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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 351R
Category: Social Services


Functions as the first-line supervisor of a unit of Social Service Specialists.

Typical Work

Assigns, prioritizes, audits, and reviews work assignments to a unit of Social Service Specialists; provides consultation and direction in the handling of those cases; delegates duties to subordinate staff as appropriate; schedules unit staff to ensure maximum service to clients, while meeting staff needs;

Effectively recommends hires and trains new and existing professional staff in the law, policies and procedures governing their job assignments; arranges for formal agency training related to specific job assignments and career development planning; trains staff in gathering accurate and complete information, organizing information, and case decision making;

Sets expectations for performance of line staff; prepares written performance evaluations for staff utilizing the current Performance Evaluation system; initiates corrective or disciplinary action as necessary;

Prepares written and oral reports, documentation, inter and intra-agency communications regarding program areas supervised;

Performs liaison educational and program expert functions between the agency and community social services, educational, law enforcement, medical and judicial agencies and institutions;

Conducts case staffings, unit meetings and participates in multi-disciplinary teams;

Seeks resolution of problems and conflicts both internal and external at the lowest possible level;

Implements and interprets policy and procedure at the case level;

Reviews levels of risk in cases of alleged abuse or neglect of children/adult and ensures that levels of agency intervention match levels of assessed risk to children/adult;

Reviews and monitors decisions related to the placement of children into agency alternative care;

Assists staff to understand their professional responsibility and to carry out agency policy and comply with the laws which govern children's services;

Develops resources directly associated with program area;

Approves or denies staff requests for expenditures of appropriate funds in exceptional case plans;

Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  the current State system for the delivery of services to the aged, adults, children, and/or families; the Federal and State laws, policies and directives governing services to vulnerable adults, children and families; management and supervisory theory and practice; theory and practice of social work; community resources; the personnel system; principles of interviewing. 

Ability to:  teach and train staff; manage a large volume of work; supervise staff; communicate with other agencies and community groups; communicate up and down the chain of command and develop and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range and level of staff; evaluate job performance; interview job applicants; make professional judgments.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

One year of experience as a Social Service Specialist 4.




Two years of experience as a Social Service Specialist 3.   



Four years of experience as a Social Service Specialist 2. 



A Master's degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, criminal law/justice or an allied field and one years of paid social service experience equivalent to a Social Service Specialist 3. 


A Bachelor's degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, criminal law/justice or an allied field, and five years of paid social service experience performing functions equivalent to a Social Service Specialist 2.   

NOTE:  A two year Master's degree in one of the above fields that included a practicum may be substituted for one year of paid social service experience.   

NOTE:  Employees must successfully complete the formal training course sponsored by their division within one year of their appointment.   

Class Specification History

New class: 8-1-88
Revises minimum qualifications: 10-14-88 (emergency basis; permanent basis 12-9-88)
Revises minimum qualifications: 1-12-90
Revises minimum qualifications: 6-15-93
New class code: (formerly 35230) effective July 1, 2007
Revised title (formerly Social Worker 4) and definition; adopted August 11, 2011, effective January 2, 2012.
Revised legal requirement and desirable qualifications effective January 1, 2014.
Revised salary range, definition and typical work; adopted June 30, 2017; effective July 1, 2017.
Revised salary adjustment, definition, typical work and desirable qualifications; effective June 13, 2019; adopted July 1, 2019.
Revised typical work and desirable qualifications; effective March 25, 2020.