A Child Protective Services Caseworker
The position works under the supervision of a CVS supervisor and provides permanent planning and placement services to abused or neglected children. The position recruits, trains, studies, licenses, and develops foster and adoptive homes for the Child Protective Services program. The position supports families and children in dealing with separation and attachment issues in preparation for permanent placements, actively seeks placement options for specific children, and recommends placements. The position participates in abuse and neglect investigations related to foster/adoptive families as assigned. The position may assist the Texas Adoption Resource Exchange Coordinator by gathering and reviewing information pertaining to children available for adoption, preparing information listed on the Department of Family and Protective Services internet website for Texas Adoption Resource Exchange, fielding calls, screening families inquiring about adoption and forwarding information to caseworkers assigned to recruit for the child. The position interacts routinely with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services staff, children, foster/adoptive parents, child placement agencies, lawyers, court personnel, therapist and other state agencies.
To explore more of what Conservatorship Specialists do, click here.
To view a realistic online video about Child Protective Services workers and clients, please click here.
You will also have access to a self-assessment that will help you determine if this type of work is something that is a good fit for you.
WHY WORK FOR DFPS?
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting the unprotected - children, elderly, and people with disabilities - from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. DFPS accomplishes this responsibility by employing over 12,000 workers who live up to the agency's Mission, Vision, & Values in service to the 27 million citizens of Texas.
DFPS is not only a qualifying organization for the Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance on college student Direct Loans after making 120 qualifying monthly payments, but also offers excellent health benefits, special discounts on many products and services through the Discount Purchase Program, a lifetime monthly retirement annuity as well as Texa$aver 401(k) and 457 Programs under the Employees Retirement System of Texas. An additional benefit you will receive is 12 days of paid annual leave, 12 sick days, and the potential to earn up to four days of administrative leave each year. Your annual paid leave accrual increases as your tenure increases.
Newly hired employees holding a Master's Degree in Social Work may qualify for an increase at the point of hire.
Essential Job Functions:
Recruits, identifies and matches children with prospective adoptive families; and provides services to children in adoptive placement
Recruits, trains, completes studies, licenses and develops foster and adoptive families.
Maintains sufficient case documentation, including forms and narratives, to provide a complete and accurate written record
Builds and maintains communication and working relationships within the program and region and community groups in order to ensure that the objectives of the agency are accomplished.
Conducts assessments of current life situations of child or children and families to determine the presence of child abuse and neglect.
Provides services after normal working hours and on weekends to maintain 24-hour coverage.
Performs other duties as assigned and required to maintain unit operations.
Promotes and demonstrates appropriate respect for cultural diversity among coworkers and all work-related contacts.
Attends work regularly in accordance with agency leave policy. Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Knowledge of good child placement practices
Skills in preparing children for adoptive placements
Skills in developing and maintaining professional working relationships
Ability to support families in dealing with separation and attachment issues
Ability to assess child's needs and progress in the placement process
Ability to maintain timely documentation and effectively manage caseload
Ability to convey information in a clear and concise manner
This position requires use of the applicant's personal motor vehicle to complete job functions.
Applicants for positions must have a reliable motor vehicle, and acceptable driving record for the past five years, and a current, valid Texas driver's license appropriate for the vehicle and passenger or cargo load. Applicants must
provide proof of driving record, insurance and license. Initial Selection Criteria:
Successful completion of any associated on-line assessment.
Child Protective Services Specialist I: An accredited Bachelor's degree OR accredited Associate's degree plus two (2) years of relevant work experience OR 60 accredited college credit hours plus two (2) years relevant work experience OR 90 accredited college credit hours plus one (1) year of relevant work experience.
Examples of relevant work experience in social, human, or protective services include paid or volunteer work within social service agencies or communities providing services to families or other at-risk populations.
Child Protective Services Specialist II: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist I for 9 months AND have received Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Child Protective Services Specialist III: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II for 9 months AND have received Advanced Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Child Protective Services Specialist IV: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III for 24 months AND have received Senior Advanced Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist IV in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist IV in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Additional Information:
This position may be filled at any level from a CPS Specialist I to CPS Specialist IV. Factors such as education and experience may be considered when establishing the starting salary.
Applicants for this position who are screened and selected for further consideration are required to complete on-line assessments as part of the hiring process. Applicants must complete the on-line assessments to be eligible to progress through the process and possibly receive an interview.
As part of the assessments process, applicants receive an e-mail providing instructions on how to complete the assessments. The subject of the email is "DFPS Assessments Process Update". The assessments are web based and may be completed from any computer with internet access. The assessments are confidential and take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours to complete. Please note, credentials for the assessments may expire after five (5) days and candidates with incomplete assessments may not be moved forward in the process.
Applicants considered for placement in this position will be required to pass a drug screening. At the point of offer, candidates will be referred to a testing site. Note that it is important to maintain current contact information in the event you are referred for testing. A final offer of employment will not be extended until the agency receives confirmation of successful test results.
During the 83rd Legislature (2013), the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 427 which requires prospective and current child placing agency (CPA) employees to complete a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) fingerprint check. Child Protective Services functions as a CPA therefore a fingerprint check will be required for each Conservatorship (CVS) and Foster/Adoption home (FAD) direct delivery staff or applicant being considered for employment.
This position may be in a mobile unit which means the majority of the work will be conducted using mobile technology, such as a tablet, while away from the office. Being mobile requires working independently yet still being responsive to supervision and your assigned unit.
Newly hired DFPS employees in eligible positions will be assigned a DFPS cellular phone.
Bilingual applicants (SPANISH/ENGLISH) are encouraged to apply. Bilingual applicants selected for this position may qualify for an increase at the point of hire after successfully passing a bilingual skills test. (The applicant will need to be fluent in writing/speaking in Spanish in order to receive the salary increase).
COMPETENCIES REQUIRED/ACQUIRED DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT:
A process competency refers to a general approach to practice that can be observed in a newly hired CPS Specialists' interactions with children, families, and safety networks.
Understands and is able to articulate how family engagement is critical to achieving safety, permanency, and well-being.
Can identify basic strategies for engaging children and families.
Understands and appreciates the different views, expertise and experience of others; takes into account the perspectives of other individuals
Understands the need to expand the child's safety network beyond caregivers and to other adults who care about the child and can participate in day to day safety of the child.
Interviews caregivers to identify individuals who may be supportive of the caregiver and/or child.
Interviews children to identify individuals who may be supportive of the child and/or caregiver.
Understands and is able to articulate the concept of child safety.
Is able to identify one's own biases and is willing to challenge one's own thinking.
Regularly seeks information from a variety of sources to make and revise assessments.
Understands the importance of and is able to make judgments based on factual information vs. assumptions.
A content competency refers to a specialized domain of knowledge that should be integrated into process competencies.
Understands and is able to identify power and control.
Distinguishes domestic violence from other types of violence
Is able to identify and refer both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence to appropriate services.
Can articulate symptoms of broad mental health diagnostic categories.
Is able to make appropriate referrals for crisis intervention, psychological and psychiatric evaluations.
Can articulate mental health resilience factors and recovery process.
Distinguishes between substance use, abuse, and chemical dependency.
Can articulate physical and behavioral warning signs of substance use and abuse.
Administers and/or makes referrals for drug testing as appropriate.
Makes referrals to community and contracted services available to treat substance abuse.
Can articulate substance abuse resiliency factors and recovery process.
Demonstrates a basic understanding of the following
Federal and state law, regulations and rules for the operation of child protection programs.
The statutory responsibility for reporting suspected abuse and neglect
Roles and responsibilities of participants in the global child welfare system, including children, families, child protection, various courts, and other child/family serving agencies
Legal definitions and concepts, including ethics, and is able to apply them within the law to casework and judicial process
Establishes Effective Relationships with Colleagues
Is willing to accept and provide support and assistance from/to co-workers, supervisors and other child protective services employees
Is able to build and maintain effective working relationships with external stakeholders
Follows policy and procedures
Is able to learn and understand the specific policies and procedures for child protective services
Understands the policy requirements of ethical practice and the ramifications to staff and clients when this does not occur.
Demonstrates adherence to policy and best practice
Records observations accurately as part of case documentation, using specific quotes and precise behavioral descriptions of the danger and its impact on the child
Prepares clear, accurate, and appropriate written communications or documents
Prepares court documents such as petitions, affidavits and court reports
Acts quickly to solve problems and to get things done
Uses technology, "to-do" lists or other tools to manage time, keep track of what needs to be done, and manage multiple, pressing job demands
Regularly re-assesses and re-prioritizes in order to focus attention on the most important tasks
These requirements are not exhaustive, and additional job related physical requirements may be added to these by individual agencies on an as needed basis. Corrective devices may be used to meet physical requirements. These are typical requirements; however, reasonable accommodations are possible.
Physical Activities: He/she is frequently asked to stand, hear and talk; he/she is occasionally asked to climb.
Physical Demands: The incumbent typically performs work that requires him/her to exert up to 20 pounds occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.
The incumbent must be able to see objects clearly at 20 inches or less, and at 20 or more feet. In addition, he/she must be able to adjust his/her eyes to bring objects into focus, distinguish colors, see objects in his/her peripheral vision, and see objects in three dimensions.
Working Conditions: He/she typically works in a mobile environment (the majority of work is performed outside of the office environment) and is exposed occasionally to adverse environmental conditions including, but not necessarily limited to, extreme heat, wetness and humidity, chemicals, close quarters, gases and heights.
Any candidate who is called to an agency for an interview must notify the interviewing agency in writing of any reasonable accommodation needed prior to the date of the interview. MOS Code:
Note: There are no direct military occupation(s) that relate to the initial selection criteria and registration or licensure requirements for this position. All active duty, reservists, guardsmen, and veterans are encouraged to apply. For more information, see the Texas State Auditor's Military Crosswalk here.
HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.
Texas Health & Human Services Commission