The Bronx Defenders

  • Parent Advocate

    Posted Date 3 weeks ago(1/3/2019 11:35 AM)
    Job ID
  • Overview

    The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic legal defense office in the South Bronx – seeks energetic advocates with a commitment to social justice to join our Family Defense Practice as Parent Advocates for parents fighting allegations of child abuse and neglect in Bronx County Family Court.


    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 and diverse staff. Our 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.


    The Bronx Defenders seeks thoughtful and dedicated Parent Advocates (PA) to join interdisciplinary teams to assist and advocate for families with open Child Welfare Family Court cases. Parent Advocates work with social workers and lawyers as part of an interdisciplinary advocacy team. They advocate for and with the client both inside and outside courtrooms, with programs, The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and other stakeholders in the child welfare system. Parent Advocates must be comfortable working in and around the family court, and with parents who are facing abuse/neglect allegations, as well as criminal charges on occasion.


    • Attending Child Safety Conferences and Family Team conferences with and as a representative of the client
    • Attending other meetings with clients at ACS and foster care agencies
    • Engaging and assessing client needs
    • Linking clients with relevant programs for substance use, anger management, parenting, and mental health services
    • Accompanying clients to appointments throughout the Bronx and NYC to ensure seamless access to services
    • Working collaboratively with clients, lawyers, social workers, and other advocates
    • Conducting home and program visits
    • Assisting clients and legal team in setting goals and assessing progress


    • Any of one of the following levels of education and experience will suffice:
      • Two years of case management/advocacy experience OR
      • One year practical experience and an Associates Degree OR
      • Or a Bachelor's degree (preferably Bachelor of Social Work)
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
    • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively with lawyers, non-lawyers, and court and agency staff
    • Experience working in and with racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities
    • Commitment to social justice and defending the rights of parents charged with abuse and neglect
    • Demonstrated understanding of the issues of race and poverty as they relate to parents’ experiences in the system
    • Experience with family court or child welfare system strongly preferred
    • Knowledge of the Bronx is a plus
    • Spanish language skill is a plus


    Salary is commensurate with experience.  For candidates with 1-10 years of directly relevant experience, the salary range for this position would be approximately $43,000 to $65,000. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy; and a professional development fund. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.


    To apply, please click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE and upload both a cover letter and resume as a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.  


    The application deadline is January, 31st 2019, 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, experiences, and communities to apply.


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