Company: Office of the Child Advocate

Job description:

The Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) is an independent executive branch agency with oversight and ombudsperson responsibilities, established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2008. The OCA’s mission is to ensure that children receive appropriate, timely and quality state services, with a particular focus on ensuring that the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable and at-risk children have the opportunity to thrive. Through collaboration with public and private stakeholders, the OCA identifies gaps in state services and recommends improvements in policy, practice, regulation and/or law. The OCA also serves as a resource for families who are receiving, or are eligible to receive, services from the Commonwealth.

The OCA is looking for a Legislative and Communications Director. The individual in this role will have an opportunity to help ensure the passage of legislation and budget items that support the needs of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children and families across a wide variety of topic areas. If you want to make a difference for the children and youth of the Commonwealth, apply to come join our team!

Position Description & Major Responsibilities


  • Leads all state legislative matters, consistent with the OCA’s mission and as directed by the Child Advocate
  • Develops and maintains good relationships with members of the Legislature
  • Manages outreach to legislators, including scheduling and preparing for briefings as needed, as well as the timely response to requests for information and assistance
  • Monitors the submission of final documents from the OCA to legislators and others, including reports to the legislature
  • In partnership with the Child Advocate and OCA Senior Staff, prepares draft legislation, testimony and bill comments
  • Attends legislative hearings and meetings with legislators as needed
  • Monitors and reports to the Child Advocate and OCA Senior Staff on current relevant legislation, particularly legislation impacting the OCA, and the annual budget process
  • Reviews and summarizes relevant policy/legislative reports
  • Advises the Child Advocate and OCA Senior Staff on major legislative issues and developments, and works to ensure that political implications are factored into all decisions and strategies


  • Develops and manages the external communication strategy for the OCA
  • Works with the Child Advocate and OCA Senior Staff to identify communication priorities and opportunities
  • Writes and edits press releases and other public information materials (e.g. op-eds, letters to the editor)
  • Develops and maintains press list
  • Manages communication with members of the media, including responding to press inquiries and pitching stories
  • Manages OCA social media accounts and the OCA website
  • Prepares briefing materials for the Child Advocate’s public/speaking events, including (in partnership with other OCA Senior Staff as necessary) preparing speeches, talking points, statements and presentations on key OCA initiatives
  • Ensures the agency speaks with “one voice” in its public materials
  • Monitors media to identify, collect and disseminate relevant news articles and developments


  • In partnership with Child Advocate and Senior staff, develops and manages OCA’s relationship with key organizations and constituencies (e.g. advocacy organizations) whose mission and work intersect with the OCA to encourage statewide collaboration
  • Tracks key external initiatives relevant to the work of the OCA, and advises the Child Advocate and OCA Senior Staff on relevant developments
  • As needed, attends external meetings (e.g. advisory boards, conferences, briefings) on behalf of the Child Advocate.


  • May be assigned to special projects to support the work of the OCA
  • Depending on the subject matter expertise and/or interest of the incumbent, may participate in policy development work with the Child Advocate and/or OCA Senior Staff


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 5 years relevant experience
  • Experience working in or with Massachusetts Legislature preferred, including a working knowledge of the organization of state government, the legislative process, and an understanding of the budget process
  • Experience developing and implementing communications strategies and working productively with members of the media
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, particularly the ability to digest complex information (including policy, research and data/statistics) and present thoughts clearly and concisely to a variety of audiences utilizing a variety of formats (e.g. written articles, oral and visual presentations, etc.)
  • Experience providing professional support to a high level executive (e.g. drafting talking points, preparing tailored briefing materials)
  • A working knowledge of website and social media applications and communication strategies
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Exposure to, and interest in, subject matter related to children’s policy and services (demonstrated through past professional and/or academic experience) and a desire to expand knowledge in this space
  • Ability to work with high-level state and local officials and other interested parties
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and deal effectively and tactfully with others
  • Ability to coordinate competing interests and work under time constraints
  • Ability to establish rapport and work collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders, including the ability to see an issue from multiple perspectives, develop empathy even for those you disagree with, and identify and work on issues of common ground
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications

The OCA actively seeks to increase the diversity of its workforce and is interested in candidates whose experiences, skills, and qualifications support an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Applicants are invited to include a statement within their cover letter describing how diversity, equity, and inclusion factor into the candidate’s work and/or life experiences. The OCA values diverse perspectives, including candidates with lived experience in the child protective and/ or juvenile justice systems.

All information on candidates will be kept confidential. Review of applications will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please note that a resume and cover letter detailing your interest in and qualifications for the job are required pieces of the application process.

Job type: Full Time

Fully remote: Hybrid

Salary range: $70,000 TO $90,000

Location: Boston, Massachusetts


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