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Unit Supervisor, DCF After-Hours Hotline

Job Title: Unit Supervisor

Department: DCF After-Hours Hotline

Reports to: Clinical Manager

Job Class: Exempt


The Department of Children and Families (DCF) Hotline, operated by Judge Baker Children's Center (JBCC), is a statewide emergency response system that provides a critical service to ensure the safety and protection of the Commonwealth's children. The Hotline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with DCF Area offices fielding calls weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Hotline fields over 100,000 calls a year. Hotline staff are trained to assess the urgency of each call, elicit critical information, and initiate an emergency response when children are at imminent risk. We also provide information and referral when needed. The Hotline works in partnership with DCF managers and on-call workers across the state to respond to emergency reports, imminent safety situations and reports of missing or absent children. The newly redesigned Hotline program consists of three units: Child Abuse and Neglect Unit, Missing or Absent Child Unit, and the Hotline Support Unit, which supports DCF with coordinating emergency placements when necessary. 

Founded in 1917, JBCC is a Harvard Medical School affiliate with proven leadership in children's mental health, special education, and child welfare. Recognized for integrating research, training and direct service, JBCC is committed to enhancing the quality of care by bringing best practices to children and families of diverse communities. 

Position Description 

Judge Baker Children's Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, is seeking full-time Unit Supervisors to work in the DCF After-Hours Hotline program. This is an exciting opportunity to work as a critical member of a team implementing and operating a significantly expanded and redesigned DCF After-Hours Hotline. 

Supervisors are responsible for supervising Telephone Screeners and ensuring that Missing or Absent Children Unit reports or the Abused and Neglected Children Unit reports are completed accurately and are aligned with DCF and internal policies, procedures, priorities, and directives. Supervisors collaborate with Telephone Screeners in potential abuse and/or neglect cases requiring a clinical decision and potential intervention.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Review reports of alleged child abuse and/or neglect OR reports of Missing or Absent Children in accordance with DCF policies and procedures.

  • Maintain a non-judgmental non-confrontational and professional demeanor with Telephone Screeners and other callers.

  • Assist Screeners under stress though use of crisis intervention and de-escalation techniques.

  • Develop strong working relationships with DCF, internal and external stakeholders.

  • Provide training for Telephone Screeners.

  • Perform quality management activities such as call-monitoring and report audits. 

  • Actively participate in Hotline trainings and staff meetings.

  • Participate in organization-wide committees and activities.

  • Cover shifts as needed.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Abused and/or Neglected Child Unit

  • Review reports regarding child abuse and neglect and determine whether the reported information constitutes an investigation.

  • Coordinate emergency screening reports and responses with DCF On-Call Supervisors.  

  • Participate in shift-review of certain non-emergency response decisions. 

Missing or Absent Child Unit

  • Review reports of missing or absent children and affirm the level of immediate danger as reported by the placement resource, parent/caregiver and documented by a missing child Screener.

  • Enter information into the DCF electronic case management system. 

  • Provide weekly supervision to Screeners.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Master's Degree in Social Work or related field is required. 

  • Massachusetts' social work license (LSW/LCSW/LICSW). 

  • Possess an understanding of DCF's mission, vision, priority objectives, and priority populations.

  • Familiarity with relevant DCF policies and procedures.

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced work environment and to manage in a crisis.

  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, including respect, compassion, tact and professionalism.

  • Minimum of two years of experience in child welfare.

  • Commitment to cultural humility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Proficiency in Word and Excel.

Abused and/or Neglected Child Unit

  • Possess a thorough understanding of the terms and policies relative to screening as outlined in the DCF Protective Intake Policy and ability to critically apply those to screening decisions.

Missing or Absent Child Unit

  • Possess a thorough understanding of the terms and requirements included in the MA DCF Missing or Absent Child Policy.

All applicants must apply and be granted access by DCF to the iFamilyNet system

Physical Requirements (with or without accommodation)

Must be able to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, stand, walk, push, pull, lift, finger, grasp, feel, talk, hear and be capable of repetitive motion. Position requires exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally and/or 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly. Work requires close visual acuity. Position is not substantially exposed to adverse environmental conditions

Salary and hours 

Compensation will be commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, benefit-eligible position.

Salary range: $55,000-56,500

Presence is required on-site evening and nighttime shifts, weekends, and holidays. This is considered an "essential employee" position may require work during weather-related and other local, regional or statewide emergencies. 

Judge Baker Children's Center is dedicated to the achievement of equality of opportunity for all its employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other protected group status under federal, state or local law. Judge Baker Children's Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 

The preceding statements shall not be considered a detailed description of all the work requirements of the job.  There may be other duties and responsibilities required to achieve the principal functions of the position and to advance the mission of Judge Baker Children's Center.


Interested applicants should send (1) a cover letter specifically addressing your experience related to the job responsibilities above, and (2) a curriculum vitae to The position will remain open until filled, and is contingent upon available funding.