Social Worker III (#344020)
$44.84-$54.51 Hourly / $7,773.06-$9,448.20 Monthly / $93,276.72-$113,378.44 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Under general direction, performs the most responsible and difficult casework dealing with highly complex individual and family problems in Child Welfare Services and Adult Protective Services which frequently involve court ordered actions; petitions the court for appropriate orders related to clients; investigates abuse, neglect, and exploitation allegations; performs diagnostic assessment to determine whether risk supports removal from the current environment; develops treatment and service plan; provides case consultation and ongoing casework management of related cases; arranges for treatment and services; maintains records related to client services; and performs related duties as required.


Factors used in assigning positions to classes in the social services classes include: complexity, sensitivity and difficulty of casework problems; duration and level of casework intervention and therapy; authority for decision-making; likelihood and consequence of error; the emergency or crisis nature of services; intensity and duration of involvement in legal processes; degree of supervision received; and lead/consultative responsibilities for other professional staff.  Assignment of positions to the highest level classes in the series is dependent on the duration, frequency, scope, and amount of time involved in these more complex, difficult duties.  Incidental, infrequent, and backup duties do not support assignment to the highest level classes.  Attachment A describes the types of assignments associated with each level of class within the social services class series. 

The Social Worker III is an expert level class in the social worker class series.  Entrance into this practitioner level class requires extensive social worker experience and extensive theoretical or academic background.  Incumbents work under consultative supervision and independently perform casework duties involving legally mandated matters affecting adults and children.  Assignments are often characterized by specialized casework, time limitations and responsibility imposed by the legal system in a wide range of highly sensitive investigations and interventions required by life threatening circumstances. Final disposition of cases is often subject to court approval and review by higher level supervisory staff. 

The work is characterized by the application of professional casework theories and techniques in casework predominantly involving acute and critical conditions.  Progression into the Social Worker III class is contingent on assignment of the most complex duties in Child Welfare Services and Adult Protective Services which often involve representation of the agency in legal proceedings. 

The Social Worker III class is distinguished from the Social Worker II class in that the latter class is the journey level in the Social Worker class series, with responsibility to assist other staff in the performance of casework duties.

Examples of Duties

Investigates allegations of adult or child abuse, neglect or exploitation; diagnoses home environment, individual functioning, and family dynamics; assesses risk and determines if removal from the environment is necessary; makes arrangements for other temporary care arrangements.

Interviews clients to gather information concerning social history, medical condition, and client’s current need for social services; evaluates problems presented; evaluates client and family situations to determine the extent of treatment and social service needs of clients.

Performs initial intake screening; assesses need and urgency of response; determines suitability of specified services and potential need for referral to other service providers; monitors delivery of treatment and social services; and evaluates client capacity for independent living.

Participates in team consultation to match children with prospective adoptive parents; determines suitability of applicants for adoption; investigates home environment; counsels adoptive parents and children to assess and provide for needed support services.

Determines need to involve law enforcement officials or the authority of the judiciary in accordance with laws, regulations and department policy; prepares court reports and legal documents; obtains police, medical, and psychological reports to substantiate recommendations; testifies and/or presents case investigative findings; may act as court officer and participate in out-of-court settlements.

Utilizing psychosocial principles, develops and modifies treatment and service plans; carries out court ordered actions for either adult or children.

Screens and refers clients to a variety of agency services; provides information and assistance to clients; interprets rules and regulations to applicants, clients, relatives and the general public.

Provides counseling services for adults, children and their families; counsels clients to enhance social functioning and makes referrals as appropriate to other services, workers and departments; monitors progress toward delineated objectives.

Places adults or children in appropriate care facilities and makes permanency planning recommendations.

Participates as a full contributor in individual and group support counseling to enhance level of social functioning and independent living utilizing a variety of support counseling modalities and social rehabilitation techniques.

Provides self-help information, education and services; coaches and guides clients into consideration of viable alternatives.

Makes arrangements for the provision of services to clients by other providers and transportation of clients to other service providers.

On behalf of client, acts as liaison and advocate between relatives, guardians, employers, physicians, and other service providers.

Conducts on-site visits and evaluation of suitability of services and facilities provided by other organizations under agreement with the agency.

Processes applications for service and assistance from prospective adoptive parents, families, and unmarried mothers; recruits, studies and selects adoptive homes; aids parents and institutional staff in meeting needs of adults or children.

Matches children with prospective foster and adoptive parents; determines suitability of parents; investigates home environment of prospective parents; develops a permanent plan and recommendations based upon an analysis of individual, physical and psycho-social needs.

Assists in developing community resources when necessary to carry out case plans, particularly in relation to service provision for specified segments of the community.

Provides program information to individuals and community groups to foster understanding of social aspects of environmental, emotional and physical problems and methods to alleviate these problems.

Prepares petitions for court orders on detention, placement, dependency, conservatorship and adoptions; maintains casework records, court and other evaluative reports, related files and correspondence; manages a full special caseload within specified time and procedural constraints.

Assists in the preparation and revision of reports and correspondence and maintains a variety of documentation, such as charting observed behaviors, treatment plan objectives, progress reports, discharge summaries, incident reports, and other data.

Attends and participates in a variety of internal and external meetings such as daily service team discussions, inter-disciplinary case conferences, inter-agency meetings, etc.

Confers and coordinates work with County Counsel, caseworkers, mental health staff, probation officers, community and support services, and appropriate referrals for clients; works with other agencies to obtain information, coordinate services, determine appropriate venue for service, provide training about provided services, and related matters.

Assists clients with paperwork and enrollment procedures for various services, benefits, treatment and social support programs.

Applies appropriate methods and techniques in dealing with difficult clients; assists in maintaining safety, security and sanitation of facilities.

May operate vehicles to transport clients or to perform field duties of monitoring service provision, working with staff or clients at other sites, and/or to coordinate with other agencies.

Utilize interdisciplinary team approach in coordinating and conferring with attorneys, caseworkers, probation officers, mental health professionals, health professionals, community and support services.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of :

  • Principles, practices and techniques of adult and/or child protective services social work; legal processes related to child and/or adult welfare services.
  • Socio-economic and psychological social behavior affecting individual behavior, social functioning and behavioral abnormalities.
  • Dynamics of human behavior including child development, parenting, family dynamics, and aging.
  • Principles, methods and techniques utilized in a variety of interviewing, diagnostic assessments, and various counseling modalities; and investigative research methods.
  • Psychosocial, medical, economic relationships contributing to socio-pathology.
  • Methods of case management and record-keeping.
  • Functions, responsibilities, services and activities of public health and welfare agencies.
  • Other private and non-profit community organizations, resources, and social problems.
  • Availability of and procedures for obtaining a wide variety of community and governmental services and resources.
  • Requirements of public assistance, employment and social programs.
  • Techniques of outreach in a targeted community or population.
  • Factors affecting social service clients including barriers to employment, home and financial management, family planning, medical needs assessment, substance abuse, and social functioning.
  • Techniques for dealing with individuals from a variety of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds including those with physical disabilities and emotional problems.
  • Use of automated equipment and standard office support applications software related to the work.

Ability to :

  • Interview a variety of people in often-stressful situations involving clients with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, temperaments, and mental capabilities.
  • Recognize factors causing reaction or changes in client’s condition or behavior; assess undefined and complex problems; identify immediate and potential risk of children and/or adults in abusive family situations and other living situations.
  • Provide emergency response; take action to minimize the risk of child and/or adult abuse including temporary or permanent removal from the current care environment.
  • Determine when to involve law enforcement and judicial officials in cases.
  • Prepare case reports and legal documents necessary to effectuate case recommendations.
  • Determine suitability of out-of-home, foster care, and adoption placements.
  • Encourage clients to progress toward independent living and social functioning.
  • Recognize and make referrals to other providers of employment and social services.
  • Understand, interpret and apply complex social services technical materials and applicable laws, codes and regulations.
  • Analyze client situations and needs in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Develop, prepare and implement treatment and service plans.
  • Prepare appropriate case files, legal and casework documentation including the recording of relevant information.
  • Interpret and apply complex laws, rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Prepare complex and detailed reports and records and maintain confidentiality of information.
  • Communicate orally and in written format and interact in situations requiring instructional, persuasive, consultative, counseling and motivational skills.
  • Provide training, guidance and consultation to support staff.
  • Assist in controlling angry or combative clients.
  • Work in stressful, emotional and confrontational situations; respond appropriately in crisis situations.
  • Deal effectively with clients of various ages and socio-economic and cultural groups including those with physical and/or emotional problems.
  • Work as a member of a multi-disciplinary service providing team.
  • Recognize and respect limits of authority and responsibility; maintain confidentiality of information.
  • Establish and maintain professional relationships with clients, children, representatives or the community served, employees of County departments, professional staff, and other agencies and the public.

Education and Experience

 Either I

  1. Two years of experience equivalent to the Social Worker II in Solano County.


  1. Equivalent to graduation from a four-year accredited college or university with coursework that has preferably included thirty (30) semester units in social welfare, sociology, psychology, counseling, gerontology, vocational guidance or other related behavioral science. AND
  2. Three years of experience performing professional level social work with a public social services agency or private social services provider. (Preferably including substantial experience with abused/neglected children and/or adults)


  1. Possession of a Master’s degree in Social Services (MSW) or a two year graduate level counseling degree emphasizing marriage, family and child counseling, gerontology, or clinical psychology. (Both the MSW and the two-year counseling degree must have included supervised fieldwork or an internship)  This requirement may be met by a letter from an accredited college or university that states current enrollment in a Master’s degree program and confirms graduation with a Master’s degree in Social Services (MSW) will be conferred within three (3) months. AND
  2. Two years of experience performing social work with a public social services agency or private social services provider. (Preferably including substantial experience with abused/neglected children and/or adults).  This requirement may be met by completion of a two (2) year social work internship through an accredited college or university.    


If hired under condition III with a letter confirming graduation within three (3) months under experience and education, proof of graduation (copy of transcripts or degree verifying date degree conferred) from a Master’s degree program must be received within three (3) months from the date of hire.  Failure to submit proof of completion of master’s degree within three (3) months of appointment will be cause for release from probation. 
Driver’s License: Possession of or ability to obtain a valid California Class C Driver’s License may be required at the time of appointment.  Loss of the Class C Driver’s License is a cause for discipline.  Individuals who do not meet this driver’s license requirement due to a physical disability will be considered for accommodation on a case-by-case basis. 
Assignment Requirements: Some positions in these classes may require work in an out-station location or in a setting with other professionals integrated as a team. Some positions may require on-call and weekend work to assist in providing emergency response services.


TYPICAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Sit for extended periods; frequently stand and walk; sufficient manual dexterity to perform repetitive motion in various duties such as: keyboarding, writing, filing, reaching and grasping above shoulder level; normal eye-hand coordination; body strength sufficient to lift and carry case files; corrected vision to normal range to read fine print and computer screen; corrected hearing to speak and hear sufficiently to communicate clearly over the telephone and in person; ability to use office equipment including telephones, calculators, copiers, facsimile, computers, and other related peripheral equipment such as printers and scanners.  Some assignments may require strength to lift and move clients with appropriate assistance and color vision to distinguish medications and laboratory results.

TYPICAL WORKING CONDITIONS: Work is performed in a variety of office, clinic and field environments and includes continuous contact with staff and the public; may  be required to enter private homes to make family home visits for purpose of investigation; work involves stressful situations and includes dealing with erratic and sometimes threatening behavior; may travel to community areas, including out of county locations, that are potentially dangerous where there is exposure to potential bodily injury, infections which may cause chronic disease or death; offensive odors; high noise levels; insect bites; dust and pollens.


Travel:  Independent travel may be required to various work sites and client residences. 
Background Investigation: Candidates for some positions in this class will be required to pass a background investigation in accordance with applicable law, regulation, and/or policy. 
Compliance Agreements: Selectees for employment must, as a condition of employment, sign a statement agreeing to comply with mandatory child and elder abuse reporting, drug free workforce, and confidentiality. 

CLASS: 344020; REV: 4/1/2005;