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Disability Rights Tennessee

Abuse and Neglect Investigator/Advocate

Disability Rights Tennessee


Job Summary

Disability Rights Tennessee seeks an Abuse and Neglect Investigator/Advocate to work in our East Tennessee Region (Knoxville). This position provides legal based advocacy services directed towards safeguarding vulnerable populations to eliminate the risk of harm. Our main focus is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals with disabilities through investigation of reports alleging abuse and neglect. Ideal candidates are well rounded individuals who possess diverse knowledge of disability populations and experience in developing innovative and engaging training. This position requires travel, potentially across the state. Vaccination for COVID-19 is required.

Who We Are

Disability Rights Tennessee (DRT) is a non-profit organization with the mission of protecting the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities. DRT was founded in 1978 and as of today has served over 50,000 Tennesseans with disabilities. DRT provides legal advocacy services to people with disabilities across the state with numerous issues, including employment discrimination, safety in schools, abuse and neglect, and access to community resources and services.


Job Responsibilities

What You’ll Do

  • Investigate and monitor facilities and service providers in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, state mental health hospitals, community-based group homes, state prisons, jails, nursing homes, hospitals, and youth residential treatment and juvenile justice facilities. Activities are generally conducted in person.
  • Provide legally based advocacy, consulting with legal and supervisory staff to assist individuals with disabilities in resolving complaints falling under the agency’s areas of work. While DRT strives to resolve concerns at the lowest level possible, Investigator/Advocate may testify in hearings, trials, or sign sworn statement affidavits.
  • Draft reports and recommendations based on your investigations and monitoring which may be provided to State Licensing agencies.
  • Participate in other activities such as:
    • councils, boards, and committee participation
    • outreach, information gathering, and presentations
    • provide input into public policy efforts and review proposed legislation as part of a team
    • collaborate in the development of written content for social media, public reports, and print publications
    • inner-agency teams that advance the mission of DRT


Keys to Success: Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

To be successful in this job, you must possess these values, skills, and abilities:

  • commitment to increasing knowledge of the disability community
  • dedication to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • strong written and oral communication skills
  • strong attention to detail
  • strong organizational and time management skills
  • ability to self-start by taking initiative to work without direct supervision and begin projects independently
  • ability to work well in teams
  • creativity and innovation
  • computer proficiency, including Microsoft Outlook & Teams as well as online database
  • sound professional judgment, including the ability to discern in the moment, on-site, if advocacy is needed
  • professional personal presentation
  • knowledgeable of the geographical area to be served and understanding of the demographics within it

Education requirements are flexible. College degree is preferred; however, experience will always be considered in lieu of a degree.

In-office work will be required at times. Remote work will be allowed for portions of this position. The role does require travel, and a valid driver’s license is necessary.

What Else You Should Know

Equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of DRT’s mission, values, and daily practice. We are an equal opportunity employer and we actively seek candidates from diverse backgrounds to join our team including but not limited to candidates with disabilities, persons of color, members of the LGBTQ community, professionals from various generations, and veterans.

Additional Information


We offer excellent benefits such as flexible schedule, remote work, maternity/paternity leave, paid federal and state holidays, and insurance options including medical, vision, dental, life, and disability.

How to Apply

If this seems like you, please send a resume and cover letter to


  • Date Posted: January 13, 2022
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Programs and Service Delivery
  • Service Area: Social / Human Services
  • Start Date: 02/07/2022
  • Salary Range: $35,000 to $45,000
  • Working Hours: 37.5 hours/wk; M-F, 8:00am - 4:30pm