Alaska Department of Administration

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Protective Services Specialist I/II (PCN 06-3048)

at Alaska Department of Administration

Posted: 10/4/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 2517865
Categories: Other/General
Keywords: online

Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Description


This position is open to Alaska Residents only.
Please check our residency definition to determine if you qualify.

This position will be filled at either the I or II level depending on the applicant's qualifications and job experience.
It is recommended that you apply for all levels if you are qualified.

The Department of Health & Social Services, Office of Children's Services (OCS) is recruiting for a full-time Protective Service Specialist I/II located in the Sitka Field Office. The incumbent in this position acts in a generalist role (Initial Assessments and Family Services work). 

The Alaska Office of Children's Services is contributing every day to the protection, health and wellbeing of Alaskans and their families. If you are interested in joining us in our mission, please take a moment to view our recruitment video and also visit our website. Then review the Key Responsibilities, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for the position and apply today!

OCS practice is based on the following Guiding Principles:
  • A child's safety is paramount.
  • A determination that safety threats are present with a family does not equate with removal. It directs staff to make informed decisions about safety planning that will control the threats. These actions may be in-home, out-of-home, or a combination of the two.
  • Collaboration with Alaska Native tribes is fundamental to best practice.
  • Families are treated respectfully, thoughtfully and as genuine partners.
  • A person's right to self-determination should be valued and supported.
  • A safety intervention system is congruent with strengths based and family centered practice. Safety is what we do; family centered practice is how we do it.
  • Needed interventions are based on family engagement, using the family's perspective about what their needs and strengths are.
  • By engaging in a collaborative problem solving process with the family, case plans will be specific to the uniqueness of each family served.
  • Building parent/caregiver protective capacities are essential for the ability of families to protect their children.
  • Relevant services will be sought with respect for and understanding of the families' culture.
  • OCS needs partnerships within the community and stakeholders to achieve strong outcomes for children and families.

This position requires the incumbent to travel to remote areas in small aircraft and have occasional overnight stays in rustic conditions with some exposure to extreme weather conditions in the winter. You may also have the opportunity to assist other field offices within the Southeastern Region for a few days on an as-needed basis.

Initial Assessment:
A Protective Services Specialist in the Initial Assessments Unit will investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. They are tasked with determining what happened, assessing future risk within the family, and taking appropriate action in order to ensure safety. An Initial Assessment caseworker will rotate with other staff to provide after-hours, emergency, and on-call responses to alleged child abuse and neglect situations.
Essential Job Functions
  • Determining if a child can live safely with his or her family.
  • Responding to reports of harm to children within designated timeframes, including immediately in crisis situations.
  • Investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect and taking the necessary steps to protect children.
  • Assessing children for signs of abuse or neglect both physically and non-physically. This may involve serious injuries or exposure to extreme circumstances.
  • Interviewing and gathering information from family members, community members, law enforcement, and others who have knowledge of the family in order to determine if abuse or neglect happened and if further intervention is necessary.
  • Develop a plan, if needed, to keep the child or children safe. Recommend services for the child and family to reduce the risk of further abuse or neglect.
Family Services
A Protective Services Specialist in Family Services will work with families whose children remain in their home as well as families whose children have been placed in out-of-home care. In collaboration with families, plans are developed to work on the underlying issues that resulted in the children being unsafe or at high risk of abuse or neglect. Family services workers continually assess child safety and family functioning to determine progress towards the child and family's goals. OCS initially works to reunify children with their parents or caregivers; when that is not possible, other permanency goals such as guardianship, adoption, or other permanent living arrangements are considered in an effort to meet the needs of the child.
Family engagement is critical to laying the foundation to build trust and solid working relationships with family, community partners, and service providers. The engagement process must take into account the culture of the family and help the family to identify all potential support systems to better assist them to be active participants in their family's problem solving.
Essential Job Functions
  • Engage with families to identify their protective capacities through the development of a case plan, which will aide in the mitigation of safety concerns.
  • Evaluate and recommend appropriate actions necessary to resolve family dynamics that may have led to situations of abuse or neglect.
  • Refer families to community resources and services identified to strengthen families while maintaining child safety.
  • Conduct home visits to assess the safety and well-being of children, while identifying any needs or concerns.
  • Compose professionally written and timely court reports, prepare and provide testimony, and attend all required court hearings for families.
  • Work to identify permanent living situations for children/youth that have been unable to safely reunify with the caregivers they were removed from.

The work we perform is critical and significantly impacts the communities we serve. Our regular office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 5:00PM; these hours necessitate the need for staggered work hours, as well as evening, weekends, holidays, overtime and on-call work, as needed.

The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) to be successful as a Protective Services Specialist include but are not limited to the following:
  • Ability to effectively communicate and build positive relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, personalities, cultures, education levels, communicative abilities, and with varied goals and objectives through strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Investigate reports of abuse and/or neglect, conducting thorough assessments of families through interviews and information gathering.
  • Ability to develop positive collaborative relationships and maintain professional behavior with families, foster parents, law enforcement, departmental staff, tribal staff, medical personnel and others who play a role in the assessment and ongoing case management.
  • Gather information about family dynamics/functioning, develop written plans to keep children safe/assist parents in changing behavior; prepare plans of intervention by soliciting the cooperation of the family and others.
  • Provide ongoing and/or in-home services to families, documenting all ongoing safety and risk assessments.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency, an appreciation for other cultures, and a desire to learn about Alaska Native tribes, laws and lifestyles to better understand their historical trauma and to determine child safety within these contexts.
  • Remove children from parents when necessary, placing the child with a relative or in foster care.
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to document information in a timely manner, utilize email and computer applications to perform work functions; all while being able to adapt in a fast paced work environment which may require reprioritizing tasks with frequent interruptions due to the nature and volume of our work.
  • Excellent writing skills, ability to accurately document information.
  • Interacting with persons who may be under the influence of alcohol or other substances, or whose behavior is angry, scared, aggressive or offensive.
To better understand the work of a Protective Services Specialist, please view the video links provided below, prior to applying for the position:
The successful candidate will rotate with other eligible staff to provide after-hours, emergency, on-call responses to alleged child abuse and neglect situations.
Employees with at least six months' experience will be expected to be in the on-call rotation, which consists of being available by phone for seven days at a time during non-business hours. Occasionally, you many need to go out and make initial contact with a family to assess concerns for child safety either at a home, hospital or another site. At times, you will be required to assume custody of children who are identified as unsafe.
Will I get training?
Your first year in the agency is considered a training period, including formal instruction and on-the-job training with your supervisor.

The successful candidate will be required, expenses paid, to attend training courses in Anchorage. Mentorship
Are there opportunities for career advancement?
Yes. Protective Services Specialist may be promoted to supervisory positions or administrative positions with the agency.
Conditions of Employment
You must have a valid Alaska Driver's License. You will have a criminal background check, including fingerprinting and a criminal records check.
To learn more about the Office of Children's Services please visit the following websites:
If you have Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities that are similar to those outlined above, we want to hear from you!
  • Relocation costs are not provided by the State of Alaska.
  • For positions in this job class, a child protective history check will be performed per AS 12.62.160 and/or 13 AAC 68.315.
To view the general description and example of duties for an
Protective Services Specialist I/II please go to the following link:

Minimum Qualifications

Protective Services Specialist I
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a major in a social, behavioral or health science, law or a related field.

Four years of any combination of postsecondary education (3 semester/ 4 quarter hours equal 1 month of experience) in a social, behavioral or health science, law  or a related field and/or technical experience (at any level) providing assistance, information or referrals to the public related to social services, health care or legal services may substitute for the bachelor's degree.

Special Note:
Some positions require a valid Alaska driver's license and/or a background investigation including fingerprinting. These requirements will be indicated at the time of recruitment.

Protective Services Specialist II
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a major in a social, behavioral or health science, law or a related field;
One year of trainee level professional experience in child, adult, family, or group social work. This is met by experience as a Protective Services Specialist I with the State of Alaska or the equivalent elsewhere;
One year of full proficiency experience in child, adult, family, or group case management, licensing, and/or probation work. This may be met by any combination of experience as a Community Care Licensing Specialist I, Adult Probation Officer II, Adult Probation Officer II ASAP, Juvenile Probation Officer II or Investigator II with the State of Alaska or the equivalent elsewhere.

Four years of any combination of postsecondary education (3 semester/ 4 quarter hours equal 1 month of experience) in a social, behavioral or health science, law  or a related field and/or technical experience (at any level) providing assistance, information or referrals to the public related to social services, health care or legal services may substitute for the bachelor's degree.

Special Note:
Some positions require a valid Alaska driver's license and/or a background investigation including fingerprinting. These requirements will be indicated at the time of recruitment.

Additional Required Information

This position is flexibly staffed. This vacancy may be filled at either the I or II level, depending on the applicant's training and/or experience. The full range of salaries is listed above. Starting salary will be determined by the level the position is hired at. If filled at Level I, promotion to the Level II will occur upon successful completion of the probationary period and required training, as well as the applicant meeting the minimum qualifications of the higher job class.

A cover letter is required.  The cover letter must describe your knowledge, skills, abilities, as they pertain to the job description listed above. Please attach the cover letter as a separate document to your application before applying online. If unable to attach to your application, email or fax the cover letter to the contact number provided in the job posting prior to the closing date of this recruitment.  Your cover letter will be used to determine which applicants will advance to the interview phase of the recruitment and selection process. Omission of any required documentation will result in an incomplete application and you will not receive further consideration.

To verify education being used to meet the required minimum qualifications, you must fill in the Education section of the application. If you have not obtained a degree, please indicate the number of units completed. Copies of transcripts are required to verify educational credentials being used to meet the minimum qualifications for a position and are required with each application.  (Unofficial are okay, please ensure that the institution/URL name is listed on the transcripts). Transcripts can be attached at the time of application, provided at the time of interview, or if/when requested prior to scheduling an interview.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the above requirements, if applicable. If utilizing this education you must show that the education credentials have been submitted to a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials and that such education has been deemed to be at least equivalent to that gained in conventional U.S. education programs; or an accredited U.S. state university reports the other institution as one whose transcript is given full value, or full value is given in subject areas applicable to the curricula at the state university. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying.  Omission of required documentation listed will result in an incomplete application and you will not receive further consideration.

When using work experience not already documented in your application, please provide the employer name, your job title, dates of employment, and whether full-or part-time. Applications will be reviewed to determine if the responses are supported and minimum qualifications are clearly met. Work experience needed to meet the minimum qualifications must be documented in the application.  If the application does not support minimum qualifications, the applicant may not advance to the interview and selection phase of the recruitment.  A resume will not be used to determine that minimum qualifications have been met for the position in which you are applying. 

If you are currently or previously been appointed to a flexibly staffed position please ensure your work experience within a flexibly staffed position indicates the actual dates employed at each level.  Ensure your time and any subsequent flex promotion(s) are documented as a separate position.  This is required as there are minimum qualifications that require experience at a particular level in which the lower level may not be considered. If this information is not accurately reflected in your application this may cause the processing of your application for consideration to be delayed.

NOTE: Attaching a resume or curriculum vitae is not an alternative to filling out the application in its entirety. Noting "see resume or CV" or any similar response on any portion of your application may lead to a determination your application is incomplete and removal from consideration for this job posting.

The State of Alaska does not provide VISA Employer sponsorships.

This position is open to Alaska Residents only. Please check our residency definition to determine if you qualify.

This recruitment may be used for more than one (1) vacancy. The applicant pool acquired during this recruitment may be used for future vacancies for up to ninety (90) days after this recruitment closes. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply to each recruitment notice to ensure consideration for all vacancies.

You can ONLY apply for this position through the Workplace Alaska website or via hardcopy application. If you accessed this recruitment bulletin through a job search portal such as ALEXsys or any other database, you MUST use a Workplace Alaska online or hardcopy application to successfully apply. Instructions on how to apply with Workplace Alaska may be found on the Workplace Alaska "How to Apply" webpage, found here:

Questions regarding the application process can be directed to the Workplace Alaska hotline at 800-587-0430 (toll free) or (907) 465- 4095. If you choose to be contacted by email, please ensure your email address is correct on your application and that the spam filter will permit email from the '' domains.  For information on allowing emails from the '' domains, visit the Lost Password Help page located at

The State of Alaska complies with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Individuals with disabilities, who require accommodation, auxiliary aides or services, or alternative communication formats, please call 1-800-587-0430 or (907) 465-4095 in Juneau or TTY: Alaska Relay 711 or 1-800-770-8973 or correspond with the Division of Personnel & Labor Relations at: P.O. Box 110201, Juneau, AK 99811-0201. The State of Alaska is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact Information

Questions regarding application submission or system operation errors should be directed to the Workplace Alaska hotline at 1-800-587-0430 (toll free) or (907) 465-4095 if you are located in the Juneau area. Requests for information may also be emailed to

For applicant password assistance please visit:

For specific information in reference to the position please contact the hiring manager at:

Name: Aundra Murdoch
Phone: (907) 465-1209
Fax: (907) 465-1669