SENIOR SOCIAL WORKER
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.
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 s
upervision 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
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. 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, or Public Guardian. Incumbents may, as an additional duty, serve as an alternate supervisor or in a lead/consultative capacity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thorough knowledge of:
- Social casework objectives, principles, methods, and caseload management and organization.
- Social and economic factors which influence family life.
- Principles of human behavior and development and psychological defense mechanisms.
- Reactions to stress.
- Community health, welfare, social, and legal support systems, and other resources available to clients.
- Interviewing and record keeping techniques, including the documentation of all actions and contacts in case files.
- The specialized program area to which assigned.
Working knowledge of:
- The laws, policies and administrative procedures of County social service programs.
- The use and abuse of medications may be required for certain positions.
- Techniques used to locate and determine client assets may be required for certain positions.
- Investment techniques and management of finances may be required for certain positions.
- Some knowledge of the principles and techniques of supervision and training may be required for certain assignments.
- Ability to:
- Perform the most complex and specialized casework services with considerable independence.
- Deal with crisis situations.
- Deal with hostile, aggressive and abusive persons. Provide leadership and consultation to other social workers in casework concepts and methodology.
- Communicate and relate effectively with clients, who may be emotionally or mentally disabled, medically disabled, elderly, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence or fiduciary abuse.
- Establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, including clients, family members and others who may be under distress or duress.
- Locate, develop, and use community and agency resources for the benefit of clients and advocate for services on behalf of clients.
- Facilitate maximum client participation in service plans.
- Manage assigned caseload and establish caseload priorities to meet client needs and agency expectations;
- Perform as a lead worker over a small group of social workers may be required for some positions.
- Prioritize and respond to demands of caseload in a prompt and efficient manner.
- Recognize and analyze problems, gather relevant information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, respond to case
details promptly, and communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing.
- Maintain current and accurate records.
- Learn complex laws and regulations and apply them appropriately in management of assigned caseload.
- Work effectively under pressure and deadlines.
- Administer the estates of mentally or medically disabled persons is required for certain positions.
- Represent conservatees and payees in matters related to their well-being, including hiring, setting goals and procedures for
, and monitoring providers and caregivers is required for certain positions.
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
- 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 Master's Degree in social work must be obtained within 90 days from the date of employment.
- 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.
Taken from SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
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