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- Clients' Rights Advocate, CA, USA

CLIENTS’ RIGHTS ADVOCATE
OFFICE OF CLIENTS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY (OCRA)
Santa Rosa or San Jose
Long-Term Temporary, FT- 37.5 hrs/wk
DEADLINE: Open until filled. Applications should be received by May 8, 2018 to be considered for the first round of interviews.
SALARY RANGE (Depending on Experience):
Clients’ Rights Advocate 1: $52,231-$69,995
Clients’ Rights Advocate 2: $57,585-$77,169
WHO WE ARE
Disability Rights California (DRC) is a well-established and innovative non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the rights of Californians with disabilities. DRC works to achieve fairness and justice for people with disabilities through quality representation, advocacy, investigations of abuse and neglect, peer/self-advocacy services, community partnerships, legislative and regulatory advocacy work, education and outreach. Our legal work includes individual and impact litigation, meaning litigation of cases that have the potential to broadly impact conditions for many similarly situated people or highlights a particular issue.
Working at DRC is more than just a job - it's that rare opportunity to do what you're good at while making a difference in the lives of Californians with disabilities. Learn more about us at www.disabilityrightsca.org.
REWARDS AT DRC
Working in an agency that so positively impacts the lives of others has its own rewards to be sure. Working with others who are committed to our mission creates a unique environment of passion and meaning. Our compensation is industry competitive, and we provide a generous benefit package that includes: medical, dental, flexible spending accounts (e.g., medical and dependent care); basic, life, short- and long-term disability insurances; voluntary vision; supplemental life and long-term care; paid holidays, paid sick and vacation time. We also provide a significant contribution to the retirement plan (401k) for those who choose to take advantage of it.
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFICE OF CLIENTS’ RIGHTS ADVOCACY:
Disability Rights California has entered into a contract with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), State of California, to provide Clients’ Rights Advocacy services at each of the 21 regional centers located statewide. The contract was renewed effective July 1, 2016, for another 5 years. The contract will expire June 30, 2021.
These services include, among other things, technical assistance on the rights of people with developmental disabilities to regional center consumers, their families, agency staff, and interested community members, direct representation in selected cases, and investigation of any right to which a regional center consumer is entitled which has been abused, punitively withheld, or improperly or unreasonably denied.
The Office of Clients’ Rights Advocacy will be responsible for the following:
1. Provide clients’ rights advocacy services to persons with developmental disabilities who are consumers of regional centers and to individuals who reside in the state developmental centers and hospitals, including ensuring the rights of persons with developmental disabilities and assisting persons with developmental disabilities in pursuing administrative and legal remedies.
2. Investigate and take action as appropriate and necessary to resolve complaints from, or concerning persons with, developmental disabilities residing in licensed health and community care facilities regarding abuse, unreasonable denial, or punitive withholding, of rights guaranteed under this division.
3. Provide consultation, technical assistance, supervision and training, and support services for clients’ rights advocates that were previously the responsibility of the Office of Human Rights.
4. Coordinate the provision of clients’ rights services in consultation with DDS, stakeholder organizations, and persons with developmental disabilities and their families representing California’s multi-cultural diversity.
5. Provide at least two self-advocacy training sessions per year for consumers and family members.
JOB DESCRIPTION:
Each Clients’ Rights Advocate (CRA) position will be located at or near an office of each regional center. The Clients’ Rights Advocate positions are funded under the DDS contract. The CRA works under the direction of the Supervising Clients' Rights Advocate. This position will focus primarily on the rights of people with developmental disabilities who live in or who are at risk of living in institutions, with an emphasis on the right of people to receive services and supports in the least restrictive environment.
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
1. Ensures that the rights of people with developmental disabilities as provided in law and regulation are enforced. This includes but is not limited to the laws and regulations found in Welfare and Institutions Code and California Code of Regulations.
2. Assists in identifying and developing contacts with individuals, agencies, and other stakeholders in the developmental disabilities service system with expertise about community living options for people who live in institutions.
3. Assists in identifying and developing contacts with individuals, agencies, and other stakeholders in the developmental disabilities service system involved in the civil commitment of people with developmental disabilities.
4. Provides information and training to assist residential and health providers in understanding their Title 17 responsibilities regarding posting and notification of rights.
5. Advises the Regional Center Executive Director on the development and implementation of the Center’s clients’ rights assurance program pursuant to Title 17.
6. Investigates and facilitates resolution of all complaints of violation, withholding or denial of rights made by or on behalf of clients. Prepares reports on findings and makes recommendations for resolution to appropriate parties.
7. Directly assists and/or represents clients/families or provides technical advice to client representatives in administrative actions relating to eligibility for and provision of services from public benefit programs (e.g. Social Security, Special Education, Regional Center, Dept. of Social Services, County Mental Health, and the State Department of Rehabilitation.)
8. Directly assists clients or provides technical advice to client representatives in superior court actions relating to the civil commitment of people with developmental disabilities.
9. Monitor statewide status of clients DCs and IMDs to identify trends, compliance issues and systemic problems.
10. Consult with OCRA staff on their cases involving DC and IMD clients or efforts to prevent moving to institutions.
11. Provides referrals on a rotating basis to legal agencies and/or attorneys who can assist consumers and family members in enforcing their legal rights that have been violated.
12. Develops and conducts outreach, education, and training for regional center clients and their families, community groups and others in clients’ rights advocacy.
13. Aids in the development and implementation of regional center policies and procedures related to client rights to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.
14. Responsible for the oversight of the Assistant Clients’ Rights Advocate.
15. Carries out other such duties as may from time to time be required.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Education and/or experience equivalent to a Master's or Juris Doctor. To be hired as a CRA II, you must be a member of the CA State Bar.
2. Two years or more of paid or voluntary working experience as an advocate within a social, human service, government, legal or health care environment.
3. Knowledge of the legal, civil and service rights of persons with developmental disabilities in California.
4. Ability to read, write, and speak fluently and communicate effectively in English, including a working knowledge of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.
5. Ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.
6. Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons with disabilities.
7. Experience working with and/or sensitivity to persons from multi-ethnic communities.
8. Valid CA Driver’s License and ability and willingness to drive (unless a disability-related accommodation is required and can reasonably be granted.)
DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS:
1. Bilingual in English and Spanish, an Asian language, or another language used by an underrepresented group (highly desirable).
NOTE: Applicants who claim to be fluent in any desired language will be tested at time of interview.
2. Three or more years advocating for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities.
3. Membership in the California Bar.
4. Experience in program administration.
5. Knowledge of resources throughout the state which are potentially available to individuals with developmental disabilities.
6. Alternate dispute resolution training and practice.
7. One or more years supervision within a work or volunteer setting.
8. Contacts with disability organizations and/or within disability communities.
9. Contacts with multi-ethnic organizations and/or within multi-ethnic communities.
10. Experience providing training on various topics to a diverse range of people.
11. Word processing and PC experience.
At Disability Rights California, well over half of our employees are ethnically diverse, and over a third are individuals with disabilities. We value this diversity because unique perspectives allow us to effectively serve Californians with disabilities from a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
APPLICATION PROCESS
To be considered for this position, applicants MUST submit the following:
1) Resume
2) Cover letter which MUST indicate:
a) your personal & professional motivation for seeking this position;
b) a discussion of how you meet EACH OF THE MINIMUM and ANY OF THE DESIRABLE qualifications for this position. If your letter does not contain a specific description of how you meet the minimum qualifications, your application may NOT be considered.
3) Sample of legal writing (i.e., a legal argument, letter or analysis) consisting of no more than 10 pages of text.
Disability Rights California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, religion, race, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. Disability Rights California endorses and supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) and the California Fair Employment and Housing act (FEHA) and is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities who are applicants or employees who need accommodations.
WE VALUE DIVERSITY OF CULTURE, DISABILITY AND OTHER LIFE EXPERIENCES, AND ARE AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER BY CHOICE.

Job posted on 10 May 2018.

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