County of Alameda

Social Worker I (#6710)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Social Workers (005)
$37.44-$44.64 Hourly / $2,808.00-$3,348.00 BiWeekly /
$6,084.00-$7,254.00 Monthly / $73,008.00-$87,048.00 Yearly

This classification specification describes the entry-level classification of the Social Worker classification flexibly staffed series. Under close supervision at the Social Worker I level, will assess clients for eligibility of services, and needs, make referrals to appropriate service programs, as well as provide assistance and guidance; provide counseling and appropriate supportive social services to clients; collect and evaluate client socio-economic information and data; manage the on-going responsibility for a caseload of applicants or clients receiving services, and performs other related duties as required.


The Social Worker I classification is a part of a three-level flexibly staffed series of the Social Worker Classifications. Social Worker I’s will provide clients with social services of a specialized nature, including protective and supportive casework services to clients. Incumbents in these classifications do not have caseload standards. This classification is distinguished from the next higher one of Social Worker II in that the former class is an entry-level Social Worker who is closely supervised in performing the duties of the position and receives on-the-job training for six (6) months by a Social Work Supervisor I or higher-level manager in the Social Services Agency, or a first-line supervisor or higher-level manager in the Health Care Services Agency. 

Incumbents are expected to flexibly promote to the Social Worker II level after six (6) months of experience, which includes becoming familiar with the agency’s, organization, functions, policies, procedures, methods, divisions, work routing, and case recording. In a addition to the six (6) months of work experience, a positive performance evaluation will be required to flexibly promote to the higher level class of Social Worker II. 

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

  1. Manages a caseload of clients and/or provides counseling for any clients requiring social services; interviews clients regularly in their homes, in the field, in the office, and by telephone to determine the need for social services.
  2. Attempts to affect the socio-economic rehabilitation of clients through counseling and guidance on personal problems; may provide guidance to clients on managing their financial affairs.
  3. Conducts home visits and assesses functional indicators in the client’s home such as nutrition, housing conditions, health conditions, In-Home Support Services, and family relationships; refers cases of suspected fraud to the Welfare Investigative Unit; refers cases of neglect to the appropriate unit; counsel’s clients on improving homemaking standards, nutrition, health habits, and family relationships.
  4. Interviews and provides counseling to elderly and disabled clients and/or dependent adults, their caregivers, guardians, members of their families, and other concerned persons regarding eligibility for SSI/SSP or other applicable benefits; assesses appropriateness of placement in long-term care facilities; reviews eligibility and entitlement for authorization for non-medical out of home care benefit levels, and other human services and programs available through the Social Services Agency or other appropriate community resources.
  5. Describes the applicant's social service program objectives, capabilities, and limitations and explains the applicants' rights and responsibilities, program regulations, policies, and procedures, evaluates cases, and initiates a plan for service.
  6. Provides referrals to clients to public and private agencies and to health and legal agencies for specialized assistance; works with other agencies on cases of mutual concern; assists clients with their marital, medical, legal, housing, and financial problems; when possible, assists clients with plans to become self-sufficient.
  7. Maintains case records, prepares correspondence, and confers with supervisor regarding caseload problems.
  8. May perform special assignments as directed by the department head.
  9. Participate in quality improvement efforts.
  10.  Prepare for and attend fair hearings.
  11. May perform special assignments as directed by the department head.



Equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university (180 quarter units or 120 semester units), which includes 30 semester or 45 quarter units in social welfare, social/human services, public health, sociology, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling, or other behavioral science.



Equivalent to graduation from a two (2)-year accredited college (90 quarter units or 60-semester units), which includes fifteen (15) semester or twenty-two (22) quarter units in social welfare, social/human services, public health, sociology, psychology, clinical psychology, counseling, or other behavioral science,



The equivalent of one (1) year of full-time experience as an Eligibility Services Technician II, Community Outreach Worker II, or equivalent or higher-level classification in the Alameda County classified service. 



The equivalent of two (2) years of full-time social casework experience working in a recognized public or non-profit social services, health, or human services agency.


All positions require possession of a valid California Motor Vehicle Operator's license.

Special Requirements:

Fluency in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Farsi, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Cambodian is desirable.

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:

  • Principles, practices, and techniques of social work.
  • Provisions of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, the Social Security Act, and other pertinent legislation in the field of public welfare, including changes and developments in such legislation.
  • Aims and functions of community organization and resources, including available services in the employment field County and State Health and Human Services Agency and health care.
  • Basic psychological theory and practices as related to human behavior.
  • Public and private social agencies and other community resources.
Ability to:

  • Analyze and evaluate individual situations to reach sound conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Interpret complex Federal and State laws, rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with other professional personnel and the general public, culturally diverse populations, other departments/agencies, co-workers, and other groups and organizations.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing.
  • Prioritize work.
  • Demonstrate good customer service, interpersonal sensitivity, and diplomacy when working with others regarding sensitive or crisis situations.
  • Implement effective caseload management techniques. 
  • Deal impartially and with restraint in stressful situations.
  • Follow complex oral and written instructions.
  • Use computers and software applications effectively.

Revised: 10/78
BG:mdc Revised: 4/84 
TT:lm h Retyped: 2/85 
BV:pb Revised: 3/90 
TT:sw Revised 11/21/97
Old doc name: 0655h
New spec name:  6710-6715-6720.doc
TE:pf  Rev. 8/2/01
Csc date:   7/31/02
AM:po  (Revised-combined Soc.Wkr III series)1/16/08
CSC Date:  1/30/2008
DRH:saa Revised 06/02/23
CSC Date:11/29/2023


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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