Family Advocate

Worcester Community Action Council Inc Southbridge, MA $17.00 per hour
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About us:  

Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) is one of 1,000 community action agencies across the U.S. and 23 in Massachusetts. Founded in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty, WCAC's mission is to break the cycle of poverty one neighbor at a time. Our safety-net services and asset building solutions create economic mobility opportunities for tens of thousands of people annually.

Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) provides a continuum of early education and care programming for families throughout Southern Worcester County prenatally through Kindergarten enrollment. We currently operate two Head Start Centers, one in Southbridge operating 8 classrooms and the other in Webster with 4 classrooms. Both centers are licensed through EEC, accredited through NAEYC, and QRIS rated level 3.  

The Family Advocate is responsible for working with families to help them realize their self-sufficiency goals. Supports the role of parents and family well-being by encouraging parent involvement in Head Start while providing advocacy, case management and social service guidance based on family goals. Responsible for recruiting eligible children and introducing families to all Head Start options and other WCAC programs. Identifies child and family needs for center-based families and provides referrals, advocacy, and follow-up.

WCAC offers a competitive salary and excellent benefit package including health, dental, vision, life, 403(b) retirement plan with Agency contribution, flexible spending account, paid holidays, vacation, personal and sick time.

Qualifications:

  • Associate degree in Human Services and at least 2 years’ experience in human service field.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with a diverse population.
  • Knowledge of community resources in Southern Worcester County.
  • Strong computer skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office and the ability to learn agency systems such as Child Plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills, verbally, written, and virtual.
  • Bilingual preferred
  • $2,000 sign on bonus for qualified candidates 

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the recruitment and intake process of new families.
  • Ensure weekly meetings are completed to discuss 3-5 children and communicate with supervisor by email when meetings do not occur and the reason. Provide documentation of weekly meetings.
  • Coordinate and lead Case Management meetings and be prepared to report outcomes on any referrals, follow-up and actions discussed. Utilize case conferences with outside community agencies as necessary.
  • Conduct a minimum of four (4) home visits per year, per family, (including summer months) or as needed, to facilitate family plans, assist families in identifying and achieving needs, follow up on referrals and to work on the Family Partnership Agreement.
  • Contact all families monthly to serve as a “check-in”. When a family falls into a high-risk category, Family Advocate must conduct a home visit at least once a month.
  • Schedule and attend monthly workshops, speakers, and parent activities for the Center Committee meetings.
  • Observe in the classroom a minimum of 2 hours per month.
  • Meet with Early Head Start Staff monthly (at a minimum) to coordinate services for families in the dual program. 
  • Provide a month end closing report to Family Engagement Coordinator.
  • Monitor attendance of enrolled children and conduct a home visit when a child has been absent for two consecutive days without any contact.
  • Coordinate orientation process for families with the site supervisor. Prepare orientation paperwork and attend sessions.   
  • Complete all required documentation pertaining to the program using electronic database management system (Child Plus). Ensure that all related family information is entered, scanned, and updated in a timely manner; Including but not limited to communication with parents, PIR information, upload necessary documentation that include family reviews, case management, custody documentation, and any other documentation related to Social Service. Assure documents in children’s files match ChildPlus data.
  • Develop a working knowledge of community resources and act as liaison between community resources and families. Make referrals and arrange transportation with families when necessary to community service providers, medical, and dental offices, and other appointments as necessary. Encourage and support families advocating for themselves in the community.
  • Comply with WCAC Head Start abuse and neglect policies.
  • In accordance with Head Start Standards and DEEC regulations ensure that all children are safely accounted for and not left unattended at any time while in the daily care of the WCAC Head Start program.
  • Provide coverage in classrooms as needed in accordance with the Site Supervisor.

Other duties may be assigned by the Executive Director. 

Other Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
  • Ability to successfully complete a CORI/SORI/DCF review annually.
  • Evening hours may be required to meet the needs of the families and programs.
  • Mandatory physical every two years and Mantoux test per DEEC requirements.
  • CPR and First Aid certificate required.

Send cover letter and resume specifying position via email to hr@wcac.net.

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity to all qualified employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, pregnancy or pregnancy related condition, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, membership in the uniformed services or any other classification which is protected under state or federal law. 

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