SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER

Job Specifications

Class Code: SM8
Analyst: LM
Date Originated:    
Date Revised: 8/83, 2/84, 7/90, 5/99, 3/05

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY


DEFINITION

Under direction, to carry a service caseload and to provide the most specialized, sensitive and difficult casework services; to perform lead/consultative services to other social service staff; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

Factors used in allocating positions to classes in this series include: complexity, sensitivity and difficulty of casework problems; duration and level of casework intervention and therapy; authority for decision making; likelihood and consequence of error; the emergency or crisis nature of services; degree of supervision received; and lead/consultative responsibilities for other Social Workers.

Social Worker I is the trainee level class for functions of moderate difficulty in programs such as Licensing, In-Home Support Services. Incumbents under close supervision are expected to develop knowledge of the laws, policies, and administrative procedures of County social work programs, to learn the principles of human behavior and development, to develop interviewing, counseling, assessment, caseload organization and management skills and to use community resources. Incumbents are expected to gain the knowledge and abilities to promote to Social Worker II.

Social Worker II is the journey level class for functions of moderate difficulty (e.g., In-Home Support Services, Licensing, Public Guardian). Social Workers II work with a minimum amount of supervision. Incumbents are required to use assessment, interviewing and counseling skills to perform moderate to complex casework services. Some positions may act as lead worker. This is the highest-class level allocated for assignments in Licensing, In-Home Support and WIN/SAU.

The class of Social Worker II is also the first working level for the most specialized, sensitive and difficult casework areas which include assignments in Protective Services, Adoptions, Juvenile Court, Placement and MSSP. Incumbents assigned to these services work with a moderate amount of supervision and are expected to gain through training and experience the knowledge and abilities to promote to Senior Social Worker.

Senior Social Worker is the super journey level. Incumbents spend a substantial part of their time on the most difficult, sensitive and specialized services where major case decisions are made independently and where consequence of error may be significant. Advanced casework skills, a high degree of program knowledge, judgment and creativity are required. Assignments are in Protective Services, Adoptions, Juvenile Court, Placement, MSSP or Public Guardian. Incumbents may, as an additional duty, serve as an alternate supervisor or in a lead/consultative capacity.
 

TYPICAL TASKS

Protective Services

In Child Protective Services takes referrals regarding child abuse or neglect, gathers specific information, determines the urgency and severity of risk and determines appropriate actions to be taken, including crisis intervention with families to reduce the risk to the child; develops a service plan with the parents and community resources as needed; provides counseling to individuals and to groups; may advise parents on problems of child custody; arranges for foster home placement of children; may provide court reports and testimony in child abuse or neglect cases; prepares correspondence, case records and written reports as required.

In Adult Protective Services carries a caseload of adult clients to identify mental, physical and economic abilities and limitations which affect capacity for independent and/or family living; conducts in-depth client assessments including psychological, social, rehabilitation and environmental conditions; uses assessment results to develop and implement a service plan and conducts follow-up and monitoring of the plan; assists family members in resolving financial and other problems related to protective services for the adults; may advise family members regarding conservatorship and guardianship; prepares correspondence, case records and written reports as required.

Adoptions

Interviews applicants wishing to adopt children and determines their suitability; studies the background, health and development of children which may be adopted; interviews natural parents and determines their attitudes, reasons and consent to placing a child for adoption; verifies background information on adoptive and natural parents and insures that legal matters have been satisfactorily resolved, in cases of child neglect, abuse or abandonment; may initiate court action to terminate parental rights of natural parents; prepares and files reports on case background, providing recommendations to the courts; coordinates the adoptions process with other social workers, interested agencies and departments as necessary; counsels natural and adoptive parents prior to and following adoption and supervises adoptive placements; provides leadership in departmental conferences and training programs; prepares reports and correspondence as necessary.

Placement

Arranges for placement of children in foster family homes, group homes or residential treatment homes pursuant to court orders or occasional voluntary agreements with parents; develops and implements the reunification or permanent placement plan; arranges for or provides services necessary to reunite the child with their family, or to secure a permanent placement; provides or arranges for services including counseling, crisis intervention, emergency shelter care, day care, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parent training, transportation and others; meets regularly with the child, natural parents and foster parents to monitor and evaluate progress of the plan; supervises the child in foster care; recommends to the court worker for presentation in Juvenile Court the reunification/termination of parental rights or adoption; testifies in Juvenile Court cases; prepares service plan agreements, other reports and correspondence.

Juvenile Court

Makes independent investigation of the circumstances of Protective Services removal of the child from their home; interviews witnesses; prepares and files legal petitions; prepares evidence and makes a written report to the court based on the agency plan for the child; negotiates with attorneys; presents cases in court; may testify in court hearing; assists County Counsel in preparation of contested cases; investigates and makes recommendations to Probate court on step-parent adoptions; may also carry a partial or full placement caseload.

MSSP

Completes in-depth assessments of frail elderly clients psychosocial functioning; coordinates with public health nursing who conducts a medical assessment, to develop a complete coordinated plan of care to maintain the individual in their home; conducts interviews with the client, available relatives and caretakers, and representatives from other agencies providing services to develop a comprehensive care plan; gathers detailed information about clients ability to function in daily living activities, mobility, formal and informal supports and determines unmet service needs; develops, coordinates and implements a plan of care which includes a wide range of services such as home health services, transportation resources, home repair services, companionship, IHSS, Public Guardianship, and home health nursing; monitors and supervises the care plan; if out-of home care is required, research the available residential care or skilled nursing facilities and arrange the placement.

Public Guardian

Performs the most difficult casework for clients with several behavioral problems or complex estate management or legal issues; advises and counsels deputies on issues pertaining to management of their caseloads, such as legal procedure, fiscal decisions, and proper investigative and management techniques for case issues; serve as conservators or representative payees for persons under the jurisdiction of the Public Guardian; investigate recommendations for the appointment of a conservator pursuant to law or needs of a representative payee; recommend to the court the established, continuation, or termination of conservatorships; arrange for and monitor the care and treatment of persons placed under the jurisdiction of the Public Guardian; investigate and administer the personal and financial needs of persons under conservatorship or representation payeeship; safeguard the interests and assets of clients; obtain legal and other services for clients; prepares reports and correspondence.
 

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

Knowledge:

Thorough knowledge of: Working knowledge of:

Ability to:

Training and Experience:

Any combination of training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and abilities, is qualifying. Typical ways to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Two years of experience performing social service casework services equivalent to a Social Worker II in Santa Cruz County

OR

A Master's Degree in social work or a Master's Degree from a two-year counseling program from an accredited college plus one year of social service casework experience. The Masterís Degree in social work must be obtained within 90 days from the date of employment.

Special Requirements:

Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License or must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority may be required for certain positions. Ability to be bonded may be required of positions assigned to the Public Guardian function. Certain positions may require a Master's Degree or Bachelor's Degree because of State requirements.
 

Bargaining Unit: 41
EEOC Job Category: 02
Occupational Grouping: 66
Workers' Compensation Code: 0285