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Recruitment #18-002003-0005


The Office of the Public Defender is a statewide independent agency charged with providing superior legal representation to indigent defendants. The agency’s vision is Justice, Fairness and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of culture of excellence, client centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united in achieving the agency’s mission.

The Office of the Public Defender is recruiting to fill Social Worker I, Criminal Justice vacancy in its Harford County office. Social Workers in the Office of the Public Defender provide forensic social work services, including mitigation, to both adult and juvenile clients in an indigent defense environment. Social Workers conduct psychosocial assessments of clients to assist attorneys in creating defense strategies for the legal disposition of criminal or delinquent cases. Work is conducted in office, juvenile and adult detention center facility settings. Excellent report writing skills are a must. And testimony before the courts to provide social histories and treatment recommendation plans is required. Travel between offices to visit clients and testify in court is required.




Harford County Office of the Public Defender
2 South Bond Street, Suite 203
BelAir, MD 21014

Main Purpose of Job

A Social Worker I, Criminal Justice is the intermediate level of professional social work providing clinical and forensic social work services in an indigent defense environment, including mitigation, to adult and juvenile clients charged with crimes or delinquent offenses and creates a defense strategy with Assistant Public Defenders for the legal disposition of criminal or delinquent cases. The Social Worker I provides clinical and forensic services to clients that have demonstrated a need for rehabilitative intervention because of behavioral factors or personality disorders and co-existing mental health, health, substance abuse or other social adjustment factors. Employees in these classifications do not supervise. Candidates must be willing to work with adult and juvenile clients.


Education: Determined by the State Board of Social Work Examiners under the licensing requirements for Social Workers.

Experience: None


Currently licensed as a LMSW, LCSW OR LCSW-C. 

Experience working in a forensic social work setting.

Excellent writing skills and experience writing social histories.

Experience testifying in court.


1. Employees are required to be licensed as a graduate social worker, certified social worker or certified social worker-clinical by the State Board of Social Work Examiners prior to appointment to a position in State service. Applicants who do not have a license may also apply pending receipt of the required license. When the license is obtained, submit a copy to the hiring department.

2. Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.


1. Employees are required to meet mandatory standards for continuing education as determined by the hiring department. Employees who fail to obtain the required continuing education credits shall be subject to disciplinary action including demotion, suspension and dismissal.

2.Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services must complete an approved training program in group counseling techniques.

3. Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services may be required to complete the Level I Counseling course certified by the Maryland AIDS Professional Education Center.

4. Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services are required to qualify for and successfully complete the Entry Level Training Academy operated by the Police and Correctional Training Commissions.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment.  All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date. We will not consider information submitted after this date. Successful candidates will be ranked as Best Qualified, Better Qualified, or Qualified and placed on the employment (eligible) list for at least one year.


The examination will consist of a rating of your education, training and experience related to the requirements of the position.  You may be required to complete a qualifications supplement, or the rating may be based on your application.  Therefore, it is important that you provide complete and accurate information on your application.  Report all experience and education that is related to this position. 

Applicants selected for interview will be required to complete a writing sample onsite during the interview process.



Online applications preferred. Please fax all paper applications and questionnaires to (410) 333-2260.

Inquiries regarding applications and submitting paper applications can be directed to: Office of the Public Defender, Human Resources Division, 6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 1304, Baltimore, MD 21202; or by calling (410) 767-8500, toll free: 877-430-5187; TTY users call Maryland Relay Service 800-735-2258.

Please be sure to include your name, identification number (Easy ID#) and job announcement number on any documentation to ensure timely processing.

A paper copy of the MD State application form and questionnaire can be downloaded from the link below.

As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.