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Protective Service Specialists I/II (PCN 06-3170M)

at State of Alaska

Posted: 9/27/2019
Job Status: Full Time
Job Reference #: 2460473
Categories: Customer Service
Keywords: support, service

Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Description

**The recruitment period for this vacancy has been extended.**

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

Effective July 1, 2019 the salary increased for this position the salary listed above reflects this increase

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 Office of Children's Services is recruiting for
Children's Protective Services Specialist I/II positions in
Alaska's South-Central Region

 

Protective Services Specialist applications are being accepted for Generalist positions in the Wasilla Field Office. Broad-spectrum descriptions are below for each of the two functional areas. As a member of Alaska's Office of Children's Services you will contribute to the protection, health and well-being of Alaska's children and their families.

Prior to submitting your application, we ask you to review the below links which will provide you valuable information on Children's Services in Alaska, Tribal Partnerships, and training. Then if you are interested in working together with us toward the ultimate goal of an Alaska where every child can grow into a healthy, happy, productive adult, free from the lasting burdens of abuse and neglect, please apply for the position today!


These positions support multiple communities as required, such as Wasilla, Palmer, Dillingham, Cordova, Homer, Valdez, Dutch Harbor, Port Lions, King Cove and other communities in the state. For additional information on any of these communities (including schools, hospitals, housing) please review the Alaska Community Profiles.
 


The two functional areas of a Protective Services Specialist in the Wasilla Field Office are described below.
 
INITIAL ASSESSMENT – Initial Assessment caseworkers accurately capture the essence of the decision making process once a report of harm has been determined for intervention. At its core, an initial assessment requires the caseworker to go beyond whether the reported allegations are substantiated or not substantiated, but rather to gather information to make an informed assessment about whether the child is unsafe or at high risk by the parent/caregiver. By employing family centered practices, information can more easily be gleaned to learn the extent of the alleged maltreatment, circumstances surrounding the alleged maltreatment, family/adult functioning, child functioning, parenting practices of the parent/caregiver and disciplinary practices of parent/caregiver.  An Initial Assessment caseworker will rotate with other staff to provide after-hours emergency on-call responses to alleged child abuse and neglect situations. 
 
What does a Protective Services Specialist do in Initial Assessments?  They assess the safety of children in families where there have been allegations of abuse and neglect. They not only investigate incidents but conduct in depth assessments of patterns of behavior, impending as well as present danger, parental protective capacities, and the characteristics of children that may place them at risk of abuse and neglect. The Office of Children's Services works on evenings and weekends as well as weekdays, so overtime and on-call work are expectations of our workers.

A family assessment includes reviewing agency records, and interviewing children, parents, relatives, and collateral parties such as educational or medical personnel, to learn whether abuse or neglect of children is present in a family and whether OCS needs to intervene. OCS response may include offering services to the family in the home or assuming custody and placing children outside the home.

The purpose of an OCS assessment is:
  • To see if a child can safely live with his or her family.
  • To determine whether abuse or neglect has occurred in the family, in a single incident or as a pattern of behavior.
  • To determine whether other children in the household are safe.
  • To develop a plan, if needed, to protect children in the household.
 
FAMILY SERVICES – Family Services caseworkers coordinate services to families with children remaining in their home as well as to families whose children have been placed in out-of-home care. The identified safety threats and/or high risk and diminished protective capacities will be reviewed with the family, including age appropriate children and youth and tribal representation if appropriate, and will be used to help inform the case plan. The caseworker will further assess the needs of the child and family members assuring that all safety/risk issues are addressed in the case planning process with the family.  Family Services caseworkers may also perform Initial Assessment duties and will rotate with other staff to provide after-hours emergency on-call responses to alleged child abuse and neglect situations. 
 
What does a Protective Services Specialist do in Family Services?  They work with families with children remaining 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 works first 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. Parents have the right to self-determination.

The Office of Children's Services works on evenings and weekends as well as weekdays, so overtime and on-call work are expectations of our workers. A Protective Services Specialist in the Family Services Unit has a very challenging job that can be stressful at times but there are few occupations that offer more opportunities to learn new things about families, your communities, and yourself.

What is "social work" as it relates to Child Protective Services (CPS)?
  • Assessing the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral capacities of the parents to determine what core issues need to be addressed and changed for them to safely parent their children.
  • Engaging families to identify their own strengths and needs to achieve safety for their children.
  • Building community relationships with Tribal workers, court personnel, counselors, and representatives from various agencies and organizations.
  • Support relatives and foster parents to assure that the needs of children placed in out-of-home care are met.
  • Assessing and recommending the most appropriate long-term plan for children in OCS custody.
 
ON-CALLThe 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 may 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 if a safe caregiver cannot be identified to ensure the safety of a child temporarily until a worker can assess the family during business hours.
 
If custody must be assumed, this is done with the support of the on-call supervisor and at the direction of the Assistant Attorney General's Office who will confirm there are grounds for custody.
 
If custody is assumed, you will be required to notify the court by filing an emergency petition within 24 hours of assuming custody and be present in Court within 48 hours of filing the petition to testify regarding the emergency conditions that necessitated legal intervention.
 
When custody is assumed, the employee will need to make placement of children either in licensed foster care or with a relative following the emergency licensing process, which includes obtaining criminal background checks, searching the Sex Offender Registry, and review of any prior CPS history.
 
WILL I GET TRAININGYou will have a several weeks of training at the beginning and throughout your employment. Your first year in the agency is considered a training period, including formal instruction and on-the-job training with your supervisor.
 
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT? Yes. Protective Services Specialists may be promoted to supervisory positions or administrative positions within the agency.
 
COMPETENCIES of a successful Protective Services Specialist include:  
  1. Working within established deadlines which may require reprioritizing tasks with frequent interruptions due to the nature and volume of the cases, and working flexible hours.
  2. Preparing timely, accurate, and comprehensive court documents as well as testifying in court hearings which will include defending your actions on the case.
  3. Learning about cultures, traditions, and lifestyles different from your own and developing cultural competencies to understand historical trauma and how to determine child safety and well-being within these contexts.
  4. Documenting information gathered by timely and accurate data entry into an Electronic Database Program.
  5. Assessing allegations of child abuse or neglect by inspecting children for signs of abuse and neglect and taking necessary steps to protect children, and being prepared to remove a child from high risk or dangerous situations.
  6. Interviewing case participants to include the reporter, family members, medical professionals and others familiar with the family.
  7. Responding to protective services reports of harm within designated timeframes, including immediately in crisis situations.
  8. Understand and apply established confidentiality and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) rules and regulations to all information you are privy.
  9. Behaving as part of a team, supporting coworkers and accepting supervisory direction.
  10. Utilize email and word processing applications to perform functions such as: composing documents and emails, sending and receiving emails, calendar invitations, creating folders, and file management.
  11. Utilize critical thinking skills to maintain objectivity when working with families in stressful and crisis situations.
  12. Develop positive collaborative relationships and maintain professional behavior with families, foster parents, law enforcement, tribal staff, medical personnel and others who play a role in the assessment and ongoing case management.
  13. Interacting with persons who may be under the influence of alcohol or other substances, or whose behavior is angry, scared, aggressive or offensive.
  14. Educating families to change previous behavior which led to child abuse and/or neglect and empowering clients to identify ways to make those changes.
  15. Complete monthly in home visits with children/parents/caregivers to document ongoing safety and risk assessments, plan for child safety, and strengthen families utilizing community resources with the goal for them to function without external intervention and helping them to navigate the child protection processes.
  16. Talking frankly with families about matters which they may consider personal and private such as parenting methods, sex abuse, domestic violence, and use of alcohol and drugs.
  17. Excellent oral and written communication and critical thinking skills, as well as the ability to work independently.
  18. Ability and willingness to be transparent regarding your work with case collaterals and team members as well as with the families with whom you work.
  19. Other duties as assigned.
Special Note
  • All positions require a valid Alaska driver's license and successful completion of a background investigation, including fingerprinting and a criminal records check.
  • Relocation reimbursement may be considered by the State of Alaska for this job to the above location. Please inquire at the time of job offering.
  • 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 duties for a Protective Services Specialist I/II please go to the following link:
https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/Alaska/classspecs

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.

Substitution:
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 paraprofessional experience (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;
AND EITHER
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;
OR
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.

Substitution:
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 paraprofessional experience (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

At the time of interview applicant must submit:

  • Copy of your two (2) most recent performance appraisals; if unavailable, two (2) documented supervisor letters of reference may be substituted.
  • A list of three (3) professional references including daytime telephone numbers and email address; at least two (2) of these must be from a current or former supervisor.
    • Professional is defined as a supervisor or an individual who has direct knowledge of your work performance.
    • If applicable, please have one of your professional references be a tribal member who can speak to your knowledge of working with tribal communities and ICWA.
FLEXIBLY STAFFED 
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.

EDUCATION
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.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR FOREIGN EDUCATION
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.

WORK EXPERIENCE
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 is not an alternative to filling out the application in its entirety. Noting "see resume" 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.

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

MULTIPLE VACANCIES
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.

APPLICATION NOTICE
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: http://doa.alaska.gov/dop/workplace/help/

NOTICE
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 'govermentjobs.com' domains.  For information on allowing emails from the 'governmentjobs.com' domains, visit the Lost Password Help page located at https://www.governmentjobs.com/OnlineApplication/User/ResetPassword

EEO STATEMENT
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 1-800-587-4095 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

WORKPLACE ALASKA APPLICATION QUESTIONS & ASSISTANCE
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 recruitment.services@alaska.gov.

For applicant password assistance please visit: https://www.governmentjobs.com/OnlineApplication/User/ResetPassword

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

Name: Jennifer McLaughlin
Phone: (907) 352-8704
Fax: (907) 357-9763
Email: Jennifer.Mclaughlin@alaska.gov