Senior Social Worker – Children and Family Services

US Government, Social Services Agency

Children and Family Services Specialty
In addition to performance-based merit increases, this position is scheduled to receive salary range increases on the following dates: 
Effective June 28, 2024 – 4.25% increase
Effective June 27, 2025 – 4.00% increase


 Salary may be negotiable within the range listed above, based on position requirements and successful candidate’s qualifications, subject to appropriate authorization.


 This recruitment is open to the public for a minimum of five (5) business days and will remain open on a continuous basis until 11:59 p.m. (PST) when the needs of the County are met.  Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.  The Eligible List established from this recruitment will be used to fill current and future Senior Social Worker vacancies until the next recruitment.
Do you have what it takes to be a Senior Social Worker? 
The Children and Family Services is hiring candidates who are passionate, empathetic, resilient, and dedicated to partner with families ensuring children live in a safe, nurturing and permanent homes.*************************************************************************************************************************************************************

The County of Orange,Social Services Agency (SSA) Senior Social Workers (SSW) are responsible for the identification, assessment and treatment of a variety of complex social issues associated with such areas as child abuse, domestic abuse violence, substance abuse, dependency, adoptions, guardianship, protective services and individual and/or family social functioning. Senior Social Workers analyze, evaluate and treat individuals and families facing a variety of social and economic challenges.

Click below video link to learn more about the Senior Social Worker position.

The current vacancies are within the following Programs within Children and Family Services (CFS) Division programs:

  • CFS Child Abuse & Adult Protection Hotline-The SSW in this program answers calls from the community regarding allegations of abuse/neglect to children and dependent adults.  Assigned SSW’s assess calls to determine if the report meets the requirement for investigation according to the law.
  • CFS Court Programs – The SSW in this program represents Children and Family Services in Juvenile Court and makes recommendations to the Court regarding child reunification and the need for further court involvement and oversight.  This position may require travel to other counties or states, depending on the youth’s placement location.
  • CFS Emergency Response –The SSW in this program responds to and investigates reports of suspected child abuse/neglect from the community to determine if abuse or neglect has occurred and to ensure the safety and well-being of children. Emergency Response programs may require On-Call shifts for after-hours coverage.

In addition, depending on the needs of the department, some positions will be assigned to work in other program areas, such as; Family Preservation, Orangewood Children and Family Center (OCFC), hotline staff, and placement and assessment.  
The essential functions of the position vary according to the program assignment, which includes but are not limited to:

  • Write comprehensive reports, such as: investigation, Detention, Jurisdictional/Dispositional and Status Review reports
  • Investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect allegations
  • Assess the harm and risk of a child for neglect and abuse
  • Work closely with children with ages from infant to 18 years’ old and foster youth who opt to remain in care after their 18th birthday
  • Attend and testify in criminal, probate, family law or juvenile court hearings
  • Case management activities 
  • Work with stakeholders such as law enforcement, Health Care Agency, Probation, attorneys, community partners, medical professionals, therapists, educators, etc.
  • Conduct state mandated monthly contacts and court ordered family visitations

 In addition, depending on the work assignment, candidates hired as SSW may or will:

  • Lift a child or transport a child to a designated location
  • Respond to cases within Orange County as well as outside Orange County
  • Sit for periods up to one hour or longer while driving to home visits or attending court hearings
  • Climb flights of stairs during home visits
  • Be exposed to unsanitary environments
  • Work with clients who have communicable diseases, substance abuse, domestic issues, criminal history, and mental/behavioral issues
  • Be exposed to profanity, disturbing photos, foul language, safety and health hazard, and verbal abuse from clients
  • Work outdoors in all types of climatic conditions including inclement, very hot and/or cold weather
  • Drive personal vehicle with a valid car insurance within the Orange County vicinityOther Opportunities Associated with the Position
  • Supervise SSW interns 
  • Clinical Supervision Hours

Work schedules will vary depending on program needs. Some positions may work a 9/80 flex schedule.  Some positions may also be assigned to be On-Call, evening or night shift, including weekends and holidays. Work schedules are subject to change, based on the needs of the department.


  • On-Call (voluntary) pay
  • Night shift differential pay
  • Bilingual pay is available to positions requiring bilingual skills. Candidates must pass the bilingual exam to be eligible for the supplemental pay.


The ideal candidate will have experience and/or training assessing safety and risk to children. The ideal candidate will also have experience writing reports in a professional capacity. In addition, candidates will also demonstrate experience and/or training in the following competencies:

  • Technical Knowledge/Education: Possession of a Bachelor’ degree or higher in Social Work, Child Welfare, Forensic Psychology, Sociology, Psychology, Counseling, Child Development or possession of active MFT or LCSW license
  • Technology: Utilizing Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook. Learning new computer software/programs utilized by SSA.
  • Client and Result Focus: Creating a climate of client-centered service to include confidentiality, privacy, comfort, emotional support, mutual trust and respect. Providing services without judgment to a segment of clients that need assistance. Staying clear and focused on what is expected or needs to accomplish.
  • Record keeping and Confidentiality: Maintaining and safeguarding client’s information for privacy.
  • Investigation: Gathering information by asking appropriate questions and obtaining accurate facts. Having the knowledge/understanding of the investigation procedures and how to effectively plan and conduct an investigation in collaboration with law enforcement agencies.
  • Critical Thinking, Decision Making and Fact Finding: Attending to all pertinent facts and ensuring that claims are backed by evidence. Showing commitment to a decision after it is made. Producing report than can be trusted.
  • Environmental Exposure Tolerance: Having the willingness to work outdoors in all conditions, around unpleasant conditions such as extremes odors, noise, filth, dust, vermin, confined space, and combative individuals.
  • Safety Focus: Knowing and adhering to all work safety practices/protocols, recognizing potential hazards in the work environment, and anticipating emergency by making necessary preparations.
  • Adaptability and Attention to Detail: Adjusting quickly to changes in assignment and priorities, and willing to work irregular hours or varying work schedules. Checking report to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  • Handling Stress: Maintaining a positive composure in the face of high workload, conflicting work demands, ambiguous assignments and interruptions/distractions, practicing self-care routine to promote health and wellness
  • Professional Integrity and Ethics: Willing to do the difficult but right thing.
  • Listening, Oral Communication and Writing Skills: Showing attention through verbal and non-verbal cues. Adjusting vocabulary and formality according to the audience and purpose. Writing effectively by using correct English grammar, punctuation and spelling, including producing written information that is appropriate for the intended customers.
  • Relationship Building: Maintaining an open and approachable manner, building rapport with others, and developing work relationships, contacts, and networks.

 Please review the SSW minimum qualifications by clicking here.
The newly hired SSW must complete Induction Training for a specific assignment. This includes mandatory trainings in a classroom-type of setting, including such as CORE and SWIT Training. Training may also include the Dependency Investigation training, which includes: Bypass Provisions, Negotiation, Testifying and Amending Petitions. Vacation /time off requests may not be permitted while in training; however, the department will grant approval on a case by case basis.
Candidates will be required to undergo a background clearance check from the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and Community Care Licensing (CCL) and must successfully clear prior to the start of their employment. All employment offers are contingent upon successful completion of a background check. Areas considered in the background check include conviction history, employment history, professional references and education verification (i.e. degree, license, or official transcripts) if applicable. Foreign degrees require an evaluation of U.S. equivalency by an agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Services (N.A.C.E.S.) In addition, a Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) background clearance check may be required. CACI is a repository of child abuse investigation reports managed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that contains information related to substantiated cases of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental/emotional abuse, and/or severe neglect of a child.
Human Resource Services (HRS) screens all applications to identify the qualified candidates for the position based on the skills required to meet the needs of the County.

  • Application Screening: (Refer/Non-Refer) After the initial screening, the qualified candidates will be referred to the next step and notified of all further procedures applicable to their status in the competition.
  • Application Appraisal Panel | Application Rating: (Weighted 100%) Application materials will be evaluated for job knowledge, competencies, and related experience described above. Only the most successful candidates will be placed on the eligible list.

Eligible List: 
Human Resource Services (HRS) will establish an eligible list of candidates. Candidates placed on the eligible list may be referred to a selection interview to be considered for present and future vacancies.
Veterans Employment Preference Policy, Effective 9/15/2020
The County is committed to providing a mechanism to give preferential consideration in the employment process to veterans and their eligible spouses and will provide eligible participants the opportunity to receive interviews in the selection process for employment and paid internship openings.

 Based on the Department’s needs, the selection procedures listed above may be modified. All candidates will be notified of any changes in the selection procedure.

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