Social Worker I (#RS3401)
$23.93-$29.09 Hourly / $4,147.83-$5,041.71 Monthly / $49,773.99-$60,500.60 Yearly


Under close supervision, learns and provides basic social casework and related services to clients in a public social services program within the Human Services Agency; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This is the entry level in the Social Worker series.  Incumbents at this level are expected to possess basic skills that can be applied to the social services environment that have been generally gained through a bachelor’s level education.  Positions may be assigned to any of the social service program areas such as In Home Supportive Services, Independent Living Program, Licensing, Adult Services or Child Protective Services, where incumbents receive the training necessary to perform basic social casework, counseling, and related activities with limited independent judgment and authority.  The specific duties and assignments given to an incumbent may vary depending upon area of assignment.  The positions assigned to protective services may have a reduced number of cases of lesser complexity.  Incumbents initially work under close supervision, however, as experience is gained, all incumbents at this level are expected to perform duties more independently.  This class is multi-allocated and incumbents usually promote to the higher level of the assigned program upon meeting minimum qualifications, Civil Service requirements, and when satisfactory performance has been demonstrated.


  • Learns to provide services and supervise a caseload  of clients requiring social services, depending upon area of assignment and individualized employee training plan.
  • Learns to assess basic social, physical and mental needs of clients to provide basic social services; interviews clients in their homes, in the office, or via telephone to assess their needs and problems; evaluates individual and family case information; determines appropriate types and methods of treatment; initiates long- or short-term treatment plans; makes referrals to other agencies, organizations, or divisions within the department when appropriate; works with service providers to meet client needs; and advocates on behalf of clients. 
  • Learns to research, evaluate, develop, and carry out, in cooperation with the client, financial and basic social treatment plans; assesses and evaluates progress in case plan. 
  • Learns to make home visits to assess housing and health conditions and family relationships; learns to recognize suspected abuse and/or neglect and depending upon area of assignment, may handle such cases or refer to appropriate unit. 
  • Learns to investigate referrals and provide services to clients where their physical or emotional welfare is involved; provides services for individuals incapable of protecting themselves.
  • Coordinates service plans with supervisor, eligibility workers, service providers, and other agencies.
  • Learns to prepare case records, reports, and correspondence, including documents for the Courts, and maintains appropriate controls; utilizes computer systems to input and retrieve information related to social service cases.
  • Learns to interpret and communicate policies, rules, and regulations of the department to clients, service providers, and the general public within the scope of responsibility; confers with supervisor regarding caseload problems.
  • May attend court proceedings and testify in court.
  • May learn to recruit and evaluate foster homes, boarding homes, and daycare facilities and recommend for licensing.


Education:  Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university, preferably with a major in social work, behavioral science, sociology, psychology, counseling, or a closely related social/human services field.

License:  Possession of a valid California driver’s license.


Basic principles of individual and group behavior; principles, practices, and techniques of social work; general principles of psychology and sociology; principles of interviewing and problem solving methodology; contemporary social and economic conditions and trends; general principles of public assistance policies and programs; personal computer systems; and principles of report writing.


Learn to interpret complex laws and regulations and apply them appropriately in management of assigned caseload; 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 to obtain facts and recognize relevant and significant information and details; learn to establish caseload priorities to meet client needs and agency expectations; organize and maintain work detail; write clear and concise reports; learn to analyze and evaluate situations; learn to reason logically and draw valid conclusions; establish and maintain client rapport on an individual basis; seek advice from higher level supervisors and professional staff; accept and utilize supervision and training in achieving agency goals; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; and operate a computer.


Mobility-Frequent operation of computers; repetitive motion; sitting for extended periods; walking; frequent driving may be required; Lifting-Ability to frequently lift 5 pounds or less; occasionally 5 to 60 pounds; Vision-Constant good overall vision and reading/close-up work; frequent color perception and use of eye/hand coordination; occasional use of depth perception and peripheral vision; Dexterity-Normal dexterity with frequent writing and repetitive motions; Hearing/Talking-Frequent hearing and talking on the telephone and in person; Emotional/Psychological-Constant public contact; decision making and concentration, frequently working alone; exposure to trauma, grief and death; occasional exposure to noise, emergency situations; Special Requirements-Some assignments may require occasional weekends/nights, overtime, and travel.

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: RS3401; EST: 2/13/2003; REV: 5/8/2024;