Social Services Volunteer – ORR Project

Website Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

About KIND:

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.

KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.

To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.

KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.

Position Summary:

KIND seeks Social Services Volunteers to join our urgent effort to support unaccompanied immigrant children currently housed in emergency intake facilities located in Texas and California,  and expedite their reunification with family members within the United States. Beginning February 2021, a growing number of children seeking safety have crossed the U.S. border and are awaiting reunification through emergency intake sites (EIS) operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). ORR has opened temporary EIS’s where children can receive initial services and begin the reunification process.

KIND, working alongside ORR, is recruiting Social Services Volunteers who are able to dedicate at least 7 days to 14 days to meet the needs of children in these temporary EIS’s through in-person services. Social Services Volunteers must have advanced Spanish language proficiency. KIND seeks Social Services Volunteers to provide trauma-informed services to unaccompanied children placed at EIS’s maintained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the following five sites:  San Diego, CA; Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX; El Paso TX; and Midland, TX. The Social Services Volunteers will serve an essential role as part of the KIND’s legal team and ensure children receive coordinated legal support through a holistic and culturally responsive framework.

Essential Functions:

Volunteers can expect to engage with children as follows:

Sit, or walk around the facility, with children while they wait for their screenings and/or legal intakes
Conducting grounding exercises for the minors including but not limited to breathing strategies, journaling, coloring, etc
Leading brief questionnaires with the minors in hopes of gathering specific sponsor-related data
Volunteers will be placed in one of the following locations: Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, San Diego and Midland

Preference in location may be considered, but not guaranteed
Volunteers should generally expect to engage with either adolescent boys and/or girls
Volunteers should expect to work with particularly vulnerable minors who have experienced severe trauma, may have serious medical conditions and/or are undergoing other emotionally distressing circumstances
Qualifications and Requirements:

Advanced proficiency in Spanish to conduct meaningful and accurate dialogue with children

Strong communication and written skills

Pass criminal background check conducted by KIND

Submit social security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, and home address for security clearance

Attend one KIND informational session prior to departure

Complete required KIND trainings prior to departure

Sign a confidentiality agreement and waiver of liability with KIND

Experience working with immigrant families and children preferred

Experience working with children and survivors of trauma preferred

At least 1 COVID vaccination at the onset of volunteering

Volunteers will need to bring their own protective equipment (PPE: masks, sanitizing wipes etc.)

Volunteers should expect long days and varied shifts.

KIND is requiring a commitment of at least 7 consecutive days and can be extended up to 14 days. Volunteers could potentially return for another 7-14 days after a rest period.

KIND will provide pre-visit, on-site, and post-visit guidance and support resources to volunteers

Application Instructions:

Please be advised that a volunteer application will need to be submitted along with your resume in order to be considered for the desired role.

KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.