Child Protection Caseworker
Job Overview: The Child Protection Caseworker provides services to unaccompanied minors who have entered the United States without their parents. These children are held in a government shelter before being released to a family member or family friend who will serve as the child’s legal sponsor in the United States. The Caseworker conducts home studies to determine the safety and appropriateness of placement. They also conduct post-release services to connect children and youth to basic needs and other supportive services, including medical care, school enrollment, mental health care, community supports, etc. As required by the federal grant, the Caseworker also completes all necessary documentation associated with a case. In consultation with a supervisor, the Caseworker often responds to safety and protection issues including child welfare referrals, trafficking concerns, run away response, gang prevention, and more. The Caseworker will cover clients in northern New Jersey, with potential occasional clients in the five boroughs of New York City.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Conduct a comprehensive assessment to provide a recommendation for the purpose of reunifying children with their potential sponsors, including conducting interviews with shelter case managers, clinicians, the minor, sponsor, and all household members. This includes completing an in-person home visit and documenting findings in a comprehensive report within 10 days of referral.
- Complete home visits to meet with children and their sponsors post-release, to assess the safety of the child, flag any safety and protection concerns, and assess needs across multiple life domains This includes completing an in-person home visit to document findings in a comprehensive report within 14 days of referral and conducting a closing report within 90 days of referral.
- Conduct a mental health assessment of the child and/or sponsors, using validated instruments.
- Develop individualized service plans for children and sponsors and work closely with them to make progress through their individual service plans.
- Provide crisis intervention when necessary, including involving Child Protective Services, law enforcement, etc.
- Coordinate referrals, service planning and enrollment in various relevant areas that include placement, safety, guardianship, medical, mental health, legal/immigration, education, substance abuse, gang prevention, independent living, parenting/supervision, independent living, mentorship, and peer support. Build and manage relationships with community services providers in relevant areas.
- Continually assess ongoing changes in behavior and general conditions that could impact the safety of a participant.
- Use a trauma-informed approach to support the resilience and recovery of unaccompanied children who have experience trauma. Maintain a strong understanding of trauma-informed principles and approaches, protection and safeguarding, and mandatory reporting.
- Maintain accurate records in electronic case files and required databases and consistently ensure the confidentiality of information relevant to cases. Submit required reports and documentation in a timely manner.
- Participate in regular case management and staffing meetings.
- Travel within 200 miles of the designated geographical location.
- Other duties as required.
- Bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) or an equivalent degree in education, psychology, sociology, or other behavioral science required. Master’s degree preferred
- Bilingual ability in English and Spanish required
- Minimum of two years of related professional experience working with children, family reunification/ preservation, kinship care, foster care, child welfare, and/or conducting home studies required, or one year of related experience with a master’s degree
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret technical procedures and governmental regulations
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write reports and business correspondence
- Experience working with immigrant populations
- Knowledge of local community social services, NGO’s, Federal and State programs
- Demonstrated success working and communicating effectively in a multi-cultural environment
- Demonstrated success working with vulnerable populations who have experienced trauma
- Self-starter with excellent problem-solving skills combined with the ability to prioritize duties and manage time effectively
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook), Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other platforms
- Valid driver’s license, access to a personal, insured vehicle, and ability to travel independently throughout assigned service delivery area
- Background check including FBI fingerprints and Child Abuse and Neglect (CA/N) checks required upon hire.
- A combination of standard office environment, remote work, and frequent travel for home visits, partner agency meetings, etc. within the service delivery area
- Frequent work during non-traditional hours such as evenings and weekends required
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.
Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.
US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.
The anticipated offer range for this position is $26.00 – $27.50 per hour. Please note the published compensation range is specific to candidates based in New Jersey. Ranges are based on external market, geographic location, job type, internal equity, and budget. Salary offers are calibrated by individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.