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Program Officer, Casework Support - Rainbow Railroad

Nov 30, 2020
Toronto, Ontario

Program Officer, Casework Support 

Rainbow Railroad 

Full time, commencing January 4 2021  

About us

Rainbow Railroad is an international organization, based in both Canada and the United States, whose mission is to help LGBTQI persons in danger find safety. Our ultimate goal is a world free of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristic. Until then, we provide solutions for individuals in immediate danger of persecution or violence amidst a global refugee crisis. In partnership with a global network of LGBTQI organizations and human rights defenders, we coordinate directly with individuals experiencing violence to get them out of harm’s way. Around the world, we are recognized for our efforts to support and protect the thousands of LGBTQI people living in countries which criminalize their existence. Since our founding in 2006, we’ve helped over 900 LGBTQI individuals find safety.

The Role

Reporting directly to the Manager of Program Development, this is a frontline position and will involve direct casework with individuals experiencing anti-LGBQTI+ persecution internationally. Rainbow Railroad receives nearly 3,000 unique requests a year from individuals in more than 40 countries. Every request we receive is processed by our intake officer and then assigned to one of 3 case workers who work to support them through one of our six program support offerings. 

This staff member will work closely with other programming staff to build structure around existing casework practices, provide support to case work volunteers and advisors, and work to support more than 200 persons per year from the Middle East and North Africa [MENA], South-Central Asia [SCA], sub-Saharan Africa [SSA], and Eastern Europe [EE]. 

 Key Accountabilities

Casework & Route Development

  • Work directly with triaged and verified clients in MENA, SCA, SSA, and EE regions. This involves independently planning, coordinating and executing emergency support for persecuted LGBTQI individuals;

  • Liaise with partners and agents in source countries to assist with relevant case work;

  • Maintain accurate case notes from  MENA, Africa, SCA, and EE referred cases using Rainbow Railroad’s systems; 

  • Maintain database of international partner organizations and human rights defenders in origin countries;

  • Administrative tasks relating to casework.  

Case Volunteer/Advisor/Intern Oversight 

  • Develop and deliver volunteer training to ensure consistency and quality of casework support; 

  • Lead recruitment strategy to maintain healthy and engaged volunteer network for case work and in advisory roles; 

  • With support and collaboration with the Manager of Program Development, oversee student interns from numerous disciplines [social work, law, international relations, public policy, etc.] and institutions.

 Program Maintenance

  • Work with other programming staff to develop and streamline detailed systems and guides for casework [where appropriate]; 

  • Support in or lead programmatic research where required. 

Desired Skills and Experience 

  • A degree from a post-secondary institution and/or equivalent progressive experience. Education ideally in social work, law, or international relations;

  • 2+ years’ experience working in social services or another client-centred, frontline role, preferably with migrant, refugee, or asylee populations and/or with the LGBTQI+ community; 

  • Experience with or keen interest in learning about international immigration trends, policies, and laws related to international travel;

  • Experience managing and working with volunteers;

  •  Exceptional problem-solving skills are an absolute must. This work requires thinking of complex and creative solutions. 

  • Organized and keen attention to detail;

  • Strong written and oral communications skills;

  • Spoken and written professional proficiency in any of the following languages considered a strong asset: Russian, Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Spanish, French; 

  • Lived experience as a refugee or asylee is considered an asset;

  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic environment both independently and as part of a team;

  • Commitment and support of the LGBQTI community in Canada and internationally;

  • Familiar with the technology we love: Google Apps, Mac, Salesforce, Slack, Monday, Trello;

  • Flexibility and willingness to respond to last minute requests and emergency situations is a must - this means responding to emergencies outside regular working hours. 

  • Adaptable to the needs of a rapidly changing organization.

This role may require some travel internationally - the ability to travel internationally is required.

Please send Cover Letter and CV to cburns@rainbowrailroad.org Deadline November 30, 2020.

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