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1693_Relief Direct Service Advocate_SYPP_$18

By May 4, 2023July 27th, 2023Employment

Schedule: Per Diem for All Shifts (Minimum of 3 Shifts per Month)

The YWCA of Western MA is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering survivors. The YW provides a safe place for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Our programs and services include crisis shelter and transitional housing for survivors and their families, counseling, SAFEPLAN court advocacy, community education, supervised visitation, and vocational training for youth. The YWCA provides services at several sites, including Holyoke, Northampton, Westfield, and our primary Springfield campus.

Expectations of all employees

In the performance of essential and general job responsibilities, all YWCA employees are expected to:

  • Demonstrate commitment to the YW’s mission and principles of trauma-informed work.
  • Represent the YW in a professional and competent manner to participants, community members, organizational partners, and other stakeholders.
  • Support policies, practices, and decisions that demonstrate our shared accountability for racial equity.
  • Communicate openly and contribute to the development of others.
  • Coordinate efforts across teams, programs, and partner organizations.
  • Maintain professional behavior and strict confidentiality.

Position Purpose: 

The Direct Service Advocate (DSA) is responsible for providing support, advocacy and role modeling to adult, teen and child program participants living in the YWCA’s residential programs. DSA’s are part of a team model working with peers, supervisors, clinicians and outside connections to best serve program participants. DSA’s support the agency mission and trauma informed service model in order to provide safe, consistent and quality services to vulnerable populations.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Nurture and support a milieu approach that is participant-guided, family-driven, strengths-based, trauma-informed and embraces a framework of empowerment and encouragement, engaging with 100% of individuals and families that are on-site each shift.
  • Encourage and support the development of life skills, positive parenting and improved parent-child interaction- 1:1 or group format to include recreational, educational, cultural or those that promote family engagement (3x per week for TPP DSA and minimally once weekly for NB and DVSS DSA).
  • Follow and encourage the programs daily schedule and facilitate resident participation and community responsibilities, taking into account individualized plans for each participant.
  • Ongoing individual resident support with 85% of time on shift in direct service role providing face to face contact and interaction with participant’s and their children in order to support.
  • Ensure program procedures, rules, regulations and policies are followed to ensure a safe and supportive living environment including completion of 100% of all required safety sweeps (minimum of four times) each shift to ensure premises including alarms, doors, windows, appliances and bedrooms are all safe.
  • To facilitate integration into the program, provide orientation and emotional support to participants upon arrival and complete intake paperwork with 100% of participants within 24 hours of arrival.
  • To ensure participants are properly welcomed to the program, prepares rooms for new families within 1-2 shifts from previous exit.
  • Provide daily information as it relates to data collection and outcome measurements through the completion of 100% of Client Track Services logs prior to end of shift.
  • Required documentation and daily program communication including case notes, resident files and communication logs, completing 100% of all documentation prior to the end of shift.
  • Perform regular job duties to be observed by new staff during the job shadowing portion of program orientation.
  • Engage with residents at 100% of all meal times and ensure that participants clean up the dining area prior to leaving as well as kitchen prior to cooking.
  • Ensure thorough communication of staff from shift to shift.
  • Assist with child care as needed to support service planning goal activities completion.
  • To support children’s safety and well-being, ensure mothers supervise children at all times and offer support to moms during a crisis or periods where they may be overwhelmed.
  • Conducts safety checks on residents and children as needed and completes 100% of all required safety checks.
  • Answer phones and provide information and referral; answer hotline as needed (DVSS DSA’s only).
  • Attend scheduled staff meetings, supervision and trainings as required.
  • Responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the facility and property (including, but not limited to: vacuuming, laundry, loading/unloading groceries, shoveling, raking, mopping, preparation of bedrooms) including ensuring 100% of chores were completed properly before signing off on the chore list.
  • Provide transportation to residents and adhere to all safety laws/policies regarding seat belts, car seat requirements and speed limits at all times to include ratio of 1:5 (ratio applies to TPP only).
  • Complete 100% of urine screen collections on designated days for collection assigned by DCS.(applies to NB DSA only).
  • Perform other related duties as needed.


  • A.A. or equivalent education or experience in a human service field;
  • One year of counseling and direct service experience;
  • Experience working in residential setting preferred;
  • Familiarity with issues of domestic violence;
  • Experience with survivors of gender-based violence and exploitation;
  • Experience addressing the impacts of decisions and actions on multiple communities;
  • Understanding of both interpersonal and structural racism and bias;
  • Ability to represent agency from a management perspective in an active union environment;
  • Excellent written and organizational skills including computer skills;
  • Must have knowledge of/contacts with community agencies;
  • Must be able to be covered by the agency’s insurance policy; and
  • Must be able to lift 40 lbs.


All employment at the YWCA begins with a 120-day Introductory Period.

APPLY HERE Current Employees Apply Here