CHILD WELFARE CASEWORKER
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is professional level work providing direct services, limited counseling, and case management to child welfare clients. Personal contacts are with a variety of health, mental health, and social service providers and staff; County attorneys and representatives of the judicial system; landlords and homeless shelter administrators; and, teachers and school personnel in order to exchange information and consultation concerning cases and clients' treatment, service needs, and progress as well as coordinating actions and resolving problems. Employees in this class provide direct professional assistance through on-going social service casework to child welfare clients, their families, and foster/adoptive families. The work requires detailed questioning when interviewing clients to obtain factual and sensitive information and determine the appropriate plan of action to develop.
An employee in this class is responsible for assisting children by establishing a safe and stable environment and coordinating the provision of sustained social, health, economic, behavioral and emotional support to the clients, their families, and foster/adoptive families. The work involves the provision of ongoing client casework, crisis intervention, and limited counseling to individuals and families with a broad range of personal, economic, and social problems with emphasis on finding temporary solutions and easing situational tension; coordinating and linking clients to community and agency services; and insuring program compliance with local and state regulations. The employee must work under the supervision of a licensed Social Worker. The employee independently carries out day-to-day work and handles most problems that arise; however, the supervisor regularly reviews and discusses case files with the employee and is available to provide guidance in difficult or unprecedented cases. The work is performed in accordance with established State and local codes, regulations, policies, and practices and accepted professional standards and operating procedures. Judgment and resourcefulness is applied in the application of available guidelines and policies to the development of case management intervention strategies. The work is made complex by the severity and multiple number of problems presented by the families requiring intervention, the need to quickly acquire and assess client information and develop an action plan/intervention strategies, the need to coordinate referrals to multiple service providers and agencies, the need to balance priorities of treatment and service with mandated legal deadlines, and the ongoing assessment and reporting requirements of casework. The purpose of the work is to establish and maintain stability, permanency, safety and well being of children referred to the child welfare program. Work is generally performed in an office environment and requires ordinary physical effort associated with sitting at a desk, walking, standing, and/or driving an automobile. Visits to clients' homes have the potential for confrontation with unpredictable or aggressive individuals and appropriate measures are practices to deal with such conditions. The work requires a flexible work schedule with some evening hours.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Interviews clients to determine psycho-social assessment and determine the need for crisis intervention and referral, program eligibility, and short-term counseling.
Develops safety plans and service agreements with clients, reviews progress and re-evaluates goals of service agreements, as necessary.
Provides ongoing interaction and case management of assigned cases; communicates regularly with child and family members to provide and gather necessary information and assess/monitor progress.
Tracks client's attendance/interactions with various service providers, i.e., medical doctors, therapists, psychiatrists, drug abuse counselors, group and foster home care providers, school staff, day care providers, and others.
Creates and maintains case work files; composes status reports, memorandums, statistical records, motions to the Juvenile Court, casebook documentation (i.e., contact notes, required forms, case planning paperwork); obtains and files medical, dental, mental health, and school records.
Conducts visits to client's home, foster and group homes, schools, and day care facilities; supervises parent/child visits and community and/or agency visits.
Confers with public and private sector agencies, both orally and in writing, to facilitate client's progress or in the capacity of referring individuals for services and assistance.
Prepares required Juvenile Court reports and provides testimony related to assigned cases.
Prepares required documentation and forms for payments to foster parents and purchase of care facilities; and, for reimbursements for mileage and daycare utilized by foster parents.
Leads workshops and gives presentations before various public and private organizations to educate the community of available programs and services.
Coordinates and works collaboratively with subordinate staff.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: One (1) year of experience in casework management which
included short term counseling of individuals in the areas of family relationships
and personal adjustments/development.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master's Degree in Counseling, Psychology, Social Work or a related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of, and the ability to apply, the theories and principles of personality development and the principles, practices and techniques used in case management and short term counseling.
Knowledge of current social, economic, cultural, and health issues affecting individuals and their families.
Knowledge of the functions and resources of public and private agencies available for referral.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients and representatives of public and private referral agencies.
Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Ability to maintain records and prepare reports.
Ability to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office, if necessary.
Following appointment, successful completion of Maryland State mandated pre-service training and competency testing will be required for continuation in this class.
Individuals appointed or promoted to this class will be required to serve a probationary period of six months, during which time performance will be carefully evaluated. Continuation in this class will be contingent upon successful completion of the probationary period.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Limited Core Exam/Drug Screen
Class Established: January, 1972
Revised: December, 1974
Formerly Titled: Counseling Specialist