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Recruitment #22-SM8-AA



In addition to the competitive wages, Senior Social Workers may receive an additional five percent (5%) hourly increase when assigned by the Human Services Director to work in the Family and Children’s Services or Adult Protective Services Divisions.

THE JOB: The Senior Social Worker is the super journey level position in the social worker series. Senior Social Workers spend a substantial amount of time on the most difficult, sensitive and specialized services where major case decisions are made independently and where consequence of error may be significant. Advanced casework skills, a high degree of program knowledge, judgment and creativity are required. Incumbents may, as an additional duty, serve as an alternate supervisor or in a lead/consultative capacity. The Human Services Department currently has vacancies in the Family and Children’s Services and the Adult Protective Services divisions. The list established from this recruitment will be used to fill the current vacancies and future part-time, full-time, substitute and extra-help temporary positions during the life of the eligible list.

Employment Standards

THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these would be:

Two years of experience performing social service casework services equivalent to a Social Worker II in Santa Cruz County OR a Master’s Degree in Social Work* OR a Master’s Degree from a two year counseling program from an accredited college plus one year of social service casework experience. *If currently attending a Master of Social Work program, the Master’s Degree must be obtained within 90 days from the date of employment.

Special Requirements/Conditions: License Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver License or the employee must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority. Background Investigation: Fingerprint check. Certain positions may require a Master’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree because of State requirements. Other Special Requirements: For certain positions, upon completion of the probation period, employees may be expected to participate in the after hours on-call duty response rotation.

Knowledge: Thorough knowledge of social casework objectives, principles, methods, and caseload management and organization; social and economic factors which influence family life; principles of human behavior and development and psychological defense mechanisms; reactions to stress; community health, welfare, social, and legal support systems, and other resources available to clients; interviewing and record keeping techniques, including the documentation of all actions and contacts in case files; and the specialized program area to which assigned. Working knowledge of the laws, policies and administrative procedures of County social service programs; the use and abuse of medications may be required for certain positions; techniques used to locate and determine client assets may be required for certain positions; and investment techniques and management of finances may be required for certain positions. Some knowledge of the principles and techniques of supervision and training may be required for certain positions. 

Ability to: Perform the most complex and specialized casework services with considerable independence; deal with crisis situations; deal with hostile, aggressive and abusive persons; provide leadership and consultation to other social workers in casework concepts and methodology; communicate and relate effectively with clients, who may be emotionally or mentally disabled, medically disabled, elderly, substance abusers, victims of 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; locate, develop, and use community and agency resources for the benefit of clients and advocate for services on behalf of clients; facilitate maximum client participation in service plans; manage assigned caseload and establish caseload priorities to meet client needs and agency expectations; perform as a lead worker over a small group of social workers may be required for some positions; prioritize and respond to demands of caseload in a prompt and efficient manner; recognize and analyze problems, gather relevant information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, respond to case details promptly, and communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing; maintain current and accurate records; learn complex laws and regulations and apply them appropriately in management of assigned caseload; work effectively under pressure and deadlines; administer the estates of mentally or medically disabled persons is required for certain positions; and represent conservatees and payees in matters related to their well-being, including hiring, setting goals and procedures for, and monitoring providers and caregivers is required for certain positions.



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.


Note: Provisions of this bulletin do not constitute an expressed or implied contract.



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