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Refugee Case Worker

Refugee Case Worker

Position Summary:

The Refugee Case Worker is responsible for ensuring a successful resettlement of refugees through provision of pre-migration and post-arrival responsibilities adhering to precise guidelines. The Refugee Case Worker works in coordination with program staff to help refugees navigate local systems, access resources, and help them achieve early self-sufficiency. This position reports to the Director of Refugee & Immigrant Services.


Bachelor’s Degree (preferred) in social service, education or related field; two years of experience preferably in refugee or immigrant social services; excellent English (spoken and written); organizational and communication skills as well as ability to work under strict deadlines; ability to work as part of a team with case workers, employment specialists, interpreters and others; sensitive to cultural differences of clients and staff from diverse backgrounds; functional vehicle required; able to work flexible hours.

Note: For applicants who are bilingual: Experience translating/interpreting in a culturally sensitive manner; serve as cultural liaison between JFCS and refugee community. Arabic, Pashto, Dari preferred languages.

Duties and Responsibilities (each case worker’s duties will vary depending on specific needs of program, but could include any of the below): 

Pre-Migration Activities:

  • Upon initial referral of case, and upon notification of travel, coordinates and documents all activities connected to U.S. relative/friend if applicable.
  • Upon travel notification, secures housing rental, ensures apartment set-up (furniture, beds and household items) utility service set-up and welcome package preparation per funding guidelines.
  • Coordinates airport pick-up, meal provision, safety orientation, and financial package distribution (assuring signatures).

Post-Arrival Activities:

  • Conducts, arranges and/or ensures all core services provision per funding guidelines and core services checklist. This includes home visits, assessments, lease signing, intakes, cultural orientation provision as well as scheduling and connecting to external resources including government benefits, healthcare, school, ESL, and others as required.
  • Ensures allocation of client funding per program guidelines. Ensures client is aware of all spending and signs receipt of funding.
  • Serves as point person in event of emergency and/or urgent needs in the early resettlement period, ensuring client needs are promptly addressed and resolved. This includes working with landlords, government offices, schools, hospitals, doctors, and other agencies as needed. This may involve evening and weekend work.
  • Communicates –and ensures that others on team communicate—the “temporary teaching role” of agency to foster future independence and self-sufficiency.
  • Ensures transition to employment for working-age adults.
  • Ensures transition to services needed upon exit of resettlement services, primarily to Immigrant Services & Connections (ISAC).
  • Participates in provision/referral of intensive case management for most vulnerable.
  • Ensures use of interpretation, when needed, and ensures interpreter communicates correct instructionsto client.
  • Advocates and educates a variety of providers, including welfare, educational, healthcare and others regarding culturally sensitive issues related to refugees.

Administrative Activities:

  • Creates and maintains resettlement files; coordinates file reviews to ensure that all documents and case notes are in file per funding guidelines.
  • Maintains accurate written and electronic records in accordance with funding and agency requirements.
  • Ensures compliance and timely documentation with U.S. Refugee Program requirements through coordination with refugee department staff.
  • Prepares case notes on all contacts with or on behalf of clients as soon as possible after they happen; ensures, directly with other staff or through supervisor, that client files are complete.
  • Participates in departmental staff and planning meetings.
  • Prepares reports to funders on resettlement program.
  • Oversees interns.
  • Attends refugee resettlement conferences as needed, local, regional and national.
  • Participates in staff development and training opportunities provided by JFCS and others.
  • Assumes other responsibilities as assigned related to refugee services and JFCS employees in general.

Translation/Interpretation Activities (if applicable)

  • Interprets in person or by phone for JFCS refugee clients in multiple settings
  • Follows interpreting/confidentiality guidelines as instructed
  • Translates documents as instructed by supervisor

About JFCS:

Founded 81 years ago, JFCS was voted one of Pittsburgh’s best places to work for 10 years running. We are committed to helping people of all ages and backgrounds through life’s changes and challenges. We do this by providing comprehensive, innovative and compassionate social service programs for everyone who walks through our door and throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region.

To apply, click here.