Family Services Specialist I (Alexandria) Multiple Hire
Dept of Social Services - Local - Alexandria, VA

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A Family Services Specialist in the Direct Services Unit of the Early Childhood Division, Center for Children and Families, provides social work services to low-income families from diverse backgrounds who qualify for child care assistance. Provides counseling and crisis intervention and educates parents to facilitate the selection of a developmentally appropriate child care placement. Provides ongoing case management to assure compliance with all federal, state and local policies and requirements.
Family Services Specialist example of duties: 1. Provides social work and case management services to low income families and children on issues such as parenting, housing, managing finances, health needs, educational/vocational training, employment, child custody and children with special needs
2. Gathers social history and pertinent information an applicant, child and family members to help identify family support systems and resources.
3. Develops a service plan with parent to assure that authorized services meet the needs of parent and child, to include how appropriate use of child care services can help parents meet their goal of self-sufficiency and which empowers clients to change.
4. Provides parent education to guide parents in choosing developmentally appropriate placements for their children.
5. Identifies and assesses service delivery gaps and develops recommendations for appropriate service delivery strategies.
6. Monitors client's progress and works with client to adjust goals and strategies to meet his changing needs.
7. Keeps clients informed of case status and how changes reported by client may affect their eligibility for services.
8. Provides counseling and child care services to teen parents to remove barriers to their completion of educational goals.
9. Completes reviews to determine child's eligibility for special needs payments and to assure that a special needs child is placed with vendor who can best meet his needs.
10. Implements local service programs in accordance with identified community needs (Scholarship for Fours).
11. Provides crisis intervention, counseling and/or referral to community resources, including those clients who have been evicted, laid off from employment, are in financial crisis, or whose children have been terminated from their child care placement.
12. Serves as a mediator between clients/family members and vendors.
13. Serves on interagency panel to review, assess and make treatment recommendations for children and families who are experiencing difficulty within the child care setting.
14. Referrals to and collaboration with other agencies/divisions such as Mental Health, Child Protective Services, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse, Preschool Prevention Team, PIE, Child Find, ARHA, Court Services, Guardians Ad Litem, JobLink and Benefits Programs to secure needed services for family.
15. Acts as a liaison between clients and other agency personnel and advocates for clients within all systems.
16. Conducts visits to families, child care centers and home providers as necessary to investigate, assess and provide intervention services.

Minimum Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in Social Work plus experience providing crisis intervention and counseling services. Experience in assigned program area and completion of required training programs or equivalent combination of training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. Knowledge of social work principles and practices; human behavior and motivational theory; and social, economic, and health problems. Skill in operating a motor vehicle and personal computer with associated software. Demonstrated ability to: communicate effectively both orally and in writing; interview, assess needs, counsel and refer clients to other resources as needed; develop and implement service plans in order to insure the delivery of appropriate services to the client; make sound judgments within the framework of existing laws, policies, and regulations; respond to the client's emotions in order to accomplish services objectives; plan and manage own work activities including service delivery preparing reports, and correspondence, record keeping responsibilities and related activities; establish and maintain effective relationships; and stay abreast of current trends and developments in the social work field.

Preferred Qualifications
Bachelor's degree in Social Work or MSW. Prefer moderate experience in the field of social work and early childhood development. Prefer work experience in a social services agency. Prefer working knowledge of Virginia DSS child care policy and familiarity with the Virginia Case Management System. Prefer strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office software programs. English/Spanish bilingual skills preferred.

Special Requirements
Must possess a valid driver's license or the ability to obtain one prior to hiring. Driving record must meet agency standard. Must be able to pass a Criminal Records background check and a Virginia Child Protective Services check before employment.