Child Protective Services (cps) Social Services Specialist Iii

Fairfax, Virginia
$65,747.97 - $109,579.81 Annually
May 13, 2023
May 27, 2023
Full Time
Job Announcement

This position includes a signing bonus of $2,500 (full-time) for new county hires.

Appointees to this position will receive an environmental stipend. This stipend will be paid out at a rate of $138.46 per pay period (26 pay periods annually).

Do you want to be a part of a team that makes a difference in the lives of children and families? As a Child Protective Services (CPS) Specialist, you will engage with parents and their children who are at risk of or victims of abuse or neglect and strengthen families so they can safely care for their children. This life-changing work involves taking decisive and appropriate actions when a child needs protection, analyzing complex information, and employing intervention services and strategies to achieve the best outcomes for children.

We are looking for people who are committed to children’s safety and family preservation, possess good critical thinking and decision-making skills, and thrive in a fast-paced environment. While this job is challenging and may have long and sometimes unconventional hours, this is more than a job—it is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

Duties of the CPS Specialist:
In this job, you will be supported by a team of caring people working together to keep children safe and strengthen families. You will make an impact by:
  • Conducts child sexual abuse and neglect family assessment/ investigations
  • Assessing allegations of child abuse and neglect, which includes interviewing children, parents, and other involved parties, often in their homes or community spaces
  • Using our practice model to comprehensively assess children and their families, including assessments of protective, risk, and safety factors
  • Taking appropriate actions based on informed decisions and relevant policy to keep children safe and support families. This may include creating and monitoring safety plans, connecting families with services, providing brief clinical interventions to address immediate concerns, de-escalating tense situations, supporting families’ decisions for alternate living arrangements, or separating children and placing them in foster care.
  • Collaborating with other professionals to gather and share information and inform decision-making.
  • Assists the CPS supervisor with providing technical guidance and training to staff
  • Attends monthly Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings. Participates in training of MDT members
  • Obtains forensic interview training certification and subsequent related training
  • Participates in peer reviews
  • Works in collaboration with law enforcement and Inova Fairfax hospital staff in the conducting of SANE exams
  • Represents the agency’s sexual abuse unit in the county including community and professional training regarding issues of sexual abuse
  • Taking legal action when needed to ensure children are safe. This includes preparing and filing court paperwork and attending and testifying in court hearings.
  • Documenting interactions and observations related to assessments and decision-making in a timely manner.

What you need to be successful:

  • Ability to manage conflict and cope with pressure in a professional manner
  • Ability to work flexible hours as needed, including on-call rotation
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Knowledge of child development and family functioning
  • Ability to use critical thinking skills to analyze information and develop goals for the safety and well-being of children
  • Ability to partner with families to address issues such as parenting, financial stability, mental health, substance abuse, intimate partner violence, etc.
  • Ability to work with individuals and families across cultures
  • Strong verbal and writing skills
  • Ability to plan and organize your work while adjusting to changing situations and priorities
  • Commitment to learning about process, policy, best practices and our practice model and apply the learning to daily tasks.

Grow your career with Fairfax County!
With more than 16,000 employees, Fairfax County is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging opportunities across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a Fairfax County employee, you impact the well-being of our community every day.

This is an exciting time to join Fairfax County Government as we shape racial and social equity policies in the county through the One Fairfax Policy. Using this framework, we intentionally consider equity when making policies or delivering programs and services. To learn more, we highly encourage you to watch the Becoming One Fairfax—An Introduction to Key Concepts video and visit the One Fairfax webpage here.

Finally, click here to learn more about learn more about our Department of Family Services, meet our director and some of our practitioners, watch a short video to learn more about this position, read the top 5 reasons to come work with us, and check out the great benefits, including excellent paid leave, health plans, and retirement plans. In addition to the many County benefits, working with us gives you access to supervision towards becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, our Child Welfare Institute onboarding academy, and practice guidance grounded in the Safe & Connected™ practice model.

All Fairfax County Government employees are expected to adhere to the Standards of Conduct. In maintaining a drug free workplace, employees are prohibited from manufacturing, distributing, possessing, using or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while at work or on county premises.

Employment Standards

Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree, plus three years of professional social work experience. A master's degree in a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

Contingent upon the area of assignment, some positions within this class may require specific certification(s) prior to employment and/or the ability to acquire necessary certification(s) within a specified time period following employment. The certifications are identified in the position description and employment advertisement .

Valid driver's license.

The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, driving record check, and a Child Protective Services check.

Work hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., however, evening and/or weekend work as well as being part of an on-call rotation for CPS that includes evening, overnight, weekend, and holiday hours which may require immediate response into the field are required.

This position is considered essential personnel and will be required to report to work during times designated countywide as approved for unscheduled leave regardless of the emergency situation (i.e., weather, transportation, other disaster).

  • Master's degree in social work (MSW) or a related human services degree
  • Experience in performing child protective investigations, foster care and/or family preservation
  • Experience in working with the court system and family group facilitation

Ability to navigate through and make decisions in stressful and crisis situations. Work requires performing tasks with risks of secondary traumatic stress (STS) Sufficiently mobile to travel outside the office for client contact, court appearances, community events, and to conduct family assessments and investigations of allegations of child abuse and neglect. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Ability to use automated technology. Must be able to operate a motor vehicle and make use of personal vehicle. Ability to lift up to 40 lbs. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodation.

Panel interview; may include practical exercise.

The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home (Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others) and we are committed to providing county services to individuals regardless of English proficiency. Qualified candidates who are bilingual in English and another language are encouraged to apply for this job opportunity.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.


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