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Social Worker - Advocates for Children’s Services (ACS) of Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC)



Advocates for Children’s Services (ACS) of Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is seeking a full-time social worker to provide holistic supports for youth who are reentering their home communities from juvenile justice out-of-home placements.

About Legal Aid of North Carolina and Advocates for Children’s Services

LANC is a statewide, nonprofit law firm that provides free legal services in civil matters such as housing, domestic violence, benefits, and expungements to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove barriers to economic opportunity.

ACS is a statewide project of LANC. ACS works for education justice and an end to the school-to-prison pipeline through: (1) legal advocacy in matters such as denial of school enrollment, unaddressed academic failure, unmet special education needs, suspension, expulsion, involuntary transfer to alternative school, unaddressed bullying, discrimination, and mistreatment by school security personnel; (2) Community education (e.g., presentations, trainings, publications, and media outreach); and (3) Collaboration (e.g., serving on committees and providing technical assistance).

About the Juvenile Reentry Second Change Project

ACS/LANC has received grant funding to launch a Juvenile Reentry project in order to provide holistic legal and social work advocacy services to reentering juveniles and their families so as to best ensure long-term success and stability for at-risk youth. While effective legal services can facilitate successful re-entry for youth and eradicate legal barriers, there are many other practical, social, and structural barriers that youth re-entering communities encounter. To address these barriers best, an interdisciplinary team approach through use of an experienced social worker and social worker interns has been shown to be effective.

Specifically, the social worker hired through these grant funds will engage in holistic advocacy on behalf of youth re-entering North Carolina communities. The social worker’s role will be strengths-focused, trauma-informed, and culturally aware and will seek to combine top-notch care coordination with proactive advocacy strategies that allow reentering youth an equitable chance at success. The specific, ongoing roles of the social worker will be as follows:

Facilitating Individualized Reentry Success

  • Conducting periodic needs assessments and power analyses of re-entering youth and their families to identify goals of the youth and family and barriers to successful reentry and meeting of these goals
  • In collaboration with the youth, family, attorney, and other providers, conducting on-going review and revision of a youth-centered reentry plan
  • Advocating to ensure access to basic living needs to support family stability, including linking youth and families with community resources and services that address mental health, physical health, child welfare (as relevant), positive youth development/mentoring, safe housing, and basic living needs. This will include advocating, as needed, with administrative agencies to secure housing, financial, and other supports to improve family stability.
  • Attending school meetings to advocate for the educational rights of re-entering youth
  • Conducting home visits as needed to engage families and develop rapport
  • Empowering youth to navigate relevant social systems – such as youth employment – with increasing levels of independence

Liaising Between Legal and Non-Legal Advocates

  • Facilitating communication with attorney-advocates, in order to ensure a smooth process in eliminating all barriers to reentry

Enhancing Community Competence in and Commitment to Effective Reentry Practices

  • Educating community partners – including school personnel, child welfare personnel, mental health agency personnel, etc. – about barriers to successful youth re-entry and creative, collaborative means to eliminating those barriers. This will be accomplished through presentations, publications, and data analysis and synthesis.
  • Providing professional development to Legal Aid of North Carolina staff on youth reentry advocacy
  • Collaborating with new and existing community partners to increase the visibility of youth reentry issues and to develop and implement strategies for re-entry success
  • Staying abreast of on-going research in effective reentry policies and practices, to share with the Second Chance Project attorneys and Legal Aid of North Carolina and community partners

Evaluating Second Chance Project Program Services

  • In collaboration with the program attorney and other Legal Aid of North Carolina staff, monitor program implementation for fidelity to model, collect and analyze data as to youth and family outcomes, and work towards continuous improvement in program delivery

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master of Social Work degree from an accredited social work program, or a Bachelor of Social Work degree with significant prior experience in the field. Certification or licensure by the relevant state certification and licensing body preferred.
  • At least 1 – 3 years of human services experience, with preference for applicants having experience working with marginalized adolescent populations and their families, the juvenile justice system and/or the child mental health system
  • Commitment to zealous advocacy on behalf of youth re-entering their communities from out-of-home placements to significantly reduce recidivism among these youth
  • Proficiency in Spanish not required but desirable
  • Commitment to abiding by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics


  • $35,000/yr.
  • Excellent leave benefits
  • Excellent health benefits

Position Duration:

Position is funded for a two-year grant period, with the potential for an extension or permanence.

Application Instructions:

Mail or email a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to

Aisha Forte
Staff Attorney
Advocates for Children’s Services
Legal Aid of North Carolina
P.O. Box 2101
Durham, NC 27702

Applications must be submitted by October 20th, 2017. Applications will be reviewed and candidates interviewed on a rolling basis, and so early applications are encouraged.