Advocacy/Lobbying, Case Management/Social Services, Legal Services
4 Year Degree
GENERAL ROLE DESCRIPTION
The Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) Advocate is responsible for providing crisis intervention, emotional support, medical and legal advocacy, and appropriate referrals/linkages to sexual assault victims/survivors and their significant others through the emergency department of partner hospitals, telephone crisis calls, and walk-in requests at Chicago Police Department’s Area North Detective Division, where the position is co-located. Responsibilities also include providing institutional advocacy with the Chicago Police Department and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. This position is part of the on-call staff rotation providing 24 hour crisis response to affiliated hospitals, and is an essential part of the Advocacy Services Program.
This position is part of a new Sexual Assault Multi-Disciplinary Team funded by a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority beginning in 2016. The MDT will be coordinated by the Cook County State's Attorney and brings together the Chicago Police Department, Rape Victim Advocates and Life Span to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault survivors. This MDT includes unprecedented opportunities to review case files and evaluate data as well as to develop clear protocol, increase a trauma-informed understanding of sexual assault victims, cross-train and increase access to services for survivors and their loved ones. Please note that this position is fully funded by the MDT grant; the grant has been awarded through 2018.
Provide in-person support, crisis intervention, and information and referrals to sexual assault survivors.
Provide crisis intervention, emotional support, and medical/legal advocacy to sexual assault survivors seen in the emergency department of partner hospitals.
Provide ongoing legal advocacy for sexual assault survivors including: explanation of the investigative process; accompaniment to the police station, and referrals for follow up court accompaniment (in both criminal and civil court cases) Note: like all other RVA advocates, the MDT Advocate does not participate in the investigation of a case.
Carry a caseload of active legal clients whose cases are currently under investigation, and keep these clients regularly apprised of their case status.
Provide ongoing medical advocacy services, as needed (e.g. billing problems, STD and pregnancy testing, HIV testing and treatment, substance abuse programs, DCFS, etc.).
Carry a caseload of active medical advocacy clients, and keep these clients regularly apprised of their medical follow up appointments and billing status.
Provide on-call coverage for assigned and rotating shifts as part of the 24 hour hospital crisis response. This involves evenings and some weekends.
Provide immediate legal advocacy to survivors in the emergency department, and accompanying them to the police stations, as needed.
Provide information and referrals including temporary housing, food, clothing, locksmith services, substance abuse treatment, counseling, or follow-up medical advocacy services.
Provide crisis intervention, information, and referrals via the RVA Area North Office through telephone and in-person contacts.
Provide support and information to family members and significant others within the bounds of the Illinois rape crisis confidentiality statute.
Assist the Director of Advocacy Services with institutional advocacy efforts with criminal justice staff including the local Chicago Police Department and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Perform ongoing outreach and networking within the Area North police districts and their communities to foster collaboration & maintain awareness of RVA office locations and services.
Maintain accurate and complete records of all services delivered, and adhere to agency and program documentation submission requirements.
Assist the Volunteer Advocacy Manager and Director of Advocacy Services with portions of volunteer training and inservices.
Attend all staff/supervision/case consultation meetings, attend advocacy in-services, and participate in staff development activities.
Participate in meetings/trainings for local and statewide sexual assault coalitions, institutional partners, and other agencies, as assigned.
Complete monthly reports and documentation, including assisting the Director of Advocacy Services with statistical reporting.
Perform other duties as assigned.
BA/BS or equivalent in related field
Bilingual (Written and verbal fluency) in Spanish/English required; Bicultural strongly preferred
Strong interpersonal skills
Ability to objectively advocate for the needs/rights of others
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Strong public speaking skills with a variety of audiences
Ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as with a team
Exceptional organizational and recordkeeping skills
Positive attitude and pro-active approach to problem solving
Regular access to a vehicle, valid driver’s license, and proof of insurance for effective service delivery
Previous experience working on women’s and/or human rights issues, addressing sexual violence/gender-based violence, and working with in criminal justice systems strongly preferred
Completion of a minimum of 40-hours of sexual assault training within 60 days of hire is required; previous completion of the training is strongly preferred
Persons of color and LGBTQ persons are encouraged to apply. RVA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability in its procedures and policies.
Please note that resumes received without cover letters will not be considered.
No phone calls, please.
Additional Salary Information: Commensurate with experience. HMO, Dental, Vision, Life Insurance fully covered by employer.
Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) has been providing crisis intervention for sexual assault victims since 1974 in Chicago. RVA was founded by Natalie Stephens MD., an OB/GYN at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and 10 medical and nursing students and other staff. They had witnessed too many victims leaving the emergency room in an emotionally worsened state than when they arrived, and they set out to prov...ide victims with the support necessary to start recovering. Decades later, RVA remains true to its founding principles and the following mission statement:
Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the healing and empowerment of sexual assault survivors through non-judgmental crisis intervention counseling, individual and group counseling, and medical and legal advocacy in the greater Chicago metropolitan area. RVA provides public education and institutional advocacy in order to improve the treatment of sexual assault survivors and to effect positive change in policies and public attitudes toward sexual assault.
For 12 years, RVA was run entirely by volunteers. In 1986, the agency hired its first executive director. Volunteers remain key to RVA's ability to offer quality, 24-hour services. At present, more than 200 volunteer advocates provide 24-hour crisis intervention in 14 Chicago area hospitals, including the area’s 5 trauma centers. RVA volunteers donate over 20,000 hours to the agency each year.
RVA currently employs 18 staff at our three community-based offices and our main office downtown. RVA staff further provides counseling services to more than 250 individuals each year, and prevention education to more than 4,500 individuals, 3,600 of which are between the ages of 11-20. Over 90% of RVA’s clients are women and girls.
RVA recognizes the diversity of Chicago and is committed to being accessible for services, employment and volunteer opportunities to all regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical/mental ability and economic status.
Delivery of these services makes RVA one of the most comprehensive crisis intervention programs for rape victims in Chicago, and the only rape crisis center in Chicago that is a full-service agency with the single focus of sexual violence. RVA will serve anyone -- at no cost to the victim -- who seeks treatment for sexual assault at one of our hospitals. And RVA's advocacy efforts do not stop at the individual level; the experience and information gained from providing direct services informs and strengthens our participation in institutional change.