Family Service Specialist (#MDDQ01)
$39,272.00 Yearly Min / $46,581.00 Yearly Mid / $55,897.00 Yearly Max

Summary Statement

An incumbent in this class functions at the entry level and directly provides, coordinates and monitors the delivery of professional social work services to children, youth and families; or adult special populations and families; to resolve problems involving client abuse, neglect, dependency, antisocial behavior, exploitation and family dysfunction, which may include economically disadvantaged clients.

Nature and Scope

A class incumbent works under close supervision from a technical supervisor providing case coordination and counseling to children, youth and families; or adult special populations and families. An incumbent is assigned less complex cases and carries a smaller caseload. Incumbents receive frequent supervisory advice regarding case directions, techniques and community services available. An incumbent works in a program support, child protective, child mental health, youth rehabilitation or adult protective agency. Employees are responsible for the development of service plans in conjunction with other counseling personnel, teachers, and case workers. Incumbents interact with treatment facility staff, courts, community based organizations and private agencies regarding clients' problems and progress.  Incumbents obtain case histories, prepare social assessments and determine eligibility for and availability of community resources encompassing multi-faceted needs of the clients. An incumbent is required to review service and/or treatment plans periodically, assessing progress and making the necessary adjustments to accomplish goals. Securing client cooperation and developing effective interpersonal relationships and intervening in crisis situations are of major significance in this work.

Essential Functions

Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.

  • Provides services to advocate for health, safety and welfare or rights of clients and their families and assists them in obtaining needed services.
  • Interviews clients and family members and/or professionals to gather personal, social and background information; works closely with the client and family to formulate a clear description of the client and family’s problems; identify the key forces which maintain the problems; discover resources and strengths available to the client and family to resolve the problems; and identify the blocks, if any, that prevent the client and family from resolving the problems without the intervention of the State agency.
  • Determines eligibility for various social service programs offered by the agency or available in the community.
  • In collaboration with the client and family, and with consultation from a technical superior, develops and implements service/treatment plans, outlining the goals and objectives to be accomplished, methods and techniques to be used, and anticipated results; helps the client and family to obtain community, social and/or therapeutic services and resources needed to accomplish plans and objectives.
  • Conducts individual and family counseling sessions with clients and members of the family to aid in achieving satisfactory social development and adjustment to specific problems and situations.
  • Assesses progress toward goals and makes recommendations on plans such as reclassification, discharge, aftercare, emergency protective placement in emergency or crisis situations, guardianship, petitions or options counseling.
  • Prepares social histories, client progress reports, evaluation and discharge summaries, court reports or petitions; prepares and maintains a variety of records and files pertaining to clients assigned to caseload.
  • Enforces court orders and conditions of community supervision as required. Attends court hearings and other judicial proceedings to answer questions; makes recommendations and prepare progress reports regarding clients.
  • May be called upon to intervene in crisis situations such as potential suicides, assault and battery against clients, and sexual abuse cases.  May coordinate with law enforcement and other emergency staff if needed. May be required to isolate and/or physically restrain clients who are acting out.
  • May be required to perform emergency duty which requires being on call for an assigned time period.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA’s listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class.

  • Knowledge of human behavior.
  • Knowledge of social, economic, psychological and health factors and the manner in which they may affect the social behavior of individuals and families.
  • Knowledge of the principles, theories, methods and techniques of individual and family counseling.
  • Knowledge of casework principles and practices used in the preparation of service/treatment plans and management of a varied caseload.
  • Knowledge of agencies, services and resources available in the community.
  • Knowledge of relevant aspects of the Delaware Code, juvenile justice system, courtroom and other applicable procedures.
  • Ability to learn the laws, regulation and policies applicable to assigned program area.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with clients, their families, associates, social representatives and the public.
  • Ability to recognize the symptoms of maladjusted behavior.
  • Ability to prepare and maintain accurate records.

Job Requirements

Paraprofessional health or human service work may include but is not limited to interviewing clients and identifying personal, health, social or financial needs to align with program requirements, or coordinating with community resources to obtain client services.
Professional health or human service work may include but is not limited to determining eligibility for and availability of community resources; assisting and connecting clients and their families to needed services; addressing family conflict and engaging crisis resolution; and evaluating progress towards goals.

JOB REQUIREMENTS for Family Service Specialist
Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:

  1. One year of experience in professional health or human service work.

Two years' experience in paraprofessional health or human service work. An Associates degree may substitute for one year of paraprofessional experience.

Possession of a Bachelor's degree or higher or have an anticipated graduation date within 3 months, with coursework in Behavioral Science, Psychology, Sociology, Human Services or related field.