CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
- Dependency Advocacy Center (DAC) was founded on the belief that traditional legal advocacy is insufficient to adequately represent families in child welfare cases. DAC’s goal is to promote timely reunification and preservation of these families in a safe, healthy environment.
- DAC is seeking a strategic and collaborative leader to serve as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
- The CEO will join a team that is effective, closely bonded, and deeply dedicated to the cause. For the full job announcement, please click here.
- This position offers a competitive salary range of $165,000-$175,000 per year, commensurate with experience and a generous benefits package. DAC has a compensation policy that prioritizes equity and transparency.
- DAC serves clients in Santa Clara County, CA. The CEO must be able to attend internal and external meetings in person. Some remote work may be possible.
How to Apply
- Please send a resume and thoughtful cover letter to DACjobs@sccdac.org with the subject line: “DAC CEO Search”. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.
- DAC thrives on our diversity and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.
- DAC seeks a forward-thinking candidate who recognizes that dismantling systems that contribute to inequity and disparities requires transformative thought and action.
- The CEO will lead the executive team and is responsible for the overall functioning and management of the organization, including program development, infrastructure, financial health, talent development, policy, media strategy/communications, and fulfillment of its contractual obligations of accountability to the court and various funders.
- The CEO both serves on, and reports to the board of directors and engages in strategic planning and risk management.
- The CEO also serves as a key organizational ambassador who develops and nurtures connections with service providers and agencies.
- The CEO also leads by example to develop and enhance an organizational culture of transparency, respect, connection, and excellence. Alongside these leadership skills, the CEO will bring an unwavering commitment to improving the lives and outcomes of families and communities that is explicitly rooted in racial and social justice.
Who We Are
- DAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides interdisciplinary family defense legal services to indigent parents and children involved with Santa Clara County’s child welfare system and the juvenile dependency court. For more information, please browse our website.
- Additionally, DAC has established innovative programs focused on preventing unnecessary entry into the dependency court and foster care systems by offering crucial early access to legal advice and resources designed to assist parents who are at risk of having their children removed.
- Our adult clients face the risk of permanent separation from their children due to allegations of abuse and neglect. Substance use disorder, intimate partner violence, and mental health concerns are commonly presenting issues, often rooted in the layered effects of poverty, marginalization, and intergenerational trauma. DAC’s focus on legal advocacy work coupled with social services resources helps our parent and youth clients be fully supported in a system that would otherwise neglect them.
- The holistic support offered by DAC’s interdisciplinary team of attorneys, social workers, and peer mentors provides parents and children with a more comprehensive network of resources and pathways to success. DAC is making a difference for thousands of underserved families in Santa Clara County.
- DAC is increasingly focusing on early intervention and preventive approaches, alongside its deep expertise in legal advocacy. DAC is committed to addressing injustice and ensuring that families receive the support they need to thrive in our communities.
Who You Are: Ideal Candidate Profile
- Dependency Experience: Experience in child welfare/juvenile law in the dependency court setting
- Proximity and Connection to Community: Commitment to equity and racial justice in all elements of strategy and organizational leadership.
- Strong Emotional Intelligence & Relational Abilities: Engages with colleagues and network partners with integrity, empathy, kindness, humility, compassion, diplomacy, and loyalty.
- Fundraising & Ambassadorial Skills: Palpable passion and dedication to the DAC mission and vision; Experience raising money from private and public sources,
- Visionary Organizational Leadership Experience: Collaborative & Team Oriented – leads with a “power with” not “power over” approach.
- Results-driven: Strong voice of authority and advocacy externally for DAC’s staff, needs, and role.
Other Job Requirements and Qualifications
- JD Degree; Preferably licensed by the CA State Bar.
- At least 10 years of relevant leadership experience in juvenile dependency law or related social justice fields, including several years of executive-level leadership.
- Strong interpersonal and listening skills required, with sensitivity and appreciation for diverse viewpoints and various communication styles.
- Fundraising and development skills and a high degree of sophistication in curating and executing a sustainable fundraising strategy with foundations, public sector contracts, and major donors.
- Experience with financial oversight, including budgeting, planning, and reporting.
- Ability to manage competing priorities in a highly collaborative, multi-stakeholder environment.
- Experience overseeing fundraising and external relations, government contracts, partnerships, programs, finance, HR, administration, marketing/communications, policy, events, and board engagement.
- Demonstrated management experience including hiring and development of a team.
FAMILY DEFENSE SOCIAL WORKER
Job Responsibilities and Duties
This is a full-time/exempt, in-house social worker position working with a dynamic group of attorneys who represent parents and children involved in the child welfare system. As part of an interdisciplinary advocacy team, DAC social workers provide clinical expertise to support attorneys in presenting clients’ legal positions to the court. Roles and responsibilities include completing individualized needs assessments, providing referrals to resources in the community, ongoing case management, assistance in system navigation, interfacing with various service providers, providing clinical assessments, observing parent/child visitations, supporting clients at court hearings, providing expert testimony in litigation, writing reports to the court on the client’s behalf, and attending non-court based meetings, including CFT (Child Family Team) meetings.
- Graduate degree, preferably a Masters in Social Work
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest issues
- Ability to flourish in a high-energy environment
- Ability to multi-task and be a productive team player
- Ability to work compassionately and respectfully with clients in crisis
- Excellent verbal, interpersonal, writing, interviewing, and organizational skills
- Bilingual skills, including fluency in Spanish, preferred
- Experience working with individuals from multi-ethnic communities
- Knowledge of community resources in Santa Clara County
- Experience in child welfare, risk assessment and safety planning strongly encouraged
Salary: $79,500 annually with an additional $1,000 per year for a bilingual Spanish speaking social worker and an additional $1,000 per year for a social worker who is licensed (either an LCSW or LMFT). Medical, dental, and vision coverage available.
Please send cover letter and resume via email to DACjobs@sccdac.org. Please send cover letter and resume via email. Cover letter to include answers to the following questions:
- Why are you interested in working as a family defense attorney and at DAC specifically?
- In order to best serve our clients and our community, DAC is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How has your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to social justice, race equity, and diversity among our staff?
DEPENDENCY ADVOCACY CENTER VOLUNTEER AND INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
DAC has had the good fortune to work with a number of exceptional law student, paralegal and high school interns. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with DAC, please send your email inquiry to DACjobs@sccdac.org.
“The staff at Dependency Advocacy Center (DAC) are a truly unique group. I’m inspired by their compassion and level of service that each team member provides daily. The staff shares a message of advocacy, determination, and hope to motivate allies, professional partners, and families to work together to build stronger families. DAC is not only a remedy for the problems associated with child maltreatment & neglect but offers a viable solution to helping families reunify while achieving stability and self-sufficiency. DAC provides a holistic approach by using a multi-disciplinary team to increase family reunification and improve the quality of lives for families to thrive.
I’m incredibly grateful to have interned at Dependency Advocacy Center. I gained a well-rounded learning experience in working with families, especially within the juvenile dependency system. I have learned to assess the bio-psycho-social aspects of an individual and client, recognizing the client’s challenges and above all their support systems, strengths, and resiliency to overcome traumas and hardships.
I will forever by grateful to my Field Instructor Hilary, DAC staff, and the clients I served during my internship that have taught me the true spirit of determination, resiliency, persistence, and strength. Thank you!”
-Y.C., San Jose State University School of Social Worker, MSW Intern 2017-18
“I’ve worked in many different areas of dependency law, from policy making at the Judicial Council, to representing the Agency with the County Counsel. No other environment provided the depth of personal interaction with clients and attorneys, and no other experience inspired me to pursue an area of law as much as my time with the Dependency Advocacy Center has.
I was able to meet real people and help them with their deepest struggles, as they were fighting to keep their family together. They were often battling very significant personal problems, but it was deeply moving to see how much they would accomplish, and the obstacle they could overcome, when motivated by love for their family.
The DAC attorneys are extremely intelligent and also abundantly compassionate. As advocates in the court room, they are effective and determined. As counsel for their clients, they are firm and direct about the work that must be done, but also encouraging and supportive. I was especially impressed with how supportive the attorneys also are of each other and their staff. The atmosphere of camaraderie in the office allows the attorneys, staff, and clients to share the burden of their difficult and emotional cases, and alleviate additional stress.
Working here would be an incredible opportunity for anyone interested in a meaningful and rewarding legal career.”
-T.G., USF School of Law, Summer Intern 2009