Making It Happen
Nature of Work:The role of the City of Rockford, Violence Interruption Victim Advocate is to help families and victims of violence recover from physical and emotional trauma caused by community violence by empowering them with skills, services, and opportunities.
Grant Funding Advisement:This position is 100% funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Gun Violent Prevention. Grant funding for the current grant period expires on June 30, 2024. Acceptance of this position shall not be construed as a guarantee of employment beyond the grant-funded period.
Essential Functions:Victim Advocates will dedicate 100% of their work time providing advocacy through direct service and systems advocacy. Victim Advocates will:• Respond within one-hour in-person or by phone to incidences of community violence (non-fatal shootings, fatal shootings, other acts of violence, etc.) within Rockford, IL. Incident notification could occur through outreach workers, police departments, community members, or other means. Response may include onsite response to crime scenes, a victims' home, hospitals, and other health care settings. • Provide immediate support and advocacy for those impacted by violence at the hospital, accompany the family at the medical examiner's office, plan for a funeral, and/or assess level of crisis to refer to counseling services.• Provide trauma-informed counseling with victims and families• Connect/refer families to appropriate services and supports in the community, including:o Mental health serviceso Benefits eligibility and enrollment (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP/Link, etc.)o Trauma-informed services for young children and youtho Housing assistanceo Food assistanceo Funeral planningo Transportation to medical appointmentso Employment• Support families in their interaction with police to receive updates on cases.• Assist families with application to Illinois Crime Victim Compensation Program operated by the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.• Conduct regular weekly support groups with victims and families.• Provide support to families during court visits or trials.• Maintain a caseload that includes a maximum of 25 participants at any given time.• Work with the service area's Violence Prevention Coordinating Council (VPCC), formerly known as Local Advisory Council and other organizations providing violence prevention services to determine adequate coverage and response to shooting incidents referred by the police and through other reporting mechanisms.• Participate in monthly and emergency meetings with other Reimagine Violence Prevention grantees/providers in the community to share knowledge and strategies of the neighborhood violence dynamic. Monthly and emergency meetings will be convened by the OFVP and/or each municipality's VPCC with the intent to facilitate a meaningful collaborative action planning across providers.• Accept and make referrals, when appropriate, to/from other Reimagine Violence Prevention, Youth Development, Youth Intervention, and Trauma-Informed Behavioral Health funded providers within each municipality.• Fully participate in community violence prevention coordination activities including but not limited to:o attending monthly and emergency meetings,o sharing recommendations on how to reduce violent conflict in the neighborhood,o sharing knowledge of and strategies to address the community violence dynamic,o participate in available learning communities.
Additionally, all project staff, including Victim Advocates will ensure that programming is infused with trauma-informed principles that:• Recognize the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in persons residing and working in communities with a high concentration of firearm violence,• Include an understanding of the impact of trauma on staff and personnel working with individuals residing in these communities.• Include an understanding of the impact of trauma on brain development, physical and emotional health and the impact on the community and individuals living in the community.• Creates a safe space, provides support, and builds resiliency in individuals impacted by trauma.
Required Experience/Qualifications. Thorough knowledge of how systemic racism and the disenfranchisement of persons living within the geographical areas carved out for the impact and purposes of this grant funded position. We would like to offer this position to those with lived experience. Some college or technical training in social services or human services and 2 years of experience in working in case management, victim advocacy, community engagement, criminal justice, violence prevention, social service, grassroots organizations, or the equivalent. Familiar and comfortable with the use of technology and programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs and email. Possession of a valid Illinois driver’s license.
Supervision Received Works under the overall supervision of the Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Domestic and Community Violence Prevention, who reviews work for effectiveness, timeliness, and overall results achieved.