The Bronx Defenders

Early Defense Social Worker, Family Defense Practice

1 week ago
Job ID
Social Work


The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a Masters level Social Worker with a commitment to social justice to work in a new “Early Defense” initiative, representing parents in the earliest stage in a child welfare case--the agency’s initial child protective investigation.


The Bronx Defenders is seeking a thoughtful and dedicated social worker to work in our Family Defense Practice. This social worker is an integral part in the representation of parents from marginalized communities under investigation for allegations of abuse/neglect of their children. The social worker will be part of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and other advocates, and will connect them with community based support and assist in the development of a legal strategy for the parent.



  • Advocating for parents in conferences and meetings with the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) that are held as part of a child protection investigation
  • Advocating for parents in Bronx County Family Court
  • Working collaboratively with clients, lawyers and other advocates on a multi-disciplinary holistic defense team
  • Attending Child Safety Conferences and Family Team Conferences with and as a representative of clients
  • Interviewing and assessing clients to identify strengths, resources, and needs
  • Assisting clients and legal team to identify goals and assess progress
  • Preparing clients for assessments
  • Interpreting external assessments
  • Educating clients about the family court process and assisting them in overcoming barriers
  • Serving as a liaison between the family court, criminal court, and child welfare systems
  • Providing supportive counseling to clients and their families
  • Connecting clients with a wide variety of social services and benefits
  • Documenting work in case management system
  • Developing partnerships with service providers who can refer clients with pending ACS investigations
  • Conducting “Know Your Rights” trainings with parents regarding ACS investigations



  • M.S.W. from an accredited School of Social Work
  • Experience working on behalf of parents in the child welfare system
  • Bilingual candidates are highly encouraged to apply (Spanish/English)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • A demonstrated interest in working in the Family Court and/or Criminal Justice System
  • Commitment to social justice with an understanding of the issues of race and poverty as they relate to the justice system
  • Knowledge of substance use, domestic violence, parenting and mental health systems

To apply, please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload a cover letter and resume in one document when prompted. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.  


The application deadline is January 31, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified.


Please contact Caitlin Becker, Managing Director of Social Work, via email at with any questions regarding the position.


The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff.  We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, orientations, experiences, and communities to apply.



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