Social Worker - Public Defender

Posted: 07/31/2022

Genesee County Public Defender's Office

Full-time, with benefits

Provisional appointment, pending Civil Service examination


DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS:  This is a professional level position within the Public Defender office. The Social Worker will work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to provide support and linkages to services over the course of a court case. The duties require the application of modern social work techniques in conducting psychosocial interviews with adult and juvenile clients, reviewing mental health records, assessing client needs, recommending treatment options and facilitating referrals to community based agencies.   

TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES: Assesses clients’ needs, supports, strengths, and weaknesses in order to provide  emotional support and referrals to community based programs as needed; Facilitates referrals and links clients to variety of community based treatment programs   (inpatient and outpatient, public and private); Collaborates with probation/parole, court personnel, social service agencies and other   service providers to establish treatment and services for clients; Conducts evidence based psychosocial evaluations founded upon psychosocial   interviews with clients and their families and available records; Prepares written advocacy pieces in the form of memorandums to the Court or   prosecutor, which assists staff attorneys in mitigating dispositions or sentences;  Reviews, catalogues and presents to staff attorneys information contained within   medical, mental health, substance abuse and school records for their reference   and use;  Acts as one of the coordinators of client referrals to the Genesee County Treatment   Court; Regularly appears at and assists in the representation of Public Defender clients in the   Genesee County Treatment Court; Consults with and advises staff attorneys concerning client needs and issues; strategizes how best to address client needs and issues to improve case outcomes; Obtains necessary releases in order to procure medical records, mental health and   substance abuse records and school records; Maintains professional relationships with program providers at local treatment agencies,   social services agencies, schools, hospitals, etc.; Maintains computer and/or file data of attorney requests for intervention, actions taken   and Court outcomes; Coordinates various psychosocial and psychiatric expert evaluations of clients;  Develops and supervises master’s level college internships in social sciences fields;  The above examples of duties are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position. 

FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND/OR PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Thorough knowledge of mental health terminology and best practices; good knowledge of the human series system, including public and private agencies and organizations; working knowledge of the criminal justice process; knowledge of social problems and social justice, particularly within the legal system; ability to effectively conduct counseling and psychosocial interviews using current interviewing techniques; ability to demonstrate a commitment to the dignity and worth of individuals served by this Department; ability to project strong and concerned image; ability to communicate effectively with others, orally and in writing and ability to prepare clear and concise reports, ability to keep all matters related to your position in this department confidential.  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit, and talk and hear.  The employee is occasionally required to stand, and to use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus and make visual observations of clients.  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from high school or possession of an appropriate equivalency diploma recognized by the NYS Department of Education, AND:  A Master’s Degree in social work from a graduate school of social work approved by the New State Department of Education  Knowledge of the criminal justice system and experience in a court, law office or criminal justice setting preferred. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENT FOR APPOINTMENT AND CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT:  Possession of a valid NYS Department of Education license in Social Work or Clinical Social Work (LCSW or LMSW) at time of employment, or limited permit to practice social work within 30 days of hire.  Valid license must be obtained within 30 days of expiration of the limited permit.  Possession of a valid NYS driver’s license.       

Competitive Class Adopted 09/14/2021