The Bronx Defenders

  • Social Work Training & Research Director

    Posted Date 1 week ago(6/14/2018 7:36 PM)
    Job ID
    Social Work
  • Overview

    The Bronx Defenders seeks an experienced advocate with a commitment to social justice and to serving individuals in racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities to serve as the Social Work Training & Research Director.  


    The Bronx Defenders (BxD) is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is  transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic staff.


    Our diverse staff of over 300 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.


    Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.


    Strategizing with lawyers and other advocates, social workers and parent advocates at BxD assist clients with issues that precipitate and are exacerbated by contact with the criminal legal, child protection, and immigration systems. They conduct assessments, make referrals to treatment programs and social service providers, advocate for clients in court and in the community, and work closely with attorneys as part of the legal team throughout the pendency of a court case.  


    Reporting directly to the Managing Director of the Social Work Practice, the Training & Research Director will represent a reduced caseload of clients impacted by multiple systems, while supporting the supervision, training, and professional development of social workers and parent advocates. This individual will also act as a liaison in the courthouse and throughout the community, and assist with the Practice’s programming, development, and evaluation. As a part of the Social Work leadership team, the Training & Research Director will work with the Managing Director to support the Practice’s staff training and development, data collection and analysis, and evaluations.


    In the spirit of collaboration and of pushing boundaries between the legal and social work disciplines, the Training & Research Director’s responsibilities will include:


    Training & Research Coordination


    • Creating, scheduling, coordinating, and implementing training and professional development opportunities across the Social Work Practice
    • Assessing training and professional development needs throughout the Practice, and identifying internal and/or external instructors with expertise responsive to those needs
    • Creating and maintaining a current database of external training opportunities relevant to social workers and advocates
    • Developing and maintaining a yearly practice-wide training calendar
    • Developing and overseeing systems for cross-practice collaboration
    • Developing systems for centralizing access to social service resources, advocacy tools, relevant social science research, and sample written advocacy and assessments
    • Overseeing the recruitment, the robust initiatory and continual training efforts, and the overall supervision of the Social Work internship program


    Supervision & Mentorship


    • Supporting and mentoring social work advocates, in collaboration with supervisors
    • Providing back-up supervision as needed, and generally serving as a resource to attorneys and advocates


    • A Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW) is required.
    • A deep passion for BxD’s mission and an unwavering commitment to social justice.
    • At least three (3) years of experience representing clients on a holistic defense team.
    • Experience leading/supervising an interdisciplinary team comprised of highly talented, motivated, and professional staff and/or interns and committed to a culture of collegiality, mutual respect, and fierce advocacy is essential.
    • A significant record of work that integrates strong advocacy, supervision, leadership, and management skills with a demonstrated ability to effectively relate to, and communicate with, a diversity of people within our client community, throughout the social services, judicial, and governmental communities, and amongst our staff.
    • Excellent organizational, problem-solving, interpersonal, and communicative skills (both oral and written) are required. 
    • Proficiency Spanish is desirable, but not required.

    Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.


    To apply, please click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload BOTHcover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Applications without cover letters will NOT be considered.


    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through Friday, July 13th, 2018. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


    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, experiences, and communities to apply.



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