clients throughout the duration of the case to build a strong working relationship, strengthening the clients participation in their defense, and facilitating development of needed supports; * Assisting defense counsel with retaining and preparing other experts for clients who require further evaluation (i.e., substance use disorder, neurological, psychiatric, and medical); * Advocating for clients rights and preferences with any relevant state agencies, educational systems, and community-based providers and service organizations; and, * Attending in person treatment team meetings at various institutions (including Bridgewater State Hospital) to support and advocate for clients expressed needs. Dispositional Planning and Accessing Services * Providing crisis intervention/management support for clients facing civil commitments; * Collaborating with defense counsel and other legal counsel, including criminal defense and guardianship attorneys, to develop defense strategies and dispositional options in all of the clients cases; * Gaining comprehensive knowledge of local and statewide resources from private and public service systems. Working collaboratively with communitybased and state service providers to foster partnerships to improve access to needed services for clients; * Accessing private and public social services and developing service plans as alternatives to commitment or loss of rights, focusing on the clients expressed goals; * Preparing written assessments, dispositions, and service plan reports and affidavits to assist defense counsel in negotiating on behalf of the client; * Coordinating other providers, as needed, for courtroom testimony regarding dispositional alternatives arranged for the client; and, * With prior supervisory approval, preparing and presenting courtroom testimony to describe services and dispositional alternatives arranged for the client; and, * Other duties as assigned. *MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS* * Bachelors degree in a social service field and one year of related experience, or an equivalent combination of skills, education, and experience; * Must have insured, reliable and available transportation, and a valid MA drivers license; and, * Access to a personal computer with home internet access sufficient to work remotely. *QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS* The following skills and attributes are preferred: * Prior experience working in the criminal legal system or legal advocacy organizations strongly preferred; * Knowledge of social, psychological, economic, legal, and medical factors that influence the ability of adults and elders to live in the community; * Familiarity with principles of person-centered planning, psychiatric rehabilitation concepts, and/or needs and functioning assessment strategies; * Knowledge of public and private social services systems and resources, as well as alternative and non-medical approaches to psychological and rehabilitative care; * Experience working with adults and elders with a variety of disabilities (e.g. mental health conditions, traumatic brain injury, neuro-cognitive challenges) and co-occurring conditions; * Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively orally and in writing; * Proven ability to work effectively as part of a team and independently; * Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with colleagues and supervisors, as well as with external service providers; * Ability to respond effectively to changing priorities, while prioritizing client needs. * Willingness to travel as needed to attend meetings, visit clients (in institutional or home settings), attend courtroom hearings, and participate in training; and, * Individuals with personal (lived) experience within the public mental health or social services system are encouraged to apply. *APPLICATION* Applicants must submit: (1) a resume; (2) a letter of interest of no longer than two single-spaced pages. The letter of interest should explain your interest in the position, as well as describe any relevant experience that may not be otherwise evident in your resume; and, (3) a writing sample, preferably of a redacted biopsychosocial report, advocacy letter, or academic submission. * * *Please Note:* *The SSA role is client-facing and includes in-person visits to hospitals and other settings where clients may be held, as allowable by facility protocols and other restrictions.* _EEO Statement_ The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran or military status, genetic information, gender identity, or sexual orientation as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable federal and state statutes and organizational policies. Applicants who have questions about equal employment opportunity or who need reasonable accommodations can contact theChief Human Resources Officer. *** *** *** *** *** **ALL APPLICANTS MUST APPLY DIRECTLY THROUGH THE CPCS iCIMS WEBSITE. IF YOU APPLY THROUGH MASS CAREERS AND DO NOT COMPLETE THE CPCS iCIMS APPLICATION, YOU WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS POSITION. PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING LINK TO APPLY (CUT AND PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER IF THE EMBEDDED LINK DOES NOT WORK):*** **Job:** *Community and Social Services* **Organization:** *Committee for Pub Counsel Srvc* **Title:** *Social Services Advocate - MHLD Brockton* **Location:** *Massachusetts-Brockton - 144 Main Street* **Requisition ID:** *230009LO*

Keywords: State of Massachusetts, Brockton , Social Services Advocate - MHLD Brockton, Other , Brockton, Massachusetts

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