The Bronx Defenders

  • Social Worker, Family Defense Practice

    Posted Date 3 weeks ago(1/3/2019 11:43 AM)
    Job ID
    Social Work
  • Overview

    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 on behalf of 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 is seeking a thoughtful and dedicated social worker to work in our Family Defense Practice. This social worker is an integral part of the representation of parents from poor communities charged with the abuse/neglect of their children. The social worker will be part of an interdisciplinary team of lawyers and other advocates and will assist in the development of a litigation strategy for the parent, as well as connect them with the necessary services and supports.


    • Advocating for clients in Bronx County Family Court
    • Attending Child Safety Conferences and Family Team Conferences with and as a representative of clients
    • Educating clients about the family court process and assisting them in overcoming barriers while navigating the system
    • Serving as a liaison between the family court, criminal court, and child welfare systems
    • Working collaboratively with clients, lawyers and other advocates on a multi-disciplinary holistic defense team
    • Interviewing and assessing clients to identify strengths, resources, and needs
    • Connecting clients with a wide variety of social services and benefits
    • Assisting clients and the legal team in identifying case goals and assessing progress
    • Preparing clients for court-related assessments
    • Interpreting external court-related assessments
    • Providing supportive counseling to clients and their families


    • M.S.W. from an accredited School of Social Work
    • Experience working with and on behalf of parents in the child welfare system
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
    • Strong oral and written advocacy skills
    • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively with lawyers, non-lawyers, court, and agency staff
    • A demonstrated interest in working on behalf of parents in the Family Court and/or Criminal Justice System
    • Commitment to social justice and defending parents charged with abuse and neglect
    • Demonstrated understanding of the issues of race and poverty as they relate to parents’ experiences in the system
    • Racially and socioeconomically marginalized communities
    • Knowledge of substance use disorder, domestic violence, parenting, and mental health systems
    • Spanish language proficiency 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 $55,000 to $83,500. 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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