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Medical Social Services Worker, Senior

Salary: $21.82-$26.64 hourly / $3,795-$4,633 monthly / Range: 5514

DEFINITION: Under direction, performs professional medical social work in a clinic or similar setting; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is responsible for providing specialized casework services to patients and their families in a medical setting with the goal of restoring or maintaining patients at their highest level of functioning. Incumbents provide a variety of services with emphasis on identifying psycho-social factors which either predispose toward illness or are created as a result of illness and prevent the patient from obtaining maximum benefit from health care.


1. Interviews patients and family members to obtain relevant psycho-social information and determine the effect of illness upon the patient and the patient's family; identifies social, emotional, financial, and environmental factors which contribute to the illness or interfere with the patient's ability to benefit from medical care.
2. Develops and implements a social work treatment plan for patients and family members based on an analysis of the patient's psycho-social factors and medical illness; makes referrals to other community agencies. As needed, arranges in-home supportive services and conducts home assessments to determine the need for additional services or equipment.
3. Provides supportive counseling to patients and families in such areas as family problems, coping with illness, and loss of function; assists patients and families in understanding and coping with illness and accepting medical recommendations; makes interventions and professional support referrals as needed.
4. Participates as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a clinic or similar setting and in case conferences to formulate overall patient care plans; interprets the psycho-social aspects of a patient's illness to the team; assists in the ongoing orientation of medical or surgical residents and new physicians on the role of medical social work in patient care.
5. Manages assigned caseload; prepares narrative and statistical reports; documents results of psycho-social assessments and treatment plans in the patients' medical records.


1. Possession of a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, sociology, child development, education, or other behavioral science and two years of professional social work experience, preferably in a medical setting; or,
2. two years performing duties comparable to a Social Service Worker with Santa Barbara County; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Requirements: Possession of or ability to obtain a valid California Class C Driver's License may be required. Candidates selected for employment in some positions allocated to this class must as a condition of employment sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting and Section 15630 of the Welfare and Institutions Code relating to dependent adult abuse reporting.

Knowledge of: interviewing techniques; medical, psychological, educational, and social service resources; needs, problems, attitudes, and behavior of assigned client population; philosophy and function of public assistance and of medical social work; social service and medical social service delivery systems; principles and practices of medical social work; philosophy and function of medical care and social service delivery systems.

Ability to: interview a variety of people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments and obtain specific information; assess medical and psycho-social service needs; determine the suitability of placements; learn, apply and explain complex regulations and policies governing processes in assigned programs; work independently; understand and follow direction; listen to clients and cope with unusual life circumstances; manage a caseload and recall case details; maintain confidentiality of information; write reports and prepare statistical reports; organize and prioritize work assignments; make decisions and independent judgments; determine the appropriate course of action in emergencies or other stressful situations; understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures; deal firmly and fairly with clients; maintain accurate records and document action taken; identify and make referrals to local and regional providers of social, medical and/or other specialized services; act on behalf of clients to obtain needed services; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.


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