Part-time Forensic Evaluations Coordinator (Contract Position)

JOB POSTING

Title: Part-time Forensic Evaluations Coordinator (Contract Position)

Reports to: Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC)

Location: Hybrid - Houston, Texas

Date: April 15, 2024

Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) seeks an energetic and talented initiative-taker who is enthusiastic about advancing immigrant justice to coordinate our forensic evaluations program to support the legal case of immigrants who experienced trauma, and to fulfill our vision of co-creating a vibrant and resilient ecosystem where all immigrants, migrants, and refugees belong.

Overview of HILSC

Greater Houston has one of the highest concentrations and fastest-growing populations of immigrants and refugees in the country. Nearly 1.7 million immigrants and refugees call Greater Houston home, a third of them are non-citizens; more than 500,000 Greater Houston residents are undocumented. Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative (HILSC) works at the intersection of immigrant rights and racial justice to promote immigrant inclusion, equity, and justice by working with allies through principled and value-based collaboration. It is an ecosystem of three dozen immigrant-serving legal services, social services, healthcare, organizing and advocacy groups, funders, and government entities. HILSC grew out of a 2013 conversation among Greater Houston immigrant-serving organizations and funders seeking to grow immigration legal services capacity in this region. Launched to expand legal resources to help DREAMers apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), HILSC convened working groups to identify gaps in service and incubated programs such as the Immigrant Resource Hotline, Deportation Defense Houston, Disaster Justice, Connect for Healthcare, and Strategic Learning to meet community needs. The Forensic Evaluations program emerged from such convening. HILSC helps foster a public-private partnership by leveraging private resources to advocate for allocation of public funds to support immigration legal services to address unmet needs.

Trauma affects one’s ability to recall events and to articulate the rationale behind their fear, two critical components in seeking asylum and other immigration relief available to victims of crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Nonprofit immigration legal services providers need resources for mental health experts to provide forensic evaluations as well as ongoing counseling services to address trauma so that clients can advocate for themselves before a judge. A high-quality forensic evaluation is often the difference between winning and losing a case. To make forensic evaluations available and affordable for non-profit immigration legal services providers, HILSC launched the forensic evaluations program in 2019 to train and mentor mental health clinicians, developed a clinician network and provided a low bono stipend for clinicians providing these crucial evaluations to support the immigrant’s case to help bridge the credibility challenge that many trauma-impacted clients face. HILSC can restart this program with new funding.

Job Description

The Forensic Evaluations Coordinator (“Coordinator”) will restart HILSC’s forensic evaluations program that comprises 3 components: forensic evaluation stipend program management, training, and technical assistance, and maintain and expand the clinician network.

The Coordinator will report to HILSC’s Executive Director and work closely with HILSC’s Legal and Advocacy Director in implementing the project.

A.

a. Manage the program of matching trained mental health clinicians with attorneys requesting forensic evaluations.

b. Evaluate program through follow-up evaluations of attorneys and clinicians.

c. Develop database recording forensic evaluation request and track case progress.

d. Match immigration cases with clinicians to provide forensic evaluations.

e. Coordinate accounting procedures to account for invoice payable.

f. Process invoice from clinicians.

B.

a. Develop and facilitate trainings on forensic evaluations for mental health clinicians & attorneys.

b. Lead development, planning, and execution of webinar series for attorneys in collaboration with established partners.

c. Coordinate local forensic evaluation training for clinicians, as needed.

d. Maintain communication and collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and Physicians for Human Rights evaluation clinic to coordinate efforts, programming, and trainings.

e. Reinforce the skills of the existing HILSC clinician network by providing training that covers writing the evaluation report, preparing for court testimony, and cultural competency working with immigrant groups such as Afghans, LGBTQ+ individuals.

f. Provide technical assistance to clinicians and attorneys regarding forensic evaluation process, coordination, tools, and best practices.

C.

a. Maintain an up-to-date database and maintain consistent communication with trained clinicians.

b. Cultivate relationships with new clinicians interested in providing forensic evaluations through virtual and in-person meetings.

c. Grow the HILSC clinician network by adding 20 – 30 new clinicians through recruitment, training, and mentoring.

d. Assist HILSC Executive Director with educational programs for funders interested in expanding mental health access for clients with detention history.

Project Duration and time commitment

The projected duration of the forensic evaluations program is 24 months. This is a part-time position, with a weekly commitment of 20 to 24 hours.

Qualifications and Competencies

Minimum Education Requirement:

· A master’s degree in social work from an institution accredited in the U.S. required.

Minimum Skills and Experience Requirements

· Minimum five years of experience conducting forensic evaluations, preferably with the immigrant population, required.

· Demonstrated experience working with trauma-impacted individuals.

· Familiarity with immigrant experience highly valuable.

· Experience developing and providing in-service training for social workers and mental health clinicians required.

· Experience facilitating learning sessions with lawyers strongly preferred.

· Excellent verbal and written skills, superior interpersonal communication, and negotiation skills.

· Experience working in the low-income immigrant community required.

· Demonstrated multi-cultural understanding and experience.

· Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite required, knowledge about on-line collaboration tools, such as Google Drive, Dropbox and case management system strongly preferred, experience in web design and social media platforms highly desirable.

· Experience using spreadsheets, databases and conducting data analysis strongly preferred.

· Reliable transportation, valid Texas Driver’s License, and evidence of insurability.

· Creative thinker with ability to advise HILSC on program design and improvements highly desirable.

Competencies

· High level of professional excellence, including demonstrated experience collaborating with a range of teams and stakeholders, experience managing complex stakeholder environments, and experience working in dynamic or ambiguous contexts and organizations.

· Demonstrated ability to independently manage complex projects, prioritize conflicting demands and meet deadlines.

· Skillful listener with a high degree of self-awareness, humility, and diplomacy.

· Experience in consultative and/or senior advisory capacity desirable.

· Fluency in languages other than English an asset.

· Lived immigration experience is an asset.

· Demonstrated commitment to collaborative and reciprocal learning to inform strategic decision-making and action.

· Careful attention to detail, strong organizational skills, an open and clear communication style, comfort working independently and with little daily supervision,

· Subject matter expertise regarding forensic evaluations and the mental health needs of migrants, and an earnest desire for collaboration (with clinicians, attorneys, programs, and other entities across the city, state, and national regions).

· Knowledge and willingness to learn and apply on-line training tools to provide continuing education for the clinician network that utilizes the best pedagogy for effective learning.

Compensation

This is a contract position. The individual hired for this position is an independent contractor and is not an employee of HILSC. The Coordinator will be compensated on an hourly basis, with a rate between $50 an hour and $65 an hour commensurate with experience and qualifications, with a projected weekly commitment of 20 to 24 hours. The position does not provide health insurance or benefits, vacation, or sick time.

How to Apply

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual to have a meaningful impact through their professional contributions to advance immigrant rights and racial justice. Interested candidates should email a cover letter explaining how your skills and background fit this position and a resume jobs@houstonimmigration.org, with subject headline: .

This position is open until filled

HILSC is an equal opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. HILSC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, immigration status, and other legally protected characteristics.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: $50.00 - $65.00 per hour

Expected hours: 20 – 24 per week

Benefits:

  • Flexible schedule

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday

Ability to Relocate:

  • Houston, TX 77007: Relocate before starting work (Required)

Work Location: Hybrid remote in Houston, TX 77007

Job Category: HILSC Internal
Job Type: Part Time
Job Location: Houston

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