County of Alameda

Medical Social Worker I (#6405)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Social Workers (005)
$44.32-$48.50 Hourly / $3,324.00-$3,637.50 BiWeekly /
$7,202.00-$7,881.25 Monthly / $86,424.00-$94,575.00 Yearly

This classification specification describes the entry level of the Medical Social Worker classification flexibly-staffed series. Under close supervision, provides psychosocial casework and case management services for clients in Health Care Services Agency programs; provides assessment and evaluation, care plans, and interventions to promote optimal health and wellbeing to clients; assists clients in adjusting to hospitalization, significant medical diagnoses and concerns and to aid them in case management and discharge planning; and performs other related work as required.


This position is the entry-level classification within the Medical Social Worker flexibly-staffed series and is located in the Health Care Services Agency.  Medical Social Worker I reports to a Medical Social Work Supervisor or Senior Manager. Incumbents receive careful supervision while learning and developing best practices in assessment and care planning, social work interventions, counseling strategies, strength-based approaches, departmental procedures/policies, and casework skills.  As experience is gained, the Medical Social Worker I performs casework under close supervision and is allowed to exercise independence of action and judgment only in routine matters.  All of the work of incumbents of positions in the class receive regular supervisorial review. 

Incumbents in the class of Medical Social Worker I are expected to gain experience and demonstrate proficiency which qualifies them to flexibly promote to the higher-level class of Medical Social Worker II after the equivalent of one (1) year of full-time service.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  1. Receives referrals within assigned case management program; reviews medical and social information; conducts bio-psychosocial assessments and uses screening tools to determine strengths, risk, and eligibility for services. Documents all interventions in electronic case management application or database.
  2. Provides clinical and case management services to clients; reviews past health and medical records; conducts initial and ongoing psychosocial strength-based assessments.
  3. Interviews clients and their families to assess family strengths and immediate needs; analyzes assessment findings to determine the factors involved in clients’ problems, medical and psychosocial complications; develops treatment plan in collaboration with other members of a multidisciplinary team or other organizations as appropriate; and obtains relevant health information including, but not limited to psychiatric evaluation and diagnosis and general medical records where necessary.
  4. Meets with selected clients individually or in groups for regular interventions, including counseling, casework, follow-up, resources, and support; guides clients in understanding the nature of their health status; confers with clients and their families  to discuss care plan and progress on goals and/or navigation of health care and social services systems; encourages clients to develop realistic plans and advises on community resources and facilities; monitors progress made in achieving care plan goals; makes referrals and follows up to assure attainment of services and optimal health; assist clients with housing, vocational, financial, and other service needs; acts as liaison between the department and public and private agencies.
  5. Analyzes the social factors affecting clients; consults with individual medical providers to discuss specific clients. Provides psychosocial education and encourages client participation in health care system.
  6. Develops individual care plans; encourages participation in health care system through education; assesses and helps remove barriers to clients’ utilization of health services; refers clients to community resources; monitors and tracks client status; represents client needs and rights to providers and community in a variety of settings.
  7. Prepares and maintains psychosocial case histories for use in evaluating and monitoring client progress; maintains accurate, detailed, and thorough case records and notes on all client encounters, referrals, and case activities.
  8.  Attends team meetings to provide case consultation and in-services to staff; provides outreach to individual clients and the community which serves the target population.
  9.  Participates in clinical case conferences/reviews and peer reviews to gain insight and reflection into cases.
  10. Prepares case reports; documents treatment plan, progress notes, and treatment summary related information as required by Medicare, Medi-Cal, and other Federal and State programs/agencies; prepares written correspondence regarding social evaluation of client, client follow up and related matters; maintains required statistics.
  11. Collaborates and coordinates with other program staff as required to assure that clients have the necessary health care services.
  12. Confers regularly with supervisor regarding cases; receives reflective, clinical and administrative guidance and direction regarding workload, case management activities, performance and work activities.
  13.  Participates in the adjudication effort of data and reporting.
  14. Confers with clients to prepare them for discharge or other follow-up treatment plan; advises clients of community resources available and assists them in using such resources; discusses alternative plans with clients and assists them in arriving at decisions; meets with families/friends to advise them of client’s social, mental health, and medical needs.
  15. Assists in health care and social service system navigation for clients and in the arrangement for medical follow-up care; acts as a liaison between the department, public, and/or private social agencies.
  16. Works with other program staff as required to assure that the client has the necessary equipment, etc., at discharge.
  17. Stays informed of trends and new developments in the field.
  18. May perform other duties as assigned.


Possession of a Master's degree in Social Work or Social Behavioral Science, from an accredited college or university which would satisfy licensure requirements.


Certain positions may require possession of California Motor Vehicle Operator's license.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the "Examples of Duties" section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

  • Theory, principles, and techniques of medical social work.
  • Trends, standards, and terminology of medical social work.
  • Disparities in health outcomes for vulnerable populations, including socio-economic and environmental factors affecting health equity. 
  • Normal and abnormal behavior, emotional and social adjustment, and the principles and dynamics of motivation.
  • Health systems, agencies, community resources and patterns of referral.
  • General laws relating to health and welfare.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills including reflective practice.
  • The Ten Essential Public Health Services.
  • Computer database operations and basic data entry skills.
Ability to:

  • Apply casework principles and concepts.
  • Secure accurate social and personal data and record such data systematically.
  • Utilize community resources in a medical care program.
  • Exercise interpersonal sensitivity and group interaction skills to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, their families, professionals, para-professional and support staff in the department, outside agencies, schools and with the general public in a variety of ethnic and cultural communities.
  • Employ problem solving techniques.
  • Understand and accept differences in attitudes toward health problems resulting from medical, cultural, socioeconomic and other factors. Analyze client activities and integrate appropriate program activities/services.
  • Exercise independent judgment.
  • Understand the connections between social conditions (income/community economics, transportation, education, housing, incarceration) and individual and community health.
  • Establish trust with families in order to obtain accurate personal, sensitive and confidential data from clients across ethnic and cultural lines.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing with linguistic and cultural proficiency.
  • Conduct direct outreach and work collaboratively with community partners and health care providers to provide a seamless system of services of clients.
  • Communicate information to influence behavior and improve health.
  • Incorporate ethical standards of practice into all interactions with individuals, organizations, and communities.

RS:bw  1/81
Retyped: 1/85
TMZ:pb  Revised: 3/88
Old doc:  0630h
New doc:  Jobspecs/6415.doc
CSC Date:  9/28/90
TE:pf  Revised 4/21/04
New Doc #:  6405-6415.doc
CSC Date:  3/29/2006
SK: Revised saa 01/23/23
CSC Date:05/17/2023


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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