MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT Code No. 2814
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND Grade 20
CLIENT ASSISTANCE SPECIALIST
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is human services work at the full performance level where the Client Assistance Specialist links his/her clients with appropriate resources and provides appropriate guidance and support. Clients, based on the program area(s) applied, may include parents, seniors, victims and/or the developmentally disabled needing health, financial, housing, transportation and/or victim-legal assistance. The Client Assistance Specialist also serves as an advocate for clients, as needed, in obtaining, maintaining and improving service delivery. Most contacts are with clients and family members, departmental staff, public and private social, health and other human service agencies and individual service providers. The Client Assistance Specialist's contacts are primarily to provide information, referral, advocacy and follow-through; facilitate and coordinate service delivery; resolve service delivery problems; and exchange subject-matter advice, based on an area(s) of expertise, and information/instructions with employees in other disciplines, whose services frequently impact the clients served. The Client Assistance Specialist provides public service and assistance to clients and their families on demand or on an on-going basis. Public service/assistance typically involves lengthy, often sensitive and detailed questioning or interviewing to determine the nature of assistance required. Once the service needs are determined, assistance can normally be provided.
A Client Assistance Specialist in this class, through the interview process, determines client eligibility and need for assistance and, in addition, helps clients to assess their situation, define their problems, and identify acceptable courses of action by availing themselves of recommended community services. The Client Assistance Specialist, working under the general supervision of a program supervisor, independently arranges the sequence of work, obtains necessary information and data, selects appropriate methods and procedures, and varies these as necessary to address different case situations. Work is generally performed in accordance with established laws, rules, regulations and policies, but employees in this class typically adapt and adjust guidelines to specific service needs, such as individualized guidance provided to victims and families, or help develop/recommend program service revisions to eliminate gaps in services/guidelines and improve service delivery to their clients in terms of quality, timeliness and other factors. The complexity of the work lies in determining what needs to be done and how, or what actions are appropriate, depending on an analysis of the subjects or issues involved in each assignment or case and considering the client's special, individual needs. The Client Assistance Specialist typically provides significant support and guidance, as well as service assistance, which directly impact the social, physical and/or economic well-being of the clients served and, at times, their families/significant others. Work is normally performed in an office environment, a client's home and/or a center (such as a senior center), but may include courtrooms and other sites, and is primarily sedentary in nature, with some standing, walking and traveling between work sites. The work involves some risk, on occasion, resulting from exposure to aggressive and unpredictable behavior by clients, family members, perpetrators or others.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Identifies and responds to service wants and needs of the client, including complaints, by establishing facts and conditions and their interaction and taking or recommending appropriate actions to obtain, speed or otherwise improve appropriate service(s). Advises on and, as practicable, helps clients define and assess their own problems and service needs and identify effective courses of action.
Provides specialized information and referrals pertinent to program(s) of assignment and/or area(s) of specialization, such as childcare and childcare subsidies, cycles of domestic violence and safety, and criminal justice system practices from police investigation through prosecution. Determines, or facilitates determination of, eligibility and need for assistance based on information secured through interviews with clients, their relatives, other agencies, and persons in the community.
Keeps abreast of changes to and the issuance of new rules, regulations, policies and procedures pertaining to program eligibility and service delivery as well as concerns and conditions addressed by programs, such as employment-child care, aging-disability and victim-safety.
Serves as intermediary between clients and other agencies, and supports and advocates for their clients with public and private agencies and individual service providers.
Provides case management, monitoring care and services provided to clients.
Makes follow-through contacts with clients and other agencies to ensure that needed services have been provided.
Prepares and updates case records/client status reports.
Participates in meetings for, and develops individual service plans for clients.
Meets with staff members regularly for the purpose of sharing information and training, and to discuss/recommend resolutions for problems encountered in the work/case management.
Reviews programmatic and personal documents, creates and maintains case notes and records, drafts brief memos and letters, and performs related functions.
May help recruit, screen, train, and/or provide operational supervision to volunteers, sometimes on a rotating basis.
May make presentations to staff of other units/agencies, members of clubs/churches/associations, service groups (such as seniors), etc. concerning issues, programs and services. Similarly, may help develop "outreach and information" brochures and other literature intended for one or more groups on one or more topics.
Makes and/or checks calculations.
Uses telephone, computer, mail and other devices and methods to create, exchange, record and use information.
Works in predominantly in an office environment, but may also work at shelters, senior centers, institutions, homes, courtrooms and other places.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: One year of experience in an applicable human service setting which involved direct, substantive client contact and service delivery.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's Degree.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of the basic principles and skills used in the delivery of client-focused human services.
Knowledge of multiple factors and how they come together to affect individuals, families and others sufficient to help clients and their families obtain the human services they need. Factors include but are not limited to: human behavior; cultural mores; physical, mental and emotional health in family relationships; applicable community or institutional problems as they affect attitudes and behavior; and the socioeconomic, health, safety and other conditions (such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, aging and disability) specifically addressed by the program(s) applied.
Knowledge of the laws, rules, procedures, nuances and forms of the assistance program(s) applied to carry out programmatic functions.
Knowledge of services available through community resources, including public and private agencies that serve persons in need, to inform, help and encourage clients.
Knowledge of volunteer functions, recruitment, selection, placement, training and support to help ensure effective use of and interaction with volunteer staff assigned to the program(s) applied.
Skill in planning, scheduling and managing one's own workload.
Skill in oral communication to exchange information about assistance programs and economic, social and legal circumstances to inform clients about programs, learn their needs, obtain information needed to make or facilitate eligibility determinations and perform other functions.
Skill in written communication to read and understand program documents, prepare brief written summaries or cases, memos or letters, and perform other functions.
Skill in problem solving to assess information on the socioeconomic, health and safety status of clients, make or facilitate eligibility determination and perform related functions.
Skill in interpersonal relationships and human relations to work sensitively and positively with people of various backgrounds and socioeconomic, health and safety situations, and to help guide clients and their families through the self-assessment process.
Skill in using computers to create and maintain records and perform other functions.
Arithmetic skill to make and check calculations.
Ability and willingness to attend meetings or perform other assignments at locations outside the office.
The probationary period must be 12 months for a full-time or part-time employee appointed to a merit system position, and 6 months for a promoted employee, 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 and Drug/Alcohol Screen.
Class Established: October 1964
Revised: October 1974
February 2001 (M)
Formerly titled: Social Worker Assistant I; Client Assistance Worker