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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 351M
Category: Social Services


Positions at this level serve as a lead worker and perform advanced level specialized case management conducting investigations of abandonment, abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, personal exploitation or self-neglect of vulnerable adults and children.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions lead and provide coaching, mentoring, on the job training and assistance in the transition of staff from a formal training program to fieldwork. Positions also respond to difficult, publicly scrutinized, and/or high profile investigations of severe, high risk, life-threatening allegations of abandonment, abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, and self- neglect involving vulnerable individuals. These cases are made difficult by factors such as internal/external audit or review, media coverage, public scrutiny, heightened political interest, and multiple private party involvements.

Typical Work

Provides training, mentoring, feedback and consultation ¬on technical issues, concerns and policies and procedures to staff who conduct assessment, service planning and investigations in the community and licensed and/or certified settings;

In the supervisor’s absence attends meetings and provides supervisory coverage;

Interprets and presents state and federal regulations to clients and families, established boards, citizen groups, providers/vendors and others concerned and involved with vulnerable individuals;

Conducts interviews in high risk, volatile situations posing a high risk of danger, including interviewing alleged perpetrators;

Provides training and monitoring and conducts quality assurance on publicly exposed crisis cases;

In conjunction with the supervisor, assigns and audits work, detects error trends, identifies training needs and reviews case actions for accuracy and provides feedback for annual performance evaluations;

Assesses/evaluates, monitors, makes recommendations and plans for family support services, including respite care programs for adults, developmental disability programs, therapies and family/child protective services;

Serves as case management lead for those cases determined by the supervisor to be potentially and/or exceptionally volatile;

Provides assistance with the coverage of assigned/unit caseloads in the absence of an assigned social service specialist;

Provides departmental training, peer consultation, and mentoring on cases;

Advises staff on appropriate assessment and intervention techniques, community and departmental resources, and caseload management;

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

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

Implements and interprets policies and procedures;

Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: social service principles and practices; goals and objectives of case planning and assessment, risk assessment, protecting vulnerable adults and children living in their own home and in licensed and certified settings; laws, rules and regulations; investigative and casework principles and practices; social and economic conditions which affect the work of a public social service agency; interviewing techniques; social problems which call for the use of public and private community resources; principles of individual and social development, vocational counseling, and psychology; medical terminology and services; job training and educational resources; other community resources.
Ability to: lead, mentor, teach and train others, learn and act upon new information; work cooperatively with individuals and groups and to coordinate investigations, survey or inspections; exercise mature and sound judgment in problem solving, the decision making process, and in responding to complex volatile situations.

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 3.




Three years of experience as a Social Service Specialist 2. 



A Bachelor’s degree or higher in social services, criminal law/justice or an allied field and four years of experience as a Social Service Specialist 2.




A Master’s degree in social services, criminal law/justice or an allied field and two years of paid social service experience 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; adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.
Revised typical work, knowledge and abilities and desirable qualifications; effective March 25, 2020.