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Social Service Worker

Salary: $18.79-$22.94 hourly / $3,268-$3,990 monthly / Range: 5214

DEFINITION: Under direction, performs social work; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is the entry-level to professional social service work. Incumbents initially work under close supervision in a training status and are expected to learn departmental organization, social service programs, case study methods, and case work services and to perform without close supervision within one year. Upon completion of training, incumbents are expected to perform journey-level social service work. Incumbents carry a non-complex social service caseload in such areas as in-home supportive services, foster home licensing, employment services, general relief, and may perform more difficult social service work in adoptions and child/elder protective services in a training capacity.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Interviews clients, family members and other interested parties to assess needs for social services; gathers and evaluates information regarding employment history, housing situation, physical functioning, financial status, capacity for independent living and availability of domestic services; evaluates clients concerns and observes behavior; develops service plans and establishes case files.
2. Counsels clients on available resources, barriers to employment, independent living skills and other areas involving defined problems or concerns; explains procedures, rights and responsibilities.
3. Assists clients in identifying and obtaining basic services needed for independent living; identifies and makes referrals to a variety of public and community agencies providing food, shelter, clothing, medical, educational and other services; schedules client appointments; acts as client advocate in obtaining services.
4. Manages assigned caseload; prepares narrative and statistical reports, documents and correspondence regarding client status; documents case files; prepares and serves legal documents; testifies in court.
5. Identifies and assesses suitability of board and care facilities and foster homes; explains program requirements to potential licensees; reviews applications of licensees and interviews potential licensees; conducts on-site visits to assess living conditions.
6. Develops service treatment plans, evaluates family behavioral adjustment and monitors client progress toward delineated objectives; counsels clients using a variety of counseling modalities.
7. In a trainee capacity, investigates reports of child or elder abuse, neglect and/or exploitation; assesses the degree of immediate risk to the child/elder and takes necessary action to minimize the risk; coordinates activity with other involved parties including relatives, school personnel and officers of the court.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

1. Possession of a bachelor's degree including 30 semester or 45 quarter units of course work in social work, psychology, counseling, sociology, child development, geriatrics, or other behavioral or health sciences; or,
2. two years of experience equivalent to Eligibility Worker or Social Services Case Aide with Santa Barbara County, plus 30 semester or 45 quarter units of course work in social work, psychology, counseling, sociology, child development, geriatrics, or other behavioral or health sciences related to social work; or,
3. a combination of training and experience that is equivalent to the experience requirement listed in #2 above; however, candidates must also possess the 30 semester or 45 quarter units of course work in a related field of study.

Additional Requirements:

1. Possession of or ability to obtain a valid California Driver's License may be required.
2. Independent travel, including client transportation, is required.
3. Positions allocated to this class may require bilingual skills.
4. Selectees for employment in 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.
5. Selectees for positions in this class assigned to Child Welfare Services are subject to being fingerprinted for the purpose of criminal record clearance, as authorized under Section 11105.3 of the California Penal Code and Section 16501 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Knowledge of: basic function of public assistance and social service systems; the practical application of human behavior and child development/parenting or aging principles; socioeconomic/psycho-social factors affecting individual behavior, independent living social functioning and social abnormalities.

Ability to: learn, apply and explain complex regulations and policies governing processes of assigned program; interview a variety of people with diverse socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; work independently; understand and follow direction; listen; cope with unusual life circumstances; manage a caseload and recall case details; maintain confidentiality of information; write reports and prepare routine statistical reports; organize and prioritize work assignments; make decisions and independent judgments; determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations; understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and procedures; deal firmly and fairly with clients; maintain accurate records and document actions taken; identify and make referrals to local and regional providers of social, medical and/or other specialized services; act on behalf of client to obtain needed services; access and use personal computer applications in a Windows (or equivalent contemporary operating system) environment; communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships.
 



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