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Social Services Specialist

H20

Basic Purpose

Positions in this family are assigned responsibility for providing social services to children and adults in communities, facilities, institutions or hospitals.

Typical Functions

The functions within this job family will vary by level, but may include the following:

  • Manages a caseload and provides services for individuals and their families.
  • Evaluates the needs of individuals and families; assists the family as a unit to function more adequately; counsels clients and arranges for needed treatment or services.
  • Participates on a psychiatric team to gather social data, counsels individuals under the direction of a psychiatrist, psychologist or other social services specialist.
  • Assesses the needs of individuals and determines eligibility for specific programs; interviews clients, both in an office setting and on home visits, completes necessary case documents and compiles data to determine eligibility.
  • Develops and plans casework services and treatment for individuals with specialized needs in development, intellectual disability, maladjustment or dependency.
  • Develops and implements specialized treatment programs within the community; utilizes community resources; initiates projects with foster or adoptive parents.
  • Investigates selected food stamp cases, conducts interviews and obtains information to determine food stamp violations or food stamp fraud.
  • Participates in staff conferences and interdisciplinary team meetings for the purpose of determining overall treatment.

Level Descriptors

This job family consists of four levels of work which are distinguished by the level of complexity and diversity of the specific job assignments, the extent of responsibility assigned for each level, the expertise required for the completion of the duties assigned, and the responsibility assigned for providing leadership to others.

Level I                                                    Code:  H20A                                         Salary Band:  H

This is the basic level where employees are assigned responsibilities involving beginning level casework activities in a training status to build their skills in providing social services to individuals.  In this role they will be assigned tasks which involve interviewing individuals and family members to obtain history data; taking applications for public assistance and/or related services; determining the eligibility of applicants and contacting public and private health, welfare, social and mental health agencies and related community resources for the purpose of obtaining services for individuals and their families.  Responsibilities may also include providing routine social services for individuals and their families, assisting in conducting individual and family counseling, or assisting individuals in adjusting to an institutional environment, care and treatment.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include knowledge of social work principles and practices; of casework principles and methods; of current social and economic problems; of the principles of family economics and budgeting; of human relations; of community, state and national health and welfare resources; of psychological terminology; of the principles of interviewing; and of social assistance requirements.  Ability is required to deal effectively and courteously with people; to exercise good judgment in evaluating situations; and to present ideas and facts effectively and accurately.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a bachelor’s degree; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one year of experience in professional social work for each year of the required education.

Level II Code: H20B Salary Band: I

At this level employees are assigned responsibilities at the full performance level in providing social services to clients in assessing needs and determining eligibility for specific programs and services.  This includes managing a caseload requiring both broad and specialized knowledge of all social service programs.  Some positions will serve on a psychiatric team and gather and interpret social data affecting a patient’s condition; participate in therapeutic counseling of patients under the direction of a psychiatrist, psychologist or other social services specialist in a higher level position; or participate as a member of an interdisciplinary team, giving input on the social history of individuals and contributing to the treatment plan.  In addition, employees at this level will contact outside public and private health and welfare agencies and community resources to assist in obtaining aid for clients and their families, and may serve as a field eligibility examiner by conducting reviews of questionable social service cases to determine verification of income, employment and other resources and to document the true situation of the client.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified at Level I plus the knowledge of therapeutic treatment; and of psychiatric and medical terminology.  Ability is required to consult with staff and agencies; and to effectively treat social and emotional problems.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of a master’s degree; or a bachelor’s degree and one year of experience in professional social work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one additional year of experience in professional social work for each year of the bachelor’s degree.

Level III Code: H20C Salary Band: J

This is the specialist level where employees are designated as lead workers or backup supervisors to Level I or Level II employees, or are responsible for carrying a complex and difficult case load along with limited responsibilities involving the direct supervision of no more than 3 lower level staff in performing various work activities and tasks.  Responsibilities include assigning caseloads, providing training in caseload principles and practices and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations, and agency policy and procedures.  Some employees at this level will act as full-time AIDS Care Coordinators assigned a multi-county area; counsel, advise and provide services to clients with AIDS; and act as a consultant to other Social Service Specialists on AIDS related matters.  Employees assigned to this level may coordinate an interdisciplinary treatment team of a mental health or health facility; may coordinate activities at a social services satellite treatment center or may be assigned multiple county or district wide responsibility for the provision of social services and act as project director.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified at Level II plus the knowledge of social welfare legislation as it pertains to the state administration of public welfare; of the functions of public welfare agencies; of social resources in Oklahoma as related to public assistance; of individual and group behavior; of social and psychiatric casework method and principles and their application to problems in psychiatric social work; of mental and emotional disturbances; of the principles of clinical interviewing; of community, individual, and family social, economic, and health problems; of medical social work methods and principles; and of literature in the field of social work.  Ability is required to plan and organize a program; and to relate professional training to casework practice and supervision in the field of family services.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level II plus two additional years of qualifying experience.

Level IV Code: H20D Salary Band: K

This is the leadership level where employees provide direct supervision to lower level staff.  Responsibilities may also include planning, organizing and directing a social work department or an entire social work program in a state facility or may serve as a clinical supervisor in a mental health facility.  Employees assigned to this level will supervise a staff of professional and paraprofessional social service specialists who provide a wide variety of case work and social services to clients and patients, as well as provide consultation and assistance to persons in other professional fields.  Some employees direct comprehensive programs of social services and consultation in a number of treatment settings providing a wide variety of casework and social services to clients and patients; confer with medical staff and department heads on professional problems and assignment of work.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities required at this level include those identified at Level III plus the knowledge of supervisory principles and practices.  Ability is required to plan and direct the work of a professional staff.

Education and Experience requirements at this level consist of those identified in Level III plus one additional year of qualifying experience or social service administration experience.

Special Requirements:

Applicants must be willing and able to perform all job-related travel normally associated with this position.

Upon appointment, incumbents designated by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services shall complete certification in one of the following required Departmental sponsored training in case management:  Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Adult; Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Child, Adolescent and Family; or Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager – Dual Certification.

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