Placement Coordinator (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.

Do you want to be a part of a team that makes a difference in the lives of children and families? As a Placement Coordinator (Social Services Specialist III), you will work with social services specialist within the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) division to ensure that children in foster care have a safe placement. This life-changing work involves taking decisive and appropriate actions when a child needs a safe placement, analyzing complex information, and establishing connections with community partners to achieve the best outcomes for children.

We are looking for people who are committed to service in the child welfare system, possess good critical thinking and decision-making skills, thrive in a fast-paced environment, and demonstrate good leadership skills. 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.

The Placement Coordinator is a member of the Placement and Resource Team under the Foster Care and Adoption (FC&A) Resource and Support Program. Under general supervision of the Social Services Supervisor, the Placement Coordinator performs tasks independently to gather information about children in need of an out-of-home placement, which may include an agency foster home, a home with a licensed child placing agency, a group home, or residential treatment facility. Working hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, however, evening, overnight, weekend, and holiday hours will be required. This position is part of an after-hours on-call rotation and is expected to respond to after hours emergencies as needed.

In this job, you will be supported by a team of caring people working together to ensure children are placed in the least restrictive environment where their needs can be met. You will make an impact by:

Duties and responsibilities include the following:
  • Oversees the decision-making process for the appropriate placement of children entering foster care or needing replacement
  • Assesses the condition and needs of the children in relation to the strengths, limitations, and availability of foster parents to determine appropriate selection of foster family placements
  • Serves as a policy expert in the area of foster care placement issues and foster care policy for the Children, Youth and Families Division
  • Assists the unit supervisor with administrative functions, providing technical guidance and training to less experienced staff, and covering for the supervisor in her absence
  • Participates in team decision making meetings as part of the division’s practice model
  • Collaborates with social services specialists in the division to gather information about children in foster care
  • Arranges for placements in Residential Treatment Facilities and Group Home settings, some of which may be out of state
  • Performs tasks independently to protect children and build family resilience as articulated by local, state, and federal policies and laws.
  • Uses automated technology in multiple systems to maintain client data, case records, and correspondence
  • Perform other duties as assigned to ensure child safety and improve outcomes in families and improve outcomes in families

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Knowledge of child protection laws, rules, and regulations
  • Knowledge of foster care and adoption laws, rules, and regulations
  • Ability to synthesis complex information in order to share it with foster parents, licensed child placing agencies, and/or admissions staff
  • Knowledge and skills to work with separation and loss, family systems, conflict resolution, reunification process to prepare foster families for placement
  • Possesses excellent communication skills, both oral and written with a specific emphasis on transparent and sensitive communication with clients, colleagues, supervisors, community members, including the ability to communicate at all levels
  • Demonstrates excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills

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.

Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)
Contributes to the development of protocols, policies, procedures, grants and contracts for a social services program, department, and other entities;
Manages service contracts and provide and directs other contract-related functions;
Assists the supervisor in planning and carrying out training for new staff, providing guidance to staff. May directly supervise staff, and covers for the supervisor in their absence;
Serves as a policy expert in an area of social work specialization;
Coordinates or oversees the daily activities of a program or project to include staff supervision, oversight of administrative functions/requirements associated with the program or project, evaluation of the program or project for its impact/effectiveness, and making recommendations for changes or improvements;
Conducts comprehensive clinical assessments and prepares and implements service plans;
Works with clients to develop a plan of service to meet social, health, emotional and economic needs. With the client, formulates objectives and identifies actions to resolve the clients' problems;
Conducts home visits to families for the purpose of monitoring, counseling and supervision;
Provides crisis intervention on a timely basis to clients or families whose well being is seriously and immediately threatened, to include Child Protective Services after-hours;
Conducts mediation services to families in conflict;
Investigates allegations of abuse and neglect of children, elderly persons and incapacitated adults who live in the community and institutional facilities;
Makes assessment of risks posed to clients in accordance with state and local policies, and works to ensure risks are eliminated or minimized;
Performs emergency removal of children from their homes when required, places children in foster homes and residential programs, and coordinates services for them as needed;
Represents the agency in court proceedings; prepares testimony and testifies in Juvenile, Circuit, Criminal, Civil and Federal Courts;
Interviews and counsels natural parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and children to be placed in foster homes or residential facilities and those involved in adoption placement;
Evaluates child's readiness for placement and recommends placement, ensuring compliance with legal provisions;
Conducts and documents interstate and intrastate family home studies to evaluate and make recommendations as to families' ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children;
Evaluates and trains foster and adoptive parents;
Works with the community to identify families, children and individuals needing services and to coordinate these services using a wrap-around approach;
Advocates and assists families and individuals in obtaining services (e.g., mental health, intellectual disability, alcohol and drug, housing referrals, home based services, training and medical services);
Communicates and works with colleagues, clients and the community in a manner that supports the agency and program goals and objectives;
Participates as a contributing member on interagency, multi-disciplinary teams, community groups and professional organizations;
Collaborates and contributes to child specific teams on non-agency cases as assigned to assist in identifying community resources and services for families;
Assesses eligibility for foster care protect/prevent funds;
Participates, collaborates and contributes to Comprehensive Services Act activities for families on caseload;
Provides training and education on a variety of social work topics;
Recruits volunteers and manages volunteer services;
Uses automated technology and hard copy files to maintain and update case data, notes, documents, records, contacts and summaries of information;
Manages and maintains program data and outcomes.

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)
Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of social work;
Thorough knowledge of current social service problems and methods/approaches to address issues;
Thorough knowledge of regulations and guidelines relating to the assigned area of social service specialization;
Knowledge of casework supervision practices and procedures;
Ability to analyze case information and to reach sound decisions on the basis of such information;
Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing;
Ability to use automated technology to establish and maintain case records;
Ability to maintain professional ethics and confidentiality of client information;
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.;
Ability to schedule and manage workload sufficiently to meet deadlines;
Ability to provide guidance, direction, supervision and coaching to less-experienced staff;
Ability to provide management and oversight of a program or project.

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.

Valid driver's license.

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

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
  • At least four (4) years of work experience in Child Welfare
  • Experience working with individuals and families from diverse multi-cultural populations and facilitating community outreach

Sufficiently mobile to attend home visits, court, meetings, and community events outside the office. Ability to use automated technology. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Work requires performing tasks with risks of secondary traumatic stress (STS). Ability to navigate through and make decisions in stressful and crisis situations. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

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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