Counselor / Advocate

Posted: 04/25/2021

QUALIFICATIONS:   BA or BS Degree in a Social or Human Service field or equivalent experience with a minimum of one year experience in assisting victims of crime or relevant field.  Must be self-assured, assertive and confident in working with diverse groups.  Good community networking skills, public speaking skills and written and oral communication skills required. Demonstrates sound ethical practices. Ability to work variable hours on a daily basis which may also include occasional weekend on-call availability. Must possess the ability to work independently and participate with a work collective. Familiarity with personal computers to include word processing and databases is preferred. Must demonstrate a commitment to the principles of empowerment, self-determination and diversity as per VRC mission and philosophy. Must successfully complete training and certification as Sexual Assault Counselor and Domestic Violence Counselor/Advocate.  Ability to travel is required. Must possess a valid driver’s license, access to an automobile to perform program duties and automobile insurance as required by law.
CLASSIFICATION:    Full time, non-exempt.
REPORTS TO:   Manager of Client Services
CLEARANCES REQUIRED:  At point of hire, periodically thereafter, able to secure the Pennsylvania State Police background clearance and the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History clearance and the FBI background clearance.  Other clearances may be required as relevant to the position.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  Ability to sit for extended periods of time. Ability to reach, twist, turn, bend, stoop, walk and occasional lifting. Computer proficient and ability to complete data entry tasks. Ability to communicate efficiently in written form. 
GENERAL DUTIESResponsible for providing high quality professional casework/case management and counseling services in Luzerne, Wyoming and Carbon counties. Regular and predictable attendance is an essential function of this position.  The Counselor/Advocate will have the following specific duties:

  • Assists supervisors in documenting grants management and reporting.
  • Maintains statistical reports that will provide the agency with sufficient information to identify emerging trends and unmet needs.
II.         PROGRAM
  • Provides on call client services through 24 hour hotline in a professional and dignified manner.
  • Conducts direct services to clients in a client focused advocacy and empowerment model. Informs victims about their rights and what they can expect from the legal process.
  • Provides short term support, crisis intervention, counseling and information referral for clients.
  • Ensures compliance with agency policies and procedures as they relate to programs/services.
  • Assist the Chief Executive Officer, Managers of Client Services and/or Senior Counselor/Advocates in ensuring that local, state and national best practices and policies are followed in Direct Services,
  • Promotes client access to VRC services through appropriate liaisons and collaborations with other agencies in the community.
  • Provides legal advocacy and attends court related cases with clients as needed. May also include providing assistance to clients in filing protection orders and providing support throughout the entire process.
  • Provides medical accompaniment and supportive services to clients in a hospital setting.
  • Organizes and conducts crisis intervention, counseling sessions and services as needed.
  • Provides assistance to clients in filing Crime Victims Compensation claims.
  • Advocates for clients to enhance their quality of care.
  • Presents educational programs/presentations as needed.
  • Facilitates counseling and psycho-education group meetings.
  • Assists supervisors in providing case management responsibilities

  • Serves on relevant local, state, and national community boards and committees concerned with victim service issues, and communicates and facilitates the VRC service mission.
  • Represents VRC, and their services in select public relations and public education activities.
  • Participates with other agencies in developing and coordinating assessment of social/victim programs in the community and developing appropriate service solutions.
  • Attends community events of other agencies and groups to build VRC stakeholder base.
  • Serves as a representative of VRC within the broader community.
IV.        OTHER
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Attends ongoing training as required for the position.
  • Adheres to all applicable VRC professional, program and direct service standards.
  • Assists in carrying out VRC mission.
  • Adheres to all agency policies and procedures.
  • Attends fundraising events; participates in the coordination of said events as needed.      
  •  Actively participates in agency and department meetings/sessions with direct supervisor and/or other management staff.