Case Worker / Social Worker – Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project – Florence, AZ

The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to the more than 3,500 men, women, and children detained in Eloy, Florence, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona on any given day. The Florence Project is nationally known for its legal and social services that ensure that detained people are empowered and have access to justice. The Florence Project provides high quality legal services and supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.

The Project’s Integrated Social Services Program (ISSP) offers supportive social services for some of the most vulnerable detained individuals including the mentally ill, unaccompanied minors, survivors of torture, asylum seekers, domestic violence victims, people with significant medical issues, and parents at immediate risk of losing custody of their children. The Program seeks to address and alleviate individuals’ psycho-social needs, support legal requests for release and relief from deportation and foster successful integration for individuals released from custody by connecting them to existing service providers and support networks in the community.

The Position

The case worker/social worker works as part of a team comprised of 2-4 case workers, and works closely with legal staff. The position will maintain a caseload of approximately 30-40 cases at a time. This position reports to the ISSP Program Coordinator.

The case worker advocates on behalf of detainees with severe social, medical, and psychological needs. The client population includes men, women, and children who may have endured trauma in the form of abuse, persecution or torture. The case worker provides services to the most vulnerable detainees, including those living with mental illness, severe medical issues, parents with children at risk of losing custody, and youth. Tasks include weekly visits to detention facilities to meet with clients, and meetings with appropriate referral services in the community.

Case management work includes file management, data entry, and information and referral services, as well as supporting attorneys and legal staff. The position also provides the opportunity to participate in outreach activities and collaborative projects within a national network of immigrant service providers, under the supervision of the ISSP Program Coordinator.

The Case Worker’s major responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Assist the Program Coordinator to develop a manual of social services, substance abuse programs, and residential options for clients released from ICE detention into Arizona and California communities. Assist clients in accessing such services.
Under the supervision of the Program Coordinator, conduct needs assessments of those in detention, support clients throughout their immigration court proceedings, consult with staff attorneys on mental health and psycho social issues of clients, and work closely with survivors of torture as they prepare testimony in asylum-type hearings.
Under supervision of the Program Coordinator and in conjunction with legal staff, advocate on behalf of clients to ICE officials, assist clients in understanding and navigating the legal system, and help long-term detainees prepare for and request release from detention.
Meet regularly with legal staff to discuss client referrals.
Visit clients in detention facilities approximately 2 days per week.
Facilitate client referrals to non-legal services including housing, medical, mental health, vocational, and educational services and help identify new resources in the community.
Accompany clients to appointments at USCIS or ICE offices and serve as their advocate, as needed.
Help clients prepare and understand forms and paperwork.
Communicate effectively in person and by telephone.
Maintain clear and concise case file documentation.
Adhere to organization’s policies regarding confidentiality and client privacy.
Work with other Florence Project social services team members to coordinate and share knowledge among our three offices and different programs.
Assist the Children’s Program Case Worker with immigrant children’s case needs, as time permits.
Participate in Know-Your-Rights trainings and intakes with detained adults as needed, for coverage purposes.
Participate in all program meetings and staff development activities.
Participate in organizational fundraising and communications efforts as needed.
Other related duties as assigned.

Requirements for the Position

Background in Social Work is strongly preferred, including BSW or MSW degree or studies. If the successful candidate has social work education, the position title will be social worker (instead of case worker). The ideal candidate will have prior supervised experience with social services case management. Fluency in Spanish is required. Prior experience with detention work and working with traumatized individuals is a plus.

We are seeking applicants who have a demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights, social justice, or human rights issues with excellent interpersonal skills who enjoy working in a collaborative, client-centered law office environment. Must have excellent organizational skills with regards to administration and logistics, and use time effectively and efficiently. Must be flexible, a team player, and able to handle multiple tasks at once. Must be culturally competent and comfortable working in a detention setting with clients who may have criminal histories. Must have reliable transportation.

This position is based in the Project’s Florence office, a rural prison town, with the opportunity to work out of Project offices in Phoenix or Tucson 1-2 days a week, depending on availability. Regular travel to Phoenix and Tucson for staff meetings and trainings is also required.

This is an immediate opening. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Starting salary is $30,000-$35,000, depending on experience. Benefits include a limited mileage reimbursement, medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as generous vacation and leave policy.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with 3 references to Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project recognizes the value of diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, individuals with disabilities, and members of under-represented or disadvantaged communities.