Shelter Social Worker (#RS1075)
$30.69-$37.31 Hourly / $5,320.43-$6,467.02 Monthly / $63,845.22-$77,604.26 Yearly


Under general supervision performs responsible professional social work for troubled, abused, and/or neglected youth in a residential care facility; provides advanced and specialized support for satellite shelter/foster homes; identifies and oversees the release and transfer of children who would benefit from appropriate satellite/foster homes; and does related and other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the professional social worker class in the Shelter Counselor series. Incumbents provide support to various dependent children's care facilities, but are primarily assigned to work in satellite offices and in the field, and may be temporarily assigned to a rotational position to back-fill on the units. This class requires considerable knowledge and skill in assessing the needs of individual children. It is distinguished from Shelter Counselor II by its professional qualifications and its specialized focus in facilitating satellite/foster home placements for children, as well as the incumbents' responsibility for field interactions and oversight of foster families.


  • Identifies behaviors and special needs of dependent children; develops profiles of children's needs; makes referrals to appropriate agencies on children's behalf; identifies satellite/foster homes to meet child's needs.
  • Meets with satellite/foster families to review children's case histories and to ensure appropriate placements; prepares children for transfer to satellite/foster homes; certifies satellite/foster homes as needed.
  • Maintains regular contact with satellite/foster families through telephone and home visits; assesses, monitors, and instructs satellite/foster care providers; reports problems with satellite/foster families to appropriate licensing agencies.
  • Lists, and tracks authorized persons for visitations with children; coordinates visits with children; obtains needed authorization for medical treatment.
  • Responds to after hour emergency calls; takes and records information related to child abuse complaints and allegations; responds to calls involving the death of a child.
  • May provide transportation for children to appointments, satellite homes, and interviews.
  • Prepares, updates, and maintains a variety of forms, files, charts, logs, passports, school and medical records related to children's intake, release, and placement; initiates payments to foster families; compiles statistical data.
  • Participates in planning and coordinating parties, picnics, and other events/activities for children; obtains items to meet children's special needs.
  • Conducts resource meetings and presents training to new staff; participates in recruitment seminars and staff meetings; serves on panels and committees; may provide short-term back-up assistance in a rotational assignment on the units.


Education: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university.

Experience: Three (3) years providing social service work for children in a children’s shelter, group home or similar setting; or providing social casework for children and families. 

Note: Individuals employed in the San Joaquin County class of Group Counselor I-DCH and assigned to the Satellite Program at the time of adoption of this specification (October 11, 2000) may waive the above education and experience requirements. 

License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license. Special Requirement: Must pass fingerprinting as required by State Law. 

Certificates: Must obtain certification in Basic First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) within the first six months of employment and maintain such certification during employment. 

Note: Employees at Mary Graham Children’s Shelter are subject to the authority, rules, regulations, standards, and approval of the Community Care Licensing Authority (CCL) of the California Department of Social Services. In addition to the above minimum qualifications, as a condition of employment, approval of the CCL is required for both initial appointment and for continued employment at MGCS.


Licensing requirements and regulations related to children's satellite/foster homes; community resources; referral procedures; basic medical terminology, childhood illnesses, special needs, conditions, and treatment; basic math; proper English usage including grammar, spelling, and punctuation; assessment methods and techniques; signs of abuse, neglect, anorexia, bulimia and gang activity; special needs, problems, and concerns of at-risk children including substance exposed infants; court procedures related to child placements; stages of child development; age appropriate behavior modification techniques; counseling and interviewing techniques; guidelines and standards related to the care and treatment of children.


Accurately evaluate the special needs, behaviors, and problems of children in determining the appropriateness of foster home placement; protect the confidentiality of dependent children and their families; gather and assemble needed documents and prepare paperwork; drive a county vehicle to complete assigned duties; use and operate a variety of office equipment and machines including computer hardware, software, and applications related to assigned duties; coordinates training in the operation of child car seats, apnea monitors, Nebulizers, nature's cradles, vaporizers, humidifiers, thermometers, and scales; model desired behaviors; implement behavior modification techniques; design and develop foster family recruitment materials, posters, handouts, and related materials; work independently; accurately analyze situations using good judgment to determine when early intervention is needed; adopt effective course of action which meets the child's needs and best interests; match children with appropriate foster parents to meet their needs; compose, prepare, and maintain a variety of records, reports, logs, and other written documents; make public presentations; provide support to satellite/foster families; ensure that foster child's physical, emotional, medical, and developmental needs are met while in foster care; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective relationships with those contacted in the performance of duties.


Mobility-Constant walking; frequent driving and climbing stairs; occasional operation of keyboards, pushing/pulling, bending/squatting and running; Lifting-Frequent lifting of heavy objects or people; occasionally able to lift 5-70 pounds; Vision-Constant use of good overall vision and field of vision/peripheral; frequent reading/close-up work and eye/hand coordination; occasional depth and color perception; Dexterity-Frequent writing and reaching, occasional grasping, holding, and repetitive motion; Hearing/Talking-Constant talking/hearing in person; frequent hearing/talking on the telephone; Emotional/Psychological-Constant concentration and working weekends and nights; frequent decision making, public contact and dealing with emergency situations; occasional exposure to hazardous materials, trauma, grief and death; Environmental-Constant exposure to noise.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RS1075; EST: 10/11/2000; REV: 9/10/2003;