Under general supervision, assists and advocates for victims and/or witnesses of crimes by performing advanced crisis intervention, case management and counseling duties as part of the County Victim/Witness Assistance Program; acts as a lead worker; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3, of the Civil Service Rules.
This is the advanced journey-level class in the Victim/Witness Advocate series. Incumbents support the criminal justice activities of the District Attorney’s Office by providing a variety of services to victims and/or witnesses of crimes. These include advocacy services such as crisis intervention, crime scene response, case management and counseling/guidance. At this level, incumbents function in a lead worker capacity and are typically assigned to develop and oversee the training of new employees, interns and/or volunteers. Work is performed with a high level of independent judgment and authority. Incumbents may also be required to provide additional backup on-call support for difficult crises situations that require multiple staff to respond.
This class can be distinguished from the Victim/Witness Advocate II because the latter is the journey level class where incumbents are not expected to be responsible for the development and training of new staff, interns and/or volunteers.
Provides on-site acute crisis needs assessment and intervention services to victims and/or witnesses of crimes through a 24-hour mobile crisis unit that responds to calls referred by law enforcement agencies; may act as the lead Advocate as situations require; may be assigned to provide backup on-call assistance for difficult situations requiring multiple staff; assists on-site law enforcement personnel by encouraging victim/witness comprehension of and cooperation with the crime scene investigation process; establishes victim eligibility and provides for emergency assistance including food, clothing, transportation and shelter; develops case plans for follow-up and management as appropriate.
Evaluates and responds to requests from victims and others for Program services; establishes eligibility and provides for non-emergency services such as medical expense reimbursement, loss recovery and security/preventive measures as allowed and required; assists victims in applying for Program compensation as appropriate; monitors victim cases and assures timely resolution of issues; works with Victim Claims Specialists as needed to facilitate applications and claims processing.
Acts as a liaison between victims, law enforcement personnel, County agencies, attorneys, and others; may represent the department in the absence of superiors; refers victims/witnesses to appropriate agencies for a broad range of services and resources, including medical or therapeutic treatment.
Encourages and facilitates victim cooperation with the criminal justice process; helps arrange interviews between attorneys, victims, and witnesses; helps assure that transportation, lodging, and other witness expenses are met as appropriate; provides orientation to victims and their families regarding court procedures; updates victims and witnesses on the status of their case, provides procedural information regarding upcoming appearances, and provides other court support as appropriate; assists victims in obtaining restraining orders, protective shelter, and community services.
Helps develop, oversee and implement training plans for volunteers, interns and subordinate staff; may be assigned primary responsibility for training new employees; may provide input to supervisory staff regarding volunteer, intern and staff assignments/performance; may prioritize and assign staff work in supervisor’s absence.
Reads and interprets complex documents, including regulations and laws; maintains case files, program records, and progress notes; prepares complex statistical reports, case summaries, letters and memoranda; may participate in special research projects.
Attends training programs; participates on committees and task forces; may develop and make presentations to law enforcement, other agencies and the community regarding Program activities.
Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in psychology, social or behavioral sciences, criminal justice, law enforcement or a closely related field. Experience: Two years of social advocacy and casework experience at a level comparable to or higher than Victim Witness Advocate II in San Joaquin County.
Note: Individuals employed as either Victim Witness Advocates or Senior Victim Witness Advocates in San Joaquin County on the date that this class specification is adopted by the Civil Service Commission may waive the above education requirement. Experience as a Senior Victim Witness Advocate will be credited to the employee on a year-for-year basis.
Special Requirement: Completion of a 40-hour advanced Victim/Witness Advocacy course certified by the California Victim Witness Coordinating Council and the State Office of Criminal Justice Planning.
License: Possession of a valid California Driver’s License.
Principles and practices of leadership and training; basic law enforcement and criminal justice practices; advanced principles and practices of crisis management; principles of individual and group behavior; advanced assessment, interviewing and counseling techniques; cultural and human relations; advanced analytical and investigative principles, methods, and techniques; community resource agencies, both public and private.
Lead and train the work of others; interpret and apply complex laws and regulations; prepare accurate, clear and concise records, reports and other documents; reason logically and draw valid conclusions, both in routine and crisis situations; obtain information through personal interviews; use tact and good judgement in dealing with difficult situations and/or people; maintain effective working relations with a diverse group of people.
Mobility-Frequent standing, walking, keyboard operation, sitting and driving; occasional climbing stairs, pushing, pulling, bending, squatting; Lifting-Ability to occasionally lift up to 30 pounds; Vision-Constant reading and close-up work requiring good overall vision; frequent eye/hand coordination, occasional color/depth perception and peripheral vision; Dexterity-Frequent holding, gripping and writing; occasional reaching and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking-Constant hearing normal speech, talking in person and on the telephone; occasional hearing faint sounds; Emotional/Special Conditions-Constant public contact, decision making, and concentration; frequent exposure to trauma, grief and death, exposure to noise, emergency situations; occasional working weekends/nights/overtime and travel.