Victim Advocate: Congreso

Posted August 10th, 2017 at 8:54 am.

Position Summary

The East Division Crime Victims Advocacy Project has a goal of supporting crime victims in the East Division in Philadelphia from crisis to stability via trauma informed, culturally relevant, client centered services. The program is designed to assist victims of crime with the following: in-person crisis counseling and case management; court accompaniment; information and assistance with completion of Victim’s Compensation Claims; personal and legal advocacy; and linkage to resources in the community.

The Victim Advocate is responsible for working with the Manager of Victim Services and other Victim Advocates collaboratively to best meet the needs of victims of crime in the North Philadelphia community (24th, 25th, 26th police districts)  using the services listed above. This position lead the launch of the Victim Medical Advocacy Program and will maintain a physical presence at area hospitals and community health centers to support crime victims entering medical settings and needing program services. The Advocate will work as a collaborative member of the medical teams of each of the program sites and provide intake into services via self-referrals and referrals from professionals in the medical settings. The Victim Advocate will also conduct follow-up and advocacy for victims of crime based on the assessment of needs and as specified in the client’s goal plan. This position will serve as a resource for the client, other Congreso and hospital/health center staff and social services agencies. The responsibilities of the Victim/Medical Advocate will be conducted at Congreso’s main office, area hospitals and health centers, client’s homes and in various locations in the community.

The Victim/Medical Advocate will have internal contacts with the entire administrative staff and external contact with clients, community resources, and the community. This position has access to sensitive Congreso information and is expected to handle such information with integrity and professionalism. This position has regular contact with members of the community and is expected to represent Congreso in a professional manner.

The Victim/Medical Advocate will report directly to the Manager of Victim Services and participate in department activities as necessary. In the absence of the Manager the Victim/Medical Advocate will report to the Director of Family Wellness.

Essential Program Functions

  1. Provide on-site counseling, referrals, advocacy, and educational services at Congreso’s main office, area hospitals and health centers, at client’s homes and in the community
  2. Provide resource information to clients, other Congreso and hospital/health center staff and social services agencies.
  3. Provide on-going crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, and resources to a specific number of clients as determined by the agency and funding source.
  4. Conduct an initial client intake, which includes: an agreement to services, a needs assessment, and the mutual development of a service plan.
  5. Conduct client follow-up as specified in the individual client service plan, and as needed by client.
  6. Comply with all client confidentiality regulations as specified by agency, funding source, local, state and federal regulations.
  7. Maintain accurate and up to date client files and documentation.
  8. Provide presentations to community members to help victims of crime and their families to identify their own victimization and learn about and access available services in the community.
  9. Facilitates trainings and informational sessions for medical professionals about crime victims’ rights and resources and available services through the program.
  10. Engages in professional communication with medical professionals, community partners, law enforcement, social service providers, and court personnel as needed for client coordination of services.
  11. Conduct community awareness and outreach events to increase visibility of crime; Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekend to accomplish team outreach goals.
  12. Engages in regular professional development as it relates to servicing victims of crime.
  13. Serves as a liaison between North Philadelphia victim/witness service providers and the assigned hospitals or community health centers. This may include co-facilitation and coordination of collaborative meetings with multiple service providers.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (Career Pathway: Direct Services)

All Staff Competencies

  • Basic understanding of Congreso’s mission, vision, values, programs and services, and business plan.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the targeted community needs and demographics.
  • Understanding of legal criteria for issues such as confidentiality, domestic abuse, child abuse, and mandated reporter requirements.
  • Ability to provide nonviolent intervention with a high level of ethical standards of conduct, cultural sensitivity and within appropriate boundaries and limits.
  • Ability to effectively use standard office equipment.
  • Possesses strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by compassionate, courteous, cordial, cooperative, and professional interaction with diverse groups of co-workers, external business partners, and the community.
  • Ability to operate a computer and use a variety of common software programs including Microsoft Office, spreadsheets, UNIDAD, and customized databases.
  • Adheres to all Congreso and departmental policies and procedures.
  • Attends all Congreso in-services as required.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and effectively communicate with individuals and groups.
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)

Direct Services Staff Competencies

  • Knowledge of legal and political issues, and community resources and benefits that impact and/or benefit the targeted client needs.
  • Knowledge of basic client management procedures (PCM Model) for determining eligibility, assessing needs, identifying resources, making referrals, following up, and documenting client interactions and proactively supporting client’s pursuit of education and employment goals throughout the agency without regard to program service.
  • Demonstrates understanding and knowledge of the Latino culture and availability of North Philadelphia community resources.
  • Ability to effectively interview and engage a client in appropriate programming.
  • Ability to exercise conversational English and Spanish.
  • Ability to effectively conduct one on one advocacy and/or educational presentations.
  • Ability to work in a team structure – demonstrating ability to collaborate and contribute to the team’s work.

Experience, Education, and Licensure

Minimum Experience: 2-3 years of crisis counseling, case management or advocacy experience with a vulnerable population; preference for prior work with victims of crime. Experience with training facilitation to professionals and cross-agency collaboration desired. Familiar with Philadelphia civil and criminal court proceedings. Familiar with, and sensitive to, the issues affecting the North Philadelphia/Latino Community. Bilingual (Spanish/English) required.

Minimum Education and Certificates: Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Social Work, or other related field. Suitable combination of education and three to four years direct counseling/advocacy experience in related field may be considered in lieu of Bachelor’s degree requirement.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  1. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  2. Although work is primarily indoors, you will be required to travel outside to court and community locations.
  3. Position requires occasional trips to attend conferences seminars, and meetings.
  4. Certain visits or work related appointments might be scheduled outside of traditional work hours as necessary.

Nothing in this position description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


Congreso is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Congreso is strongly committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all employees and all applicants for employment. All employment decisions at Congreso are made without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability or military/veteran status, or any other protected class as set forth under applicable State, Local and Federal Civil Rights Laws.

About Congreso

Congreso is a multi-service nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen Latino communities through social, economic, education, and health services; leadership development and advocacy. Founded in Philadelphia in 1977, Congreso has grown into a national thought leader on nonprofit performance management with an expert focus on the Latino community. Congreso is anchored by its innovative Primary Client Model (PCM™), and provides direct services to residents of the Philadelphia region while providing consult to other nonprofits and government systems nationally.

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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