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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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

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.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.