Residential Family Supports Specialist

DOVE (DOmestic Violence Ended), Inc.

Posted: 5/16/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Programs

Primary domain: Human Services

City: Quincy

Postal code: 02269

State: Massachusetts

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$1M - $3M


Mission statement:

DOVE’s Mission

DOVE is committed to partnering with diverse communities, families, and individuals
 impacted by domestic violence.  We promote hope, healing, safety, and social change
by providing a broad range of preventive and responsive services.


DOVE’s Statement of Welcome and Affirmation

DOVE welcomes refugee and immigrant survivors both documented and undocumented,
people with disabilities, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people of color, and
LGBQ/T and gender expansive and non-conforming individuals.

Position Details:

Job Description:

Job Purpose

DOVE seeks an experienced and passionate DV Shelter Advocate/Residential Family Support Specialist (“Advocate/Specialist”) to strengthen our programming and services for emergency shelter program participants. DOVE’s Emergency Shelter provides short-term emergency shelter for adults and their children seeking safety and support from domestic violence. DOVE’s emergency shelter is gender-inclusive serving women, men, and survivors who identify as gender expansive or non-binary. The DV Shelter Advocate/Residential Family Support and Continuing Care Specialist provides a range of in-shelter residential support and services for adult survivors of domestic violence and their children. The Advocate/Specialist works in a team with several other staff, providing general support and assistance, crisis response and prevention to hotline callers. Further, they work with shelter program participants on risk assessment and safety planning, as well as assisting with basic needs.

Additionally, the Advocate/Residential Family Support Specialist will have as a primary area of focus and specialization developing knowledge and serving as a liaison and advocate with community service providers to secure resources and ensure services for children/families both living within the residential program and those who have moved on.  The Advocate/Specialist will also build and maintain connections with local resources and family support networks. This Advocate/Specialist will plan and implement programs and services including support and activity groups for adults and children, presentations by outside providers, House Meetings and other activities.


General Programmatic

  1. Answer 24-hour hotline. Provide crisis prevention/intervention and supportive listening to callers. Provide information and referrals as appropriate.
  2. Update SafeLink listing re: availability of shelter room(s) for new program participants twice daily.
  3. Complete intake process with callers seeking emergency shelter when space is available. Prepare bedrooms for new arrivals. Greet new program participants and orient them to the shelter and program.
  4. Ensure the shelter is welcoming, responsive, and supportive of the experiences and needs of all program participants.
  5. Working as part of the shelter team, provide trauma-informed and age-appropriate support services, counseling, and advocacy to adult and minor-aged child program participants who’ve experienced domestic violence.
  6. Be available for consultation by other team members and intern(s) as needed.
  7. Assist in ensuring the safety and security of program participants by being aware of the needs of program participants as well as the activities taking place within the house, and routinely assessing for safety and reporting all problems or concerns appropriately and in a timely manner.
  8. Facilitate House Meetings and support groups in conjunction with the Housing & Economic Empowerment Specialist.


Specialized Programmatic

  1. Conduct needs assessment with all adult and minor-age child(ren) shelter program participants, including health and well-being assessment. Develop support plan in collaboration with each/all members of the family to address identified needs.
  2. Provide support and referrals as needed to facilitate positive parenting and child development.
  3. Support parent advocacy on behalf of their children’s educational and health needs.
  4. Facilitate psycho-educational parenting groups for program participants.
  5. Facilitate connections with local resources and provide advocacy as needed for PPs, including orientation to community and civic life, food pantries, health and mental health assistance, government benefits, faith community supports, etc. Support Program Participants with school enrollment, seeking childcare/afterschool care, summer camp enrollment, assistance seeking vouchers, etc.
  6. Accompany families to appointments; provide advocacy on behalf of program participant as appropriate; and facilitate language translation and interpretation as necessary (thru a third party).
  7. Maintain network of mental health, health, social service, substance abuse, and other resources. Meet and/or communicate regularly with these providers to maintain connections and identify and address barriers and gaps, etc.
  8. Coordinate special events and activities for residential program participants (adults and children), with the support of the Residential Life Coordinator.
  9. Facilitate and maintain contact with former program participants through DOVE’s Continuing Care Program by hosting monthly groups and events, including the annual summer reunion BBQ.
  10. Maintain accurate and complete forms and documentation as required.
  11. Participate in regular on-call rotation (for 1 week every 6-8 weeks).




  1. Keep case notes and records, track services delivered in the EmpowerDB database; submit routine reports for funders in collaboration with the Director of Residential Services.
  2. Create and maintain outcomes measurement data accurately and consistently.
  3. Provide support with yearly building/facilities and safety equipment inspections, including any preparatory work prior to the inspections and any follow-up work after the inspections.
  4. Periodically represent DOVE in meetings or interactions with collaborators, community stakeholders, donors, and/or funders.
  5. Attend and participate in regularly scheduled individual supervision, staff meetings, case review, and shelter team meetings, and ongoing professional development meetings and trainings.
  6. Complete other duties to ensure that shelter program participants are provided with professional, empathic, safe, and affirming services within the context of DOVE’s mission and consistent with legal, organizational, and funder requirements.


Skills & Qualifications

  1. Experience working with individuals and families impacted by abuse and trauma, as well as oppression, including racial, cultural, and historic oppressions. Knowledge of the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence as well as trauma issues as they relate to victims/survivors of violence and their children.
  2. Demonstrated crisis intervention, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills.
  3. Ability to communicate effectively and creatively with children and adults. Excellent interpersonal skills.Be a “people person;” enjoy talking and working with others.
  4. Two to four years’ experience working in a residential setting and with low-income families.
  5. Basic knowledge of child protection services and the criminal justice system.
  6. Experience and the ability and desire to work with diverse populations including, but not limited to, non-English speaking families, LGBQ/T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer and/or Transgender) survivors, and individuals with histories of substance abuse and/or mental health challenges.
  7. Willingness to learn about and actively use social justice/anti-oppression awareness and understanding in daily work.
  8. Strong organizational skills. Ability to effectively multi-task and manage competing demands and activities by prioritizing and communicating clearly.
  9. Excellent oral/interactive and written communication skills in English; sound computer skills.
  10. Positive approach, can-do attitude, flexibility, sense of humor, appreciative demeanor, and grace under pressure.
  11. A strong work ethic; a sense of initiative and ability to work independently.
  12. Ability to work effectively and collaboratively in a creative and resourceful non-profit setting.
  13. Ability to model and uphold appropriate professional boundaries and confidentiality in work with program participants/clients, co-workers, supervisor, and members of the community.
  14. Demonstrated experience making and maintaining connections in community and professional settings; experience in public speaking, networking, designing and conducting presentation and training, group facilitation.
  15. Bilingual (Spanish, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, or Portuguese, and English) preferred.
  16. Bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, Women’s/Gender studies, Africana Studies, Chicana studies, or related field preferred. Equivalent life experience considered.


**   DOVE is willing to cultivate the leadership potential of promising candidates.  Domestic violence survivors, members of historically oppressed communities, and persons with experience working in DOVE’s catchment area are particularly encouraged to apply. 



  1. Must be committed to DOVE’s mission and practice philosophies, to ending violence and oppression, to using empowerment practice, and to promoting social justice and social change.
  2. Must complete DOVE’s comprehensive domestic violence training within one (1) year of hire, participating when the training is next offered by DOVE; documentation of similar training at another organization may partially fulfill this requirement.
  3. Must have valid MA driver’s license, reliable transportation, current automobile insurance, and willingness to travel within DOVE’s service area on organizational business.
  4. Able to climb and descend stairs, bend, and lift items (including shoveling) up to 30 pounds.
  5. A CORI background check is mandatory. CORI History will be reviewed and may not disqualify candidates.


Work Schedule: Full-time, hourly position, 38-40 hours/week, generally Monday-Friday 8 hours/day, including some 7-3, 8-4, and 11-7 shifts; flexibility is a must.  The Advocate/Specialist will be required to work at other times to provide on-call coverage and/or attend training/meetings; this will periodically include evening and weekend hours.


Compensation & Benefits: DOVE is committed to working for social and economic justice, working with engaged and dedicated colleagues, and providing and ensuring training and education in best practices as well as professional development opportunities. As an organization we hold openness to innovation, and we seek the opportunity and resources to do meaningful, impactful work.


  1. Position will be paid hourly in the range of $20.91-$22.11 (FTE annual range = $43,500-$46,000).
  2. Additional compensation is available for demonstrated, proficient language skills preferred in DOVE’s catchment area, including Haitian Creole, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and/or Portuguese; $1,500 gross annual per 40 hr FTE for 1st language in addition to English, and $1,000 gross annual per 40 hr FTE for 2nd or more language/s in addition to English.


Benefits consistent with personnel policy:

  1. Paid time off: Vacation (3 weeks in Year 1, increases at Year 3), Personal Days (3 days/year), Sick (12 days/year), and 12 Holidays
  2. Insurance coverage (Health/Dental, Short-Term Disability, and Life/ADD)


Less than $60k

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:

To apply, send Cover Letter specifically for this position and Resume to:

  1. Jessica Cohen, Director of Residential Services, DOVE Inc.[email protected]
  2. Applications will be considered until the position is successfully filled. It is DOVE’s hope that the incumbent will begin work late June/early July.
  3. Applications or resumes without a cover letter expressing interest in employment at DOVE will not be considered.


For more information on DOVE, see our website:         


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