Social Services Specialist Iii

Fairfax, Virginia
$63,213.07 - $105,355.12 Annually
Nov 28, 2021
Dec 01, 2021
Full Time
Job Announcement

This job announcement is being re-advertised on a continuous basis. If you previously applied to you do not need to reapply in order to be considered.

Works as part of the Division of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) to provide Child Protective Services (CPS). DFS is committed to strengthening the well-being of its diverse community by protecting and improving the lives of all children, adults, and families through assistance, partnership, advocacy, outreach, and quality services. To learn more about DFS and its Mission, Vision, and Values, please click here.

Works as a member of the CPS Mobile Support team and provides coverage where extra support is needed to respond to child abuse and neglect referrals in all region offices (Alexandria, Annandale, Fairfax, and Reston). The work involves family assessments, investigations, case management, and intervention to ensure child safety and well-being as well as to stabilize and support families. 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.

Duties of the SSS III include:
  • Investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect, which includes interviewing children, parents, and other involved parties
  • Uses child welfare framework to perform comprehensive assessments of children and their families, including home visits to determine risk and safety
  • Responds to and provides emergency crisis intervention to maintain child safety and well-being
  • Designs and implements safety plans with children and families to enhance safety and reduce risk and further maltreatment
  • Documents assessments, investigations, safety plans, critical incident reports, detailed case contacts, progress notes, and service plans
  • Prepares court petitions and testifies in court
  • Collaborates with various multi-disciplinary professionals and facilitates family engagement activities
  • Receives child abuse and neglect referrals and takes on a leading role in the operation to screen for validity, priority response time, and track assignments of reports received by the CPS hotline
  • Assists the primary specialist with providing clinical casework services to children and their families who have experienced abuse/neglect or who are at-risk of abuse/neglect
  • Assists the unit supervisor with providing technical guidance and training new and less experienced specialists
  • Provides supervisory assistance in the absence of the unit supervisor. Duties include but not limited to staffing cases and guiding specialists in responding to child abuse and neglect referrals, developing work plans and drafting of court paperwork, and communicating with managers/directors and community stakeholders about cases
  • Performs other duties as assigned to ensure child safety and improve outcomes in families
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Knowledge of child protection laws, rules, and regulations
  • Knowledge of conducting child protective services assessment and investigation
  • Knowledge of foster care and adoption laws, rules, and regulations
  • Ability to interview, assess needs, counsel, and refer clients to other resource as needed
  • Knowledge in conducting child protective services assessments
  • Ability to assess safety, risk, and protective capacity
  • Possess critical thinking skills and ability to apply critical thinking and knowledge and research
  • Ability to meet deadlines and keep up with documentation
  • Ability to work collaboratively with families to identify solutions to specific issues and/or challenges such as parenting, behavior management, childcare, financial stability, housing, mental health, substance abuse, etc.
  • Requires the ability to develop goals and to use decision-making tools and resources for the safety and well-being of children.

This recruitment is open until the position is filled or enough qualified applications have been received. Applications will be screened, and interviews will be conducted on a continuous basis. Also, this recruitment will be used to fill other SSS III vacancies within the Division of Children, Youth and Families.

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.

  • 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
  • Bilingual: English/Spanish
  • Experience in performing case management services in a child welfare setting (child protective services, foster care, adoption, family prevention, permanency planning, or domestic/sexual violence)
  • One year of leadership experience in a child welfare


The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, 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).

All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or religious reasons will still be subject to the weekly testing requirement. Otherwise, vaccinated employees will complete the attestation online in the first day of employment.

Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Ability to navigate through and make decisions in stressful and crisis situations. Ability to use automated technology. Must be able to operate a motor vehicle, and make use of personal vehicle. 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. Work requires performing tasks with risks of secondary traumatic stress (STS). All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodation.

Panel interview, may include practical exercise.

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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