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The Second Step: Community Advocate

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Julie Lima, Executive Director, c/o Mimi Sperl, [email protected].  

Background: The Second Step (TSS) is a community of survivors, advocates, and volunteers who foster the safety, stability, and well-being of those who have experienced domestic violence. We provide comprehensive services, including safety planning, legal advocacy, counseling, peer support, transitional housing, and other essential services to adults, youth, and children in Greater Boston and MetroWest.    

Job Title: Community Advocate  

Primary Objective: Providing comprehensive case management, emotional support & advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence, within an agency framework that is trauma-informed, strength-based, relational, and empowering. Ideally the advocate would serve a bilingual/bicultural caseload which includes opportunities for English/Spanish group facilitation and translation/interpretation services based on client needs. 

The Community Advocate works closely with the Director of Community Programs to support survivors of domestic violence (DV) living in the community, collaborates in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programs, and is responsible for other activities as assigned. All direct service employees of The Second Step are expected to provide support services from a trauma-informed perspective.

Primary duties include but are not limited to:

  • Providing case management, safety planning, psycho-educational programming, referrals, and support services to clients;
  • Providing ongoing emotional support to survivors;
  • Advocating on behalf of survivors with healthcare providers, housing/landlords & utility companies, school systems, and a range of other systems or agencies;
  • Training, planning, group facilitation and administrative duties for the IMAGINE and SEEK Programs;
  • Helping survivors in the community to maintain housing and job stability through outreach and programming as determined in conjunction with the Director of Community Programs.

Additional responsibilities include:  

  • Attend and actively participate in weekly team meetings and agency-wide staff meetings;
  • Represent TSS at community events and forums;
  • Assist other advocates and directors in coordinating client-centered events.
  • Work with other TSS staff to address survivors’ needs/concerns
  • Attend any meetings or appointments that will assist in providing quality advocacy to survivors.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Systems Advocacy Responsibilities: 

  • Develop and maintain relationships with housing authorities, DTA and DCF offices, employment agencies, medical, immigration, legal, substance abuse and other community resources
  • Track changes in availability and eligibility requirements for housing subsidies, welfare, and other benefits
  • Inform other programs and institutions about domestic violence and our programs. Assist representatives in making information available to all members of their organization/institution

Administrative/Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Participate in volunteer/ intern training and supervision
  • Maintain records including service delivery, advocacy plans and other documentation in accordance with confidentiality guidelines.
  • Attend agency events, team meetings and staff meetings

Qualifications:  

Knowledge of issues related to domestic violence, trauma, mental health, and addiction – with a particular emphasis on how these issues impact families – is essential. Knowledge of issues related to child development and parenting is also valuable. While a Master’s degree is preferred, we also consider relevant life experience and employment background to be valuable assets.  Strong preference for candidates who are bilingual/bicultural (fluent in both Spanish and English with advanced written and verbal/oral skills, and at least 2-3 years of experience working with survivors of domestic violence and/or homeless families and individuals in residential and/or community-based programs. 

Additional qualifications include: 

  • Master’s degree preferred.  Bachelor’s degree and demonstrated experience in the field of Domestic Violence/Trauma required.
  • Strong clinical skills desired.
  • Strong crisis management, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn and master new skills and materials.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities simultaneously and precisely.
  • Knowledge/experience with public housing and appeals process.
  • Strong organizational skills, including the ability to work calmly under pressure.
  • Cultural competence and/or willingness to learn.
  • Collaborative team player.
  • Strong communication skills and proficiency with computers and technology.
  • Advanced language proficiency (Bi-lingual English/Spanish) preferred.
  • Enthusiasm about working collaboratively and effectively in an environment that is linguistically and culturally diverse.

Physical Demands: 

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to sit and reach with hands and arms.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and the ability to adjust.

Hours: Full-time, exempt positon (M-F), with a combination of days & evenings to be determined together with the Director of Community Programs. Flexibility in scheduling is important. On-site clinical supervision will be provided.


Salary and benefits: TSS offers a competitive salary and benefits package to full-time employees. Salary for this position in the high 40’s range, with additional compensation commensurate with experience, language skills, or other qualifications.


Equal opportunity: The Second Step actively seeks cultural and linguistic diversity in all of its programs. Minorities, bilingual/bicultural candidates, survivors of domestic & sexual violence, and LGBQT candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Second Step, Inc. is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Julie Lima, Executive Director, c/o Mimi Sperl, [email protected]thesecondstep.org