Advocacy Specialist

Application deadline: April 1, 2019

Employer: Disability Rights Wisconsin

Location: Madison

The Advocacy Specialist is responsible for providing direct advocacy assistance and representation to individuals with disabilities who have been victims of crime on a variety of disability related and victim services issues. The Advocacy Specialist will also take part in significant outreach efforts to victim service and disability services providers. Other duties include: administrative tasks related to case maintenance and reporting, information and referral, systems advocacy and training.

Primary responsibilities

Advocacy (50%)
1. Participate in intake, referral, case acceptance and quality assurance functions on the Victim Advocacy team. Collect client information in preparation for group case acceptance meetings or meetings with supervisor, participate in group case acceptance meetings, inform person requesting assistance of decision to accept or deny case, and make appropriate referrals.

2. Extensive direct client contact providing advocacy or representation to individuals with disabilities statewide, including meeting with individuals personally at DRW offices, in client homes, and/or in community settings; this includes making some independent judgments about advocacy strategy in the field.

3. Provide information, guidance, consultation and technical assistance over the telephone to
individuals who call for help on advocacy issues pertaining to people with disabilities who are
survivors of crime.

4. Maintain a caseload of individuals needing advocacy assistance including:
a. Giving information, advice and self-advocacy assistance in person or over the phone;
b. Participate with clients in negotiation and mediation sessions;
c. Accompany clients to court proceedings to obtain restraining orders;
d. Assisting client navigate criminal justice systems including reporting crime to law enforcement, discussing charges to be filed with prosecutors, and drafting victim impact statements to be read at sentencing.
e. Intervening or collaborating directly with law enforcement, service providers,
government/school administrations and others as necessary; or
f. Working with the team’s attorney to provide effective legal-based advocacy when required.
5. Participate in interdisciplinary teams as a representative of the Victim Advocacy Program.
6. Complete required intake and case recording forms, and maintain accurate records of client interactions and case progress.
7. Consult and collaborate with other DRW advocates on individual cases and advocacy issues.

Outreach (40%)
8. Develop an outreach plan and perform outreach activities, with an emphasis on reaching culturally diverse groups and organizations, about DRW and the services of the Victim  Advocacy Program around the state. Outreach will be to a wide variety of direct services providers, law enforcement, and interdisciplinary teams.
9. Maintain effective working relationships with individuals with disabilities, advocacy groups, victim service providers, and disability service providers; represent DRW on task forces, coalitions, and committees concerned with issues relevant to DRW  priorities and people with disabilities.

Administration (10%)
10.Develop and maintain resource files on topics including legal rights of individuals, victim’s rights, grievance procedures, and other advocacy resources, victim service and disability related organizations.
11.Maintain client and project files both electronically and in paper files. Comply with DRW client data reporting requirements, compile and organize client statistical data.

Other (<1%)
12.Develop, organize and maintain resource files on assigned substantive and advocacy topics and advocacy resources and disability related organizations.
13.As assigned, participate on internal DRW work groups or teams to develop appropriate advocacy strategies and programming for working on behalf of people with disabilities.


Minimum Qualifications

1. At least one year of paid or unpaid work providing advocacy and/or support to survivors of crime.
2. At least one year of paid or unpaid experience doing the following:
a. Interviewing people;
b. Identifying a problem and creating a plan to solve the problem; and
c. Negotiating or assisting someone in negotiating to achieve a solution to a problem.
3. Direct contact with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds.
4. Excellent listening, verbal and written communication skills.
5. Basic computer skills including email, word processing, and use of the internet.
6. Travel statewide required.
7. Demonstrated ability to present material in an effective manner to a variety of audiences.

Preferred Qualifications

1. Fluency or strong proficiency in American Sign Language, Hmong, or Spanish.
2. Direct paid or unpaid experience with victim/survivors of crime.
3. Direct paid or unpaid experience with people with mental illness and other disabilities.
4. Bachelor’s Degree in a field relevant to providing advocacy and support to victim/survivors of crime or people with disabilities.
5. Working knowledge of state and county victim response programs, services, and delivery systems.
6. Familiarity with state laws pertaining to victim rights, restraining orders, and divorce.
7. Familiarity with the criminal legal system.
8. Demonstrated commitment to social justice issues.

Application instructions

FULL TIME EQUIVALENT: Full Time (40 hours per week)
STARTING SALARY: $39,000 to $51,000, depending on experience. Excellent fringe benefits.

APPLICATION: Apply online at with the following in either
Microsoft Word or PDF format, detailing your qualifications and experience as they relate to the minimum and
preferred qualifications.
• 1-2 page resume
• separate 1-2 page cover letter

DIVERSITY: DRW is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to a diverse work force. Members of minority groups and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Alternate formats of this Position Announcement are available upon request. Materials may be submitted in alternate formats if necessary.

Application deadline: April 1, 2019

Sorry, we are no longer accepting applications for this position.

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