The social worker will be responsible for conducting interviews and needs assessments of public defender clients in order to develop transitional planning, draft mitigation or dispositional reports, and assist in case management. These tasks may include presenting testimony in court proceedings.
The social worker will also assess and evaluate the needs of public defender clients for referral to substance abuse and mental health programs, vocational training programs, education, housing and employment opportunities, governmental assistance opportunities and other appropriate services. The social worker will work closely with attorneys and staff of the public defender office and collaboratively with other agencies to ensure that services are provided to the client. This collaborative effort will involve contact with the courts, community-based organizations, probation officers, health services, education, employment and mental health agencies.
The social worker must be highly motivated and show a commitment to working with public defender clients, including persons charged with felony and misdemeanor criminal offenses; juveniles alleged to be delinquent youth; persons facing involuntary mental health or developmental disability commitments; persons involved in abuse and neglect proceedings; and persons who are subject to guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, all as described in the Montana Public Defender Act.
Work will be accomplished at times within jails or other secure facilities. The social worker should be comfortable working in jail/prison setting, and candidate must be able to meet the requirements for facility access. The applicant should be passionate about identifying underlying causes or factors leading to criminal conduct and finding ways to rehabilitate, prevent future criminal conduct, and promote reconciliation and restitution rather than incarceration; have extensive experience in needs assessment and transition planning; be competent to analyze, interpret, and critique diagnoses and treatment modalities; be able to quickly develop expertise in the available social services and public benefits, and mental health treatment providers in the area, including being able to identify the providers and benefits that would be appropriate for promoting a successful outcome based on each client's particular needs, the eligibility requirements of providers and benefits, and funding streams; be able to assess communications competencies and needs of clients; and be comfortable testifying in front of a judge or jury.
Position requires a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, Psychology, or Sociology. A Master's degree in social work is preferred. Education and experience is typically acquired through a degree and 5 years of progressively responsible experience in Case Management and the judicial system.
State Of Montana