County of Alameda

Social Services Ombudsperson (#6752)

Bargaining Unit: ACMEA - Social Services Mgmt (R49)
$34.21-$50.51 Hourly / $2,736.80-$4,040.80 BiWeekly /
$5,929.73-$8,755.07 Monthly / $71,156.80-$105,060.80 Yearly

Under direction, to serve as the contact for other institutions, departments and organizations in facilitating the investigation of complaints regarding children and adult services within the Alameda County Social Services Agency; to act as a neutral third party to assist clients in resolving the complaints of home providers, clients and community advocates; to promote positive relationships with caregivers and clients through the prompt and responsive investigation and resolution of complaints and to perform other related duties as required.


This position is responsible for conducting independent investigations for timely resolutions of complaints concerning child and adult welfare policies or practices that have been lodged by home providers, clients or community members or advocates. This position is distinguished from Child Welfare Worker II. Social Worker II and Adult Protective Service Worker I/II in that incumbents in the latter classifications maintain a caseload of adults or children who are in need of programs within the Social Services Agency.


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. Receive, log and track the concerns and complaints about adult and child welfare services from home providers, resource parents, relative caregivers, foster family agencies, group home, agency providers and the community.

2. Investigate complaints through a wide variety of methods including telephone or personal interviews with clients and Social Services staff; case record reviews, home visits and consultation with line staff and management; enlist the involvement of subject matter experts from the community in the review of specific complaints as appropriate.

3. Make determinations whether complaints are substantiated in part, inconclusive, unsubstantiated or does not apply; during the investigation, assess whether department staff acted in accordance with Agency policy and procedures and relevant State and Federal regulations.

4. Maintain descriptive logs and case files on all cases investigated; summarize all issues related to, the investigative process and the approximate time spent on each case; provide summary statistics and monthly reports of complaints received and investigated for the Agency and other interested parties.

5. Report investigation findings to the complainant, and the appropriate Social Services Agency management staff.

6. Make advisory recommendations to the Agency/department about possible corrective action plans or system improvements.

7. Write and prepare sensitive reports and letters on behalf of appropriate Social Services Agency management specific investigations.

8. Develop and maintain positive working relationships with the care provider, clients and community; advocate for clients; and educate others about the role of Ombudsperson.

9. Operates within state and federal guidelines in recruiting, training, certifying and overseeing the work of a team of volunteers investigating abuse claims.

10. Provide basic resource and referral information for other social services as needed.


Either I

The equivalent of two years' full-time experience as an Adult Protective Services Worker II, Child Welfare Worker II or Social Worker II within the Alameda County Service classified service. (Non-classified includes District Attorney's Office, Hospital Authority, and the Consolidated Courts.)


Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university (180 quarter units or 120 semester units) with major course work in business or public administration, a social science or a field related to the program area


The equivalent of three years full-time professional level work experience in a Social Services Agency representing clients or as an advocate or case manager.

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:

• Federal, State and County welfare regulations.
• The role of the Agency, Social Services Agency workers and their functions.
• Social Services Agency's policies, procedures, programs, and services.
• Principles and practices of direct client service delivery.
• Practices and techniques of report preparation.
• Office administrative practices and procedures, including records management.
• Interviewing techniques.
• Conflict resolution techniques.
• Computer applications related to the job.

Ability to:

• Gather and analyze data, prepare reports and recommendations for the resolution of complaints.
• Make decisions and exercise judgment.
• Prepare accurate and concise reports.
• Plan and organize work.
• Analyze and problem solve.
• Interpersonal sensitivity.
• Communicate verbally and in writing.
• Represent the Agency in meetings with others.
• Maintain accurate records and files.
• Acquire and maintain a working knowledge of the programs administered by the Social Services Agency and some specific program areas.
• Interpret, explain and apply complex regulations, policies and procedures.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.
• Handle high pressure, crisis situations professionally and extract appropriate information in such situations.
• Deal effectively and tactfully with hostile, disorganized, or aggressive clients.
• Work cooperatively with varying interests and coordinate them towards solving a problem.

Old document: 6752
New document: 6752.doc
CSC Date: 9/29/99
IB:cs Revised/Retitled: 4/30/10
Old Title: Foster Care Ombudsperson
CSC Date: 6/2/10
IB: cs Revised 2/7/11
CSC Date: 2/23/11


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)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • 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
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • 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.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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