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Recruitment #21-SM2-01





THE JOB: Social Worker I is the trainee level class for functions of moderate difficulty in programs such as Licensing, In-Home Support Services, Public Authority, and Adult Protective Services. Incumbents under close supervision are expected to develop knowledge of the laws, policies, and administrative procedures of County social work programs, to learn the principles of human behavior and development, to develop interviewing, counseling, assessment, caseload organization and management skills and to use community resources. Incumbents are expected to gain the knowledge and abilities to promote to Social Worker II. The list established from this recruitment will be used to fill current and future full-time, part-time, temporary and substitute vacancies during the life of the eligible list.

Employment Standards

THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of training and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. Typical ways to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

Two years of directly related training or experience which would demonstrate the application of the knowledge and abilities, OR Successful completion of twenty-four (24) semester units in social welfare, social human services, sociology or other behavior science from a recognized college that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and abilities.

Special Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License or must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority may be required for certain positions. Ability to be bonded may be required of positions assigned to the Public Guardian function.

Knowledge: Working knowledge of social and economic factors which influence family life. Some knowledge of principles of human behavior and development and psychological defense mechanisms; community resources; public social service and assistance programs; reactions to stress; and interviewing and record keeping techniques.

Ability to: Learn to apply casework skills to identify the client’s problems; learn to formulate and modify case plans in conjunction with clients; learn to interview effectively, gather information and engage the client in the problem-solving process; learn to manage assigned caseload and establish caseload priorities to meet client needs and agency expectations; understand and explain agency programs, limitations, regulations and policies; use community and agency resources; communicate effectively in written and oral form; maintain current and accurate records; communicate and relate effectively with clients, who may be emotionally or mentally disabled, medically disabled, elderly, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence or fiduciary abuse; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, including clients, family members and others who may be under distress or duress; learn complex laws and regulations and apply them appropriately in management of assigned caseload; work effectively under pressure and deadlines; recognize and analyze problems, gather relevant information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, and respond to case details promptly; and deal with hostile, aggressive and abusive persons.


ANNUAL LEAVE - 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service. Available for vacation and/or sick leave.
HOLIDAYS - 13 paid holidays per year.
BEREAVEMENT LEAVE - 3 days paid in California, 5 days paid out-of-state.
MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans. For most plans, County contributions pay a majority of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.
DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.
VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.
RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013(PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years. County participates in Social Security.
LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy. Employee may purchase additional life insurance.
DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.
DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”
H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.
HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.
DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees.

Selection Plan

THE EXAMINATION: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply Online Now!  Click on the link below; or print out an application and supplemental questionnaire and mail/bring them to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060.  For information, call (831) 454-2600.  Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711.  Applications will meet the final filing date if received in one of the following ways:  1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date. 

Women, minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call (831) 454-2600.

To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S.


Some positions may require fingerprinting and/or background investigation.


NOTE: The provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract.

County of Santa Cruz

An Equal Opportunity Employer

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