Social Services Practitioner
Salary: $23.52-$28.71 hourly / $4,090-$4,993 monthly /
DEFINITION: Under general direction, performs professional-level
social work in the most difficult social service assignments in
adoptions, adult and child protective services; performs related
duties as required.
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is characterized by the
responsibility for performing complex social service caseload or the
most difficult social service assignments with only consultative
supervision. Incumbents investigate, assess, and case plan the most
difficult child and/or adult protective services and adoption cases.
This class functions in a multiagency, multidisciplinary
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:
1. Responds to and investigates complaints of child, elder, or
dependent adult physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, severe and
general neglect, and exploitation, abandonment, isolation, and
financial abuse; performs intake screening in order to make
emergency response assessments; interviews clients and other
involved parties in order to assess home environment, individual
functioning, and family background and dynamics; makes diagnostic
assessments of problems; takes action necessary to minimize the risk
of abuse to children, elders, or dependent adults, including
short-term crisis intervention counseling, taking into custody
neglected and abandoned children, and placing children with
relatives, foster homes, group homes, institutions, or other
suitable placements, or assisting in the conservatorship process for
elder or dependent adults who are mentally incapacitated.
2. Develops and implements service plans; counsels children and
parents, elder, or dependent adults and their relatives to enhance
functioning of family unit; develops agreements with families to
meet voluntary or court-ordered objectives and monitors progress
toward delineated objectives by evaluating behavioral adjustment;
acts on behalf of child, elder, or dependent adults, within legal
authority, to arrange for medical treatment and/or other needs;
makes referrals to community resources.
3. Coordinates activities with law enforcement, legal, and the court
systems; prepares court reports and legal documents; obtains police,
medical, and psychological reports to substantiate recommendations;
reports cases of suspected abuse to appropriate law enforcement and
legal agencies; testifies and/or presents case investigative
findings; participates in out-of-court settlement.
4. Places children in appropriate care facilities and makes
permanency planning recommendations based upon an analysis of
individual physical and psycho-social needs, available facilities
and homes; determines suitability of applications for adoptions and
investigates environment; matches children with prospective adoptive
parents; counsels adoptive parents and children to assess and
provide for needed support services; provides supportive counseling
to children and parents.
5. 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; uses computer systems including Child Welfare System/Case
Management System or APS Database and other personal computer
applications including word processing.
6. Represents the department in the community and speaks before
groups on matters related to assignment.
1. Possession of a master's degree from an accredited school of
social work; or,
2. a ) Possession of a master's degree from an accredited school,
college, or university in marriage, family, and child counseling;
marital and family therapy; psychology; clinical psychology;
counseling psychology; or counseling with an emphasis in marriage,
family, and child counseling; and,
b) completion of supervised practicum in accordance with Business
and Professions Code Section 4980.40.
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 fingerprinting for the purpose of a criminal
record check as authorized by Section 16501 of the California
Welfare and Institutions Code and Section 11105.3 of the California
6. Incumbents may be expected to work outside normal business hours.
7. Incumbents are expected to live within range of an emergency
Knowledge of: principles and practices of social work as applicable
to child or adult protective services; philosophy and function of
public assistance and social services systems; laws and regulations
governing the operation of child welfare services; legal processes
related to child welfare services; principles and techniques of
interviewing, diagnostic assessment, and various counseling
modalities; psychosocial, medical, and economic relationships
contributing to sociopathology; appropriate utilization of social
resources; social service investigative research methods; principles
of child development/parenting, family dynamics, aging, and human
behavior; narrative case report writing practices; documentation
requirements of the court.
Ability to: plan, develop, and implement service plans; assess
undefined and complex problems, immediate potential for risk of
elder or dependent adults, or of children in abusive family or other
living situations; take action needed to minimize the risk of child,
elder, or dependent adult abuse including temporary/permanent
removal of children from parental custody; determine suitability of
out-of-home and adoption placements; assess physical and
psycho-social needs of children, elders, or dependent adults;
counsel abused children and/or adults and relatives to enhance
social functioning of individual and family unit; monitor and
evaluate behavioral change of clients; determine when to involve law
enforcement officials and courts in cases; prepare case reports and
legal documents needed to effectuate case recommendations; interview
a variety of people with diverse socio-economic backgrounds and
temperaments; assess social service needs of clients; determine the
appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations;
understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals and
procedures; identify and make referrals to local and regional
providers of social, medical, and/or other specialized services;
learn, apply, and explain complex regulations and policies governing
child welfare processes or adult protective services; work
independently; understand and follow directions; listen to and cope
with unusual life circumstances; manage a caseload and recall case
details; maintain confidentiality of information; encourage clients
in progress toward social functioning; prepare routine statistical
reports; project consequences of decisions; organize and prioritize
work assignments; make decisions and independent judgments; deal
firmly and fairly with clients; maintain accurate records and
document action taken; communicate effectively both verbally and in
writing; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships;
access and use personal computer applications in a Windows (or
equivalent contemporary operating system) environment; and learn to
use mainframe computer applications and personal computer
applications such as word processing.