Family Assistance Specialist

US Government, Institute of Forensic Sciences

The Family Assistance Specialist supports the Forensic Investigations Division and the HCIFS in communicating with family members of deceased individuals. Responsibilities include locating family, performing death notifications, explaining the medical examiner process, obtaining medical and other history, attending death scenes, providing resource referrals, following up with families, and other responsibilities as needed. This position requires daily contact with grieving family members, funeral home representatives, law enforcement representatives, and others. 

Duties & Responsibilities  

  • Works with surviving family members of individuals whose death falls under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner in accordance with Section 49.25, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. 
  • Ensures timely communication with HCIFS forensic investigators and law enforcement crime victim liaisons to provide accurate case status information to next-of-kin and/or surviving family members. 
  • Locates and notifies family of death. 
  • Responds to inquiries from law enforcement agencies. 
  • Attend death scenes to assist the forensic investigator in speaking with family members and others on scene. 
  • Identifies appropriate local, county and state Crime Victim Assistance resources for clients and provides related case management and service referral functions. 
  • Identifies appropriate local crisis intervention, social services, bereavement and counseling support for clients. 
  • Provides for complete transition of information from shift to shift and team to team. 
  • Provides related case management and service referral functions. 
  • Communicates with clients in a culturally competent way, utilizing translational services when necessary. 
  • Works to increase collaboration between local governmental and not-for-profit victim assistance service providers, academic institutions and crime victim advocates, which may include making recommendations for policy and procedure revisions as deemed necessary to improve the integrated work environment. 
  • Works to coordinate and improve the utilization of available, local victim related services in order to meet the needs of clients, which may include making recommendations for policy and procedure revisions as deemed necessary to improve the integrated work environment. 
  • Maintain and continue development of the Volunteer Chaplain Program. 
  • Assists in training social work interns. 
  • Maintains thorough case documentation and monthly statistics.
  •  Notifies the Forensic Investigator (FI) Supervisor and/or Forensic Investigations Director of special problems or interests. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the FI Supervisor, Investigations Director or designee.
Harris County is an Equal Opportunity Employer
 If you need special services or accommodations, please call (713) 274-5445 or email
This position is subject to a criminal history check. Only relevant convictions will be considered and, even when considered, may not automatically disqualify the candidate.
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