8446 Court Alternative Specialist I

Bilingual in English and Spanish

Recruitment #PBT-8446-902984


Effective Wednesday, August 08, 2018, PBT - 8446 - 087787 Court Alternative Specialist 1 has been canceled.We will resume accepting applications for PBT - 8446 - 087787 Court Alternative Specialist 1 via PBT-8446-902984 Court Alternative Specialist 1. Applicants MUST SUBMIT A NEW APPLICATION to PBT - 8446 - 902984  Court Alternative Specialist 1 in order to be considered.


This is a Position Based Test administered in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A.  

The Department seeks applications for spanish bilingual Court Alternative Specialist 1 positions in the Public Defender’s Immigration Defense Unit. Our Deputy Public Defenders in the Immigration Defense Unit are trained in immigration law to represent clients in federal immigration court. This unit makes San Francisco only the third Public Defender’s Office to offer legal representation for immigrant detainees in removal proceedings. Members of the Immigration Defense Unit also provide consultations in criminal cases carrying immigration consequences.

Position Description:

Under general supervision, this position will be a part of the Public Defender’s Immigration Defense Unit. In accordance with established legal provisions, policies and procedures this position conducts interviews with clients to assess social service needs; develops and drafts comprehensive social histories for clients; conducts psycho-social assessments identifying clients’ needs; provides referrals to services/programs/providers; follows up with clients to assist clients in detention and following release from detention; assists clients in obtaining identity documents or other needed documentation; provides other miscellaneous services; maintains various case records; and performs related duties as required. This position also requires excellent written and oral communication skills in English and in Spanish.

Examples of Important and Essential Duties:

  • Interviews clients for social service needs and evaluates information necessary to establish eligibility for services;   
  • Makes home and jail visits, including to detention centers in remote locations in the Northern California jurisdiction of the San Francisco Immigration Court;  
  • Makes regular contact with clients, their families and others as well as employers and other departments and organizations, including foreign consular offices;  
  • Gathers, compiles and reviews detailed personal, financial and confidential information;  
  • Provides written social histories and psycho-social assessments of clients to be used in their legal case;  
  • Conducts referrals, and provides related explanations and information;  
  • Advises and counsels clients regarding family, economic, physical and emotional situations;  
  • Provides necessary services or refers cases to other community resources as appropriate;  
  • Interviews clients to establish eligibility for benefits or other services;  
  • Assists in locating service providers and in helping direct clients to access services and benefits in and out of county, including in remote areas throughout Northern California;  
  • Testifies in court related to findings as needed.



Minimum Qualifications

1A. Possession of a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in the behavioral or social sciences or a field directly related to court alternative programs; AND

1B. One year of experience in a court referral or alternative program or closely related public service work; OR    


2. An equivalent combination of training and experience as detailed in #1A and 1B above. AND

3. Possession of a valid California Driver’s license (verification is required at the time of filing). AND  


SPECIAL CONDITION: In addition to the listed minimum qualifications above, positions require applicants to meet the following requirement in order to qualify:

4. Bilingual in English and Spanish.   




  • Examples of social or behavioral science fields or courses include: anthropology, criminal justice, juvenile justice, economics, education, ethnic studies, history, human development, law, nursing, nutrition, political science, psychology, public health, social welfare, sociology, and women’s studies.   
  • One year full-time employment is equivalent to 2000 hours (2000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40 hour work week).
  • License: Information on the application of a valid driver's license is required at the time of filing. For a CA driver's license: this must be obtained prior to appointment.
  • Candidates moving forward in the selection process will be subject to a Spanish language proficiency test given by the City and County of San Francisco.

Desirable Qualifications:  

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

  1. Strong oral and written communication skills  
  2. Team player with vision, passion and commitment to immigration and/or criminal justice system reform  
  3. Possesses cultural humility and a commitment to strength based models of treatment  
  4. Experience working with immigrant communities and low-income communities and those affected by the criminal justice system  
  5. Possession of a MSW or LCSW is highly desirable  
  6. Knowledge of public benefits available to noncitizens of various immigration statuses as well as services provided by community based organizations

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously” 
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Arlene Laxamana, by telephone at 415-734-3321, or by email at Arlene.laxamana@sfgov.org.  

Verification of Education, Experience, and/or License/Certificate:  

Applicants are required to submit verification (proof) of a valid CA driver’s license at the time of filing.

Applicants may be required to submit verification (proof) of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application, examination or departmental selection processes. Verification of work experience must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative. City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) employees do not need to submit verification of their City employment, but must submit written verification of outside experience. San Francisco City and County employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1.

Applicants must submit a photocopy of their degree and/or transcript from an accredited college or university as proof of qualifying education.  Failure to submit verification of education and experience, when requested, may result in the rejection of the application.

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco. 


Selection Procedures

Supplemental Questionnaire: (weight 100%)

Candidates will be prompted to complete a supplemental questionnaire as part of the online employment application process. Candidates will be evaluated and scored based on the information provided in their job application, and supplemental questionnaire to determine their possession of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the 8446 Court Alternative Specialist 1 position. All relevant experience, education and/or training must be on the supplemental questionnaire in order to be reviewed in the rating process.  A passing score must be achieved on the Supplemental Questionnaire in order to be ranked on the eligible list.

Certification Rule: The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be the Rule of 10 Scores (RO10).  Departments may conduct additional selection processes to make final hiring decisions.  

Eligible List: The eligible list resulting from this examination is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission. Information can be found at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#eligiblelists.

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be 12 months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director. Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments which use this classification, please visit: http://www.sfdhr.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentID=13693. Search that document by title or job code to see which departments use the classification.

Conviction History

As a finalist for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a finalist. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are selected as a finalist, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Right to Work: All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Information About the Hiring Process: http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process

Copies of Application Documents: Applicants are advised to keep copies of all documents submitted. Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam record and will not be returned. The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.

Applicants with Disabilities: http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process#applicantswithdisabilities

Reasonable Accommodation Request:  http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#reasonableaccommodation

Veterans Preference Request:  http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process#veteranspreference

Clerical Errors: May be corrected by the posting of the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#announcementsdefinitions

Driver’s License requirement: This position requires maintenance of a valid California’s driver’s license: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#license

Terms of Announcement: Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule.  Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director.  Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.  


Exam Type:  ENTRANCE

Issued:  August 08, 2018

Micki  Callahan

Human Resources Director

Department of Human Resources

Recruitment ID Number: PBT-8446-902984

PDR/ ACL/ 415.734.3321



All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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