Caseworker (full-time)

Employer: Kentucky Refugee Ministries

Job Description

The Caseworker will carry out the central agency function of providing case management services to refugees, both those recently-arrived and those who have been in the United States for some years.

Clients will come from a range of countries and have diverse educational, vocational and cultural backgrounds. Currently KRM is serving refugees from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, Pakistan, Somali, Syria, and Sudan, with the majority coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some clients will have limited English proficiency and medical conditions impeding their transition to social integration and self-sufficiency. The Caseworker must be adept at ensuring the provision and documentation of basic services to a high volume of clients, while at the same time providing intensive case management and enhanced access to services and support for those with special needs.

For new arrivals, the Caseworker will participate in pre-arrival coordination and the airport reception of his/her assigned clients. During clients’ first 90 days, the Caseworker will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of required core services, including but not limited to, Social Security cards and SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits; Medicaid enrollment, medical screenings and follow-up appointments; and enrollment in cash assistance, ESL and employment programs.

The Caseworker will be responsible for the intake and orientation of new clients and ongoing explanation of program objectives and compliance requirements. Thorough documentation of services, entering case information and casenotes in client case files and separate electronic databases maintained by the Kentucky Office for Refugees and Church World Service is mandatory.

The Caseworker will coordinate clients’ overall case management plan and work closely with other KRM specialist staff in the areas of housing, employment, youth and elder services, medical case management, mental health, English language education, cultural orientation, and immigration legal services. Additionally, the Caseworker will make client referrals to outside social service agencies and other local service providers. A good knowledge of these community service providers and a strong commitment to advocating for refugees’ access to services is essential.

During initial resettlement, the Caseworker will be responsible for overseeing the household financial management of his/her refugee clients and for processing vouchers for agency-managed funds to ensure that refugees’ basic needs, including rent, utilities, food, and TARC passes/tickets, are met. Additionally, the Caseworker must educate newly-arrived refugees on how to independently manage their household finances, budget their employment and public assistance income, and pay their bills.

In keeping with the agency and program orientation toward early employment and refugee self-sufficiency, the Caseworker will seek to empower refugees to become self-supporting, while at the same time compassionately assisting refugees with special needs or barriers to employment or independent living. A strengths-based, trauma-informed-care management approach will be used.

The Caseworker will be responsible for providing services and referrals to clients after initial resettlement, generally for a period of up to five years. While the need for provision of such long-term case management may be sporadic, these services may include issues related to housing, personal or consumer finance, family matters, medical problems, and family reunification.

Some coordination of university interns will be required. The Caseworker will also effectively coordinate with and value the agency’s strong network of volunteers and faith-based co-sponsors who provide welcome, support, community orientation and tutoring/mentoring to newly-arrived refugees.

The Caseworker will have substantial independent responsibilities and be expected to combine field work, including home visits, with in-office client consultations and case management tasks, including casenotes and documentation and maintenance of case files.

Senior case management staff will provide supervision, direction and collegial support to the Caseworker.

Agency Profile

Founded in 1990 as a nonprofit agency in Louisville, Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) is a local affiliate of Church World Service, one of nine national voluntary agencies authorized to provide resettlement services to refugees legally admitted to the United States through the State Department’s Refugee Admissions Program. Currently, KRM’s Louisville office currently receives over 350 to 400 newly-arrived refugees a year. KRM’s Lexington office, opened in 1995, receives over 250 refugee arrivals a year.

KRM Louisville also currently serves 350 recently-arrived Cuban immigrants a year, as well as small number of individuals from various countries who have been approved for asylum and those applying for asylum.

KRM secures housing and medical care for refugees and provides them with comprehensive case management including employment services, ESL and cultural orientation, and specialized programs for refugee youth and elders and the arts. KRM also offers citizenship classes for refugees and immigrants preparing to apply for U.S. citizenship.  KRM’s Louisville office has an immigration legal services office with six full-time staff, including three attorneys, who provide a services to immigrants of all statuses.

KRM staff do not engage in any religious messaging in connection to delivery of client services.

Essential Duties and Tasks

  • Coordinate client pre-arrival services
  • Provide airport reception and home orientation
  • Create client case file and enter all client biodata and documentation into case file and computer databases
  • Provide comprehensive intake orientation to new clients
  • Complete and submit all appropriate referral paperwork
  • Assist clients in applying for Social Security cards, SNAP (Food Stamps), K-TAP (TANF), Medicaid, SSI or SSI-Disability
  • Complete and update Family Self-Sufficiency Plan and other required case management case plan templates used to measure refugees’ progress in overcoming barriers to self-sufficiency
  • Communicate closely with agency specialist staff to implement and track a comprehensive case management plan for each client
  • Accurately maintain and update client expenditure sheets and process vouchers for rent, utility and other disbursements to or on behalf of clients in a timely manner
  • Enter client casenotes on a regular basis and maintain client case file in orderly and prescribed manner
  • Demonstrate knowledge of local social and community services and make appropriate client referrals
  • Communicate effectively on behalf of clients with local public and service providers, including public benefits caseworkers at the Department of Community-Based Services (DCBS)
  • Complete regular program reports for funders: the Kentucky Office for Refugees and Church World Service, private foundations and other funders
  • Track all assigned cases, meet regularly with clients, and effectively organize time to ensure equitable provision of services
  • Supervise, train and effectively utilize university interns
  • Interact and coordinate with volunteers and faith-based co-sponsors
  • Represent agency and clients with community service providers and other refugee resettlement stakeholders

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position. Salary commensurate with experience and background. Benefits: Medical, dental, vision and life insurance; paid vacation, holidays, sick and personal days.

Salary Range: Hourly

Job Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree a plus.
  • Demonstrated and verifiable direct services experience either in a social services or cross-cultural setting
  • Strong computer and organizational skills, including proficiency in MS Excel
  • Ability to work occasional evenings. Job will be primarily during normal business hours with some airport arrivals in early to late evening. On rare occasions, some emergency response or communications may be required outside of normal business hours.
  • Ability to drive and transport clients by car

Specialized Skills

  • Ability to work with clients of diverse nationalities and cultures
  • Comfort servicing limited-English-proficient clients and utilizing bilingual interpreters
  • Strong detailed-orientation; capacity to provide clear documentation of services
  • Team-orientation; ability to work in coordination with agency resettlement staff
  • Strong outreach skills; ability to network with community service providers
  • Patience and strong commitment to client care, while at the same time adhering to agency mission of promoting client self-sufficiency
  • Personal resiliency to endure stressful situations relating to individual client case management, or program implementation during peak caseload periods
  • Commitment to ethical conduct, maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients, and respecting client autonomy

How to Apply:

Interested applicants should reply with a résumé and cover letter by Monday, July 22nd, to:

John Koehlinger, Executive Director
Kentucky Refugee Ministries
969-B Cherokee Road
Louisville, KY 40204
Email: jkoehlinger@kyrm.org

Those who have previously applied for a position at KRM are eligible to reapply. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.