Attorney IV (Child Advocacy)
DeKalb County, GA - Decatur, GA

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Essential Functions: The following duties are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exhaustive, exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required and assigned.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervise staff of attorneys, investigators and administrative support in the representation of child-clients as victim-parties in dependency cases involving severe abuse and neglect subject-matter;
  • Manage administrative responsibilities including: periodic systems audits, evaluating performance, preparing performance appraisals, maintaining department practice statistics and data;
  • Ensure quality assurance by conducting regular case file reviews, court observations, and oversight of field investigations and advocacy;
  • Monitor court rulings and appellate issues, and oversee appeals;
  • Prepare reports and other materials for publication in furtherance of department mandates;
  • Supervise execution of department initiatives, programs and efforts;
  • Support staff development and excellent service delivery by providing feedback and identifying opportunities to enhance and support staff members’ skills and interests; Identify needs for performance improvement and formulate plan for training, support and corrective action as necessary;
  • Train and mentor new and subordinate staff regarding relevant dependency laws, department protocol and procedure, Juvenile Court protocol and procedure, social services and other child-welfare systems, processes and content knowledge;
  • Maintain ongoing communication with judges and court staff regarding department’s advocacy efforts;
  • Serve as department liaison to external partners for the purpose of promoting collaboration, resource development, advocacy and education regarding relevant subject matter;
  • Serve as interdepartmental representative to county and state executive, judicial and legislative branches at request of Director;
  • Assist with development of department processes and procedures.

  • Manage reduced caseloads. Must possess the capacity to multi-task.
  • Serve as lead counsel. Prepare and present cases at all stages of litigation process, including appeals. Prepare trial and appellate-level briefs, motions and pleadings for court appearances; prepare reports and correspondence; analyze complex legal and/or factual issues; formulate recommendations regarding adjudication and disposition of dependency matters (abuse and neglect cases) and permanency planning; conduct preliminary, adjudicatory, dispositional, review and other hearings. Conduct extensive legal, resource-related and data research;
  • Serve as Guardian ad Litem. Make best interest recommendations regarding case determinations and dispositions;
  • Assess the capacity of potential caregivers and the needs of child-clients;
  • Identify deficiencies in child-clients’ well-being and services, including medical, mental health, developmental and educational needs. Identify and recommend resources to address needs thereby ensuring clients’ health, safety and welfare. Advocate for implementation of appropriate intervention resources;
  • Make recommendations regarding therapeutic, educational, rehabilitative and support services and resource needs for families and children. Evaluate resources and monitor child-clients’ status while in placement in order to ensure the adequacy of resources to address child-clients’ needs;
  • Monitor related matters in associated criminal, delinquent, domestic and other court systems where child-clients’ interests may be affected. Advocate as needed to protect child-clients’ interests;
  • Lead independent investigation of allegations of child abuse and neglect;
  • Conduct field investigations during non-traditional work hours as needed. Field efforts include: interviewing child-clients in foster care and out-of-care placements, interviewing lay and expert witnesses, evaluating current and proposed placements, securing records and other evidence, attending stakeholder meetings and other convenings, attending child-client assessments, evaluations, administrative and other legal and intervention proceedings;
  • Monitor the compliance of guardians, parties and interested persons with court orders relating to reunification, intervention, rehabilitation and permanency planning;
  • Completes assignments as directed by the Department Head or designee;
  • Must possess knowledge of A.S.F.A., C.A.P.T.A., Fostering Connections and other relevant federal and state guidelines regarding child permanency planning;
  • Must possess knowledge of current Official Code of Georgia Annotated code sections relating to Juvenile Court and child welfare and dependency law;
  • Must possess knowledge of Juvenile Court related rules and procedure;
  • Maintain working knowledge of related social welfare disciplines and systems.

Minimum Qualifications:

Juris Doctorate degree; four years of practice experience (two years supervisory experience strongly preferred); valid driver’s license. Must be a member of the Georgia State Bar Association in good stand or otherwise certified to practice within Georgia.

Supplemental Information:

Evaluation will consist of:

DeKalb County, GA - 6 months ago - save job