The Public Defender Licensed Bachelor’s Social Worker will be responsible for creation of a case management plan that determines the best services available for clients on the mental health caseload, will get the client to those services and provide aftercare for a reasonable period to reduce the possibility of recidivism. Under the general direction of the Chief Public defender, the licensed bachelor’s social worker will work as a part of the defense team, be in direct communication with counsel to assist with mitigation strategy and defendant advocacy. The licensed bachelor’s social worker will conduct interviews with clients, collect information and complete documentation, monitor client progress, refer clients for service, and other duties as assigned.
The primary duties of the Public Defender Licensed Bachelor’s Social Worker will include, but are not limited to the following:
Identify and obtain appropriate services based on the client’s stated needs. Such services will include access to housing, appropriate mental health and medical services, employment and educational opportunities and other supports and services;
Make contact with client’s attorney prior to any contact with clients. If the attorney wants to attend the client meeting, make the necessary accommodations;
Work with attorneys to coordinate client cases and advocacy, this includes providing a mini-psycho-social work up on the client to attorney, assisting in communication between attorney and client when necessary, preparing correspondence, reports, and memorandum suitable for use in a Court of law, obtaining necessary records, and relating all case information to the attorney;
Establish and develop relationships with community services and potential supports, including, but not limited to, the local mental health authority, law enforcement, community supervision, the housing authority, adult education services, community leaders, and religious communities;
Establish and develop relationships with supports identified by the client, including, if appropriate, the client’s immediate and extended family as well as friends, mentors and other supporters;
Appear for Court settings with client and monitor progress of clients throughout the pendency of their case(s);
Assist in client transition to probation and development of appropriate conditions;
Collaborate and coordinate with jail staff to ensure client needs are addressed;
Participate in outreach;
Assist in data collection and analysis as necessary; and
Perform other duties as assigned by the Chief Public Defender.
Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work and Licensed through the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners or the equivalent;
Good writing skills;
Have transportation available, including valid driver’s license and automobile insurance;
Experience in working with people with serious mental illness preferred;
Commitment to client self-determination; and
Resourcefulness, creativity, initiative and drive, tact, and discretion.
Additional Salary Information: Salary commensurate with experience, plus an excellent fringe benefits package.
Internal Number: trlaPD03252020
About Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)
Established in 1970, TRLA is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area that covers the southwestern third of the state, including the entire Texas-Mexico border region. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texans by providing high quality legal services and related educational services.