Social Worker - Mental Health Team, The Florence Project

The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to the representation crisis for indigent non citizens detained in the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. We seek to counteract systemic injustices that arise in the immigration system due, in part, to the lack of a universal right to representation. Through a range of programs, we provide high-quality legal and social services to the more than 10,000 immigrant men, women, and children that are detained in Arizona on any given day. The Florence Project is nationally known for its legal and social services models, which strive to empower detained individuals and ensure that they have access to justice. The Florence Project also supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.
Our Integrated Social Services program is one of the few in the U.S. to collaborate with immigration attorneys in educating, empowering, and providing social service assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children awaiting deportation hearings. The program is an innovative and promising practice, providing supportive services to immigrant adults.

The Florence Project is seeking a full-time Social Worker to join our Mental Health team.  This position works in coordination with the Integrated Social Services Program and the Mental Health team, under the supervision of the Social Services Manager.  The Mental Health team team provides direct representation and social service support to adults with serious mental health conditions who are in immigration removal proceedings.  The social worker will work on a team of attorneys, legal assistants, and social workers to provide social services and advocacy to detained and formerly detained clients who have been found mentally incompetent by an immigration judge and who are appointed a “Qualified Representative” by the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
The Social Worker will identify and advocate for services both in detention and upon the client’s release to support client’s access to services to meet their mental health, medical, housing, and social services needs as appropriate.  While this is not a therapeutic or counseling position, the Social Worker will provide trauma-informed and strengths—based case management and psycho-social support through the duration of their legal case.
The client population includes women and men who may have endured trauma in the form of abuse, persecution or torture. The position will maintain a caseload up to approximately 25-30 clients.  Tasks include regular visits to detention facilities to meet with clients, creation of plans to ensure access to and continuity of services upon release, writing requests for release from detention for humanitarian reasons, and meetings with appropriate referral services in the community.  The position also includes administrative work including file management, data entry, and referral services, as well as supporting attorneys and legal staff.  The position provides the opportunity to participate in outreach activities and collaborative projects within a national network of immigrant service providers, under the supervision of the Social Services Manager.


  • Create and implement culturally appropriate case plans and case management for client’s most pressing social needs. Promote strengths-based work and self-determination of the client. 
  • Work with maximum 25-30 clients for our Mental Health Team for clients who have been found mentally incompetent by an immigration judge who are appointed a Qualified Representative.
  • Under the supervision of the Program Manager, conduct needs assessments and case management plans of those in detention, support clients throughout their immigration court proceedings, consult with staff attorneys on mental health and psychosocial issues of clients.
  • After training, be able to write requests for release on humanitarian reasons, create plans regarding continuity of care and/or access to services upon release, and declarations regarding mental health status to the immigration court.
  • Respond to clients in crisis and critically and creatively problem solve to meet their needs.
  • Successfully collaborate and communicate with Florence Project legal team, and other providers.
  • Able to set and maintain professional boundaries
  • Provide resource development for and clinical skills trainings to legal team.
  • Actively participate in the design and improvement of the social services program through the creation of best practices, improved assessment, program meetings, and staff development.
  • Adhere to organization's policies particularly those related to confidentiality and client privacy.
  • Participate in organizational fundraising and communications efforts as needed.
  • Other related duties as assigned.


  • Must have a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from an accredited university.  The ideal candidate will have prior supervised experience with social services case management.
  • Must be fluent or have advanced proficiency in Spanish/English (written and spoken language skills).
  • Must have ability to travel regularly, especially between offices and secondary work locations.
  • Prior experience working with individuals with mental health issues, immigrant populations, or trauma survivors is a plus.
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights, social justice, or human rights issues and ardent support of the Florence Project’s mission.
  • Highly organized, ability to be an innovative thinker, and work in a high volume setting with limited resources.
  • Must enjoy working in a collaborative and client centered work environment - A hard working team player with a sense of humor who is flexible, patient, respectful, and comfortable in a busy nonprofit setting.
  • Proven computer skills.
  • Must be able to clear basic background checks and obtain security clearance to enter detention facilities

This is a full-time, salaried non-exempt position. The Florence Project strives to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for staff. We offer excellent benefits, including medical, dental, vision, and basic life insurance, with full premiums paid by the Florence Project. We also provide mileage reimbursement for travel between offices and places of work. After one year of employment, staff members are eligible for the employer matching retirement plan. Paid time off includes one-personal day each month in addition to fifteen-days of vacation and twelve-days of sick/medical leave annually, six-weeks of parental leave (up to twelve weeks total, with option to use personal, vacation, and sick paid time off for unpaid portion), and bereavement leave. The Florence Project observes all federal holidays. After three years of employment with the Florence project, staff members are eligible for an eight-week paid sabbatical.

How to Apply:
This is an immediate opening. The Florence Project welcomes applications from both recent graduates and experienced social workers. To apply, complete the application below; upload a cover letter detailing your interest in the position, and your resume with three professional references. Please include the name of the publication/website where you found out about this job opportunity. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities.