State of Oregon Social Service Specialist 1 in Klamath Falls, Oregon

Social Service Specialist 1



Social Service Specialist 1


$43,968.00 - $64,068.00 Annually


Klamath Falls, OR

Job Type

Limited Duration


Human Services-Children, Adults & Families

Job Number


  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions



This employment opportunity is with the Office of Child Welfare, which is part of the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). There is one full-time Limited Duration position located in Klamath Falls (700 Klamath Falls Ave.). The duration of the assignment beyond the initial project periodis dependent upon available funding and program needs. This position is represented by a union.

The Department of Human Services is committed to upholding the mission of safety, health and independence for all Oregonians. Foundational to this mission is child safety. Child Welfare works toward establishing the safety, permanency and well-being of Oregon's children by: stabilizing and preserving families; providing quality temporary alternative care when necessary, safely reunifying families; and when needed and appropriate, creating new families through kinship, guardianship or adoption. Preferred applicants will possess a demonstrated commitment to the values: 1) child-driven, 2) family-centered, 3) community-focused, 4) strength-based, 5) committed to diversity/cultural competency, and, 6) committed to continuous learning. We are committed to recruiting, developing, and retaining a dedicated, qualified and diverse workforce. DHS is guided by our core values of Integrity, Innovation, Respect, Service Equity, Responsibility, Stewardship and Professionalism.

Some of our positions may require duties to be done in both English and another language (most bilingual positions will require Spanish). A job offer to those specific positions will be contingent upon taking a test(s) evaluating your proficiency in the bilingual requirements of the position. Please indicate your language skills on your E-Recruit application.

**Bilingual differential pay is provided to positions required to use a language other than English to fulfill their job duties within their position. Bilingual differential pay is 5% of the employee's base pay.

Follow this link for more information about Child Welfare:

Duties & Responsibilities

What you will be doing:

Employees in these positions engage children, families, foster parents and caregivers in a multitude of ways to achieve safety, permanency and well-being of Oregon's children. Good practice across child welfare programs focuses on:

  • Developing and utilizing meaningful engagement skills.

  • Establishing effective and consistent communication.

  • Practicing Trauma Informed Care.

  • Facilitating change through ongoing assessment of the family condition.

  • Collaborating with service providers, community partners and stakeholders to achieve best outcomes.

  • Following Oregon Administrative Rule, DHS Policy and Child Welfare Procedures.

In the Child Protective Services (CPS) role, the worker conducts child safety assessments of alleged child abuse or neglect. Through the use of a comprehensive assessment process and the application of the Oregon Safety Model, the worker determines whether or not children are safe and whether or not abuse has occurred. At times, this will also include making both planned and emergency decisions about child safety. When it has been determined that children are unsafe, this position is responsible for implementing safety services which immediately control all active safety threats. This position may also provide consultation to other agency staff about decisions involving permanent planning for children. Assessment determinations will also identify families who have High to Moderate Needs; in these cases effective advocacy and communication is necessary to implement services, identify resources and meet family needs.

In the Permanency role, the worker provides intensive time-limited casework services to children in substitute care and in the home of their parents. In this position the worker identifies parenting strengths and barriers to safe parenting, while developing a case plan to meet the family's current needs. This includes monitoring child safety and wellbeing both in home and in substitute care, facilitation of visits between children in care and their families, and case management services throughout the life of a case. In this position, the worker meets regularly with, and maintains availability to, clients in order to provide referrals to community partners to enhance parenting abilities related to the reason for agency involvement. This position also provides direction and support to families in appropriately meeting the individual needs of their children and communicates clearly with clients about expectations. If the parents are not able to make the necessary change within designated timelines, this position develops a concurrent plan, such as adoption or guardianship.

In both the Child Protective Services and Permanency roles, child safety decision making includes, but is not limited to, in-home safety planning and out of home placement of children. Decisions made in these positions occur in partnership with families to assure child safety, promote child wellbeing and identify family strengths and needs. Safety plans are implemented at the least intrusive level necessary to assure child safety. When children are placed outside their home, decisions are made in partnership with the family about available relatives, family visitation, placement resources, and culturally responsive services. Decision making in these roles also requires collaboration with culturally diverse communities, service providers, DHS staff and various community stake holders (i.e., courts, law enforcement, medical and mental health professionals, Child Advocacy Centers, etc.).

In the Foster Care Certifier role the worker identifies and seeks relative caregivers, foster parents, and adoptive parents that represent ethnic and cultural groups within the community. They will respond to inquiry calls and provide persons with information. Gather and analyze information and confirm safe environments through interviews, observations, and other source materials for potential and existing foster parents and relative caregivers. Conduct home visits to monitor, assure compliance and confirm a safe environment with standards and department expectations. Document assessment activities, re-assess certified families on an ongoing basis and assure recertification compliance requirements are met. Maintain up-to-date information in the foster parent or relative caregiver file for other staff persons to easily find necessary information. Participate in case staffing and seek supervisory review for the approval, denial or revocation of a Certificate of Approval for all foster parents or relative caregivers. Prepare accurate and timely forms, reports, correspondence, and payment documents related to provider service delivery. Support and facilitate communication between certified families and case workers to ensure services and resources are available to children and young adults. Encourage, promote, and seek appropriate involvement of the certified families in case planning.

In the Adoption Worker role, the worker identifies and seeks out relative caregivers, foster parents, and adoptive parents; Provide assessments by gathering and analyzing information to confirm an applicant's ability to meet the permanency needs of a child and ensure a safe environment through interviews, observations, and other source materials of the foster parents and relative caregivers; Develop and implement targeted recruitment; Make recommendations regarding the placement suitability of the adoptive applicant; Coordinate pre-placement visitations with children's workers and selected families. Provide supportive services including relief care planning and coordinate and initiate enhanced community referrals for additional resources. Provide ongoing evaluation to ensure the applicant's ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment conducive to meeting a child's needs; Conduct face to face contacts and home visits; Evaluate and make recommendations regarding legalizing adoptive placements.


Some travel is required. You must have a valid driver's license and an acceptable driving record. The duties in this position include work with challenging and at times hostile clients; in sometimes unsafe and unsanitary home environments. Work requires ability to prioritize work related to child safety and respond quickly to emergent situations.

This position requires working a flexible schedule as a condition of employment with a normal work day of 8 hours, from 8 AM to 5 PM; however, working hours may be adjusted within a given week to provide planned services. Occasional compensated overtime during evening and weekend work may be required.

Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills


A Bachelor's or higher level degree in Social Work/Human Services or a closely related field;


A Bachelor's degree in a field not closely related (to Social Work/Human Services) and one year of human services related experience (i.e., work providing assistance to individuals and groups with issues such as economically disadvantaged, employment, abuse and neglect, substance abuse, aging, disabilities, prevention, health, cultural competencies, inadequate housing).

Successful candidates for this position must pass a Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) fingerprint-based background check and maintain CJIS eligibility. Due to CJIS requirements related to system access, the following convictions are likely to result in being disqualified for this position: Felony Convictions, Computer theft, identify theft and fraud. CJIS Clearance is done at the conditional job offer.


  • Ability to use trauma informed practices that are inclusive of the child and family's language, race, and culture.

  • Ability to track and prioritize multiple unrelated projects/cases

  • Ability to interview children and adults to gather information which may include having difficult conversations about sensitive topics.

  • Ability to present complex information to clients, co-workers, law enforcement and in court in a clear and concise manner, both verbally and in writing.

  • Ability to establish and maintain professional casework relationships that engage and empower families despite potentially hostile interactions with clients.

  • Ability to maintain a calm demeanor in emotionally charged situations, cope with daily exposure to traumatic experiences and develop and practice self-care.

  • Ability to learn and utilize technology, multiple databases, accurately enter data, and use word processing software while working with sensitive and confidential information.

  • Understands and appreciates the different views, expertise and experience of others.

Applicants whose skills and experience that most closely match the minimum qualifications and requested skills will be invited for an interview. Your answers to the supplemental questions must be reflected in your application.

Additional Information

* COMING SUMMER of 2018*

The State of Oregon is implementing a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS), Workday. Workday will provide the latest technology in the areas of recruitment and retention.

The State of Oregon now requires an e-mail address be provided on all applications.

Applicant E-Recruit Help and Support:

This quick help guide can also be found on the State Jobs Page by clicking in the Applicant E-Recruit FAQ's then click on Applicant Profile Maintenance.

E-Recruit technical support: or call 855-524-5627 (toll free)

Information on Veterans' Preference points:

Questions and inquiries regarding this recruitment may be directed to:, Workforce Recruitment Consultant. Please be sure that you include the job post number.

DHS will communicate with all applicants via e-mail.

If you are offered employment, the offer will be contingent upon the outcome of an abuse check, criminal records check and driving records check, and the information shall be shared with the DHS, Office of Human Resources (OHR). Any criminal or founded abuse history will be reviewed and could result in the withdrawal of the offer or termination of employment.

TTY users please use the Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900 and ask the Telecommunications Assistant to connect you to 503-945-5698 (8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday).

If you need an alternate format of the application or assistance to participate in the hiring process please contact our ADA Office at,


Core benefits

Medical, vision and dental insurance

  • Comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans for the employee and qualified family members

  • $5,000 in employee basic life insurance

Retirement benefits

  • Membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)/Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP)

  • Employer paid defined benefit and defined contribution programs

**Effective November 1, 2016, SEIU represented employees who are Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) participating members will have their base salary increased by 6.95%. Upon becoming a PERS participating member, SEIU employees pay the employee 6% contribution to PERS.

Paid leaves and other benefits

  • Sick leave earned at the rate of 8 hours per a month with no maximum accumulation

  • Vacation leave earned at a minimum rate of 8 hours per month with accrual rate increases at 5-year increments

  • 24 hours personal leave earned each fiscal year

  • Ten paid holidays a year

The state also provides access to an innovative Employee Assistance Program that offers work-life counseling, along with homeowner, legal and family resources.

Optional benefits

  • Term life (employee, spouse or domestic partner, and dependents

  • Long-term and short-term disability

  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment

  • Long-term care (self and eligible family members)

  • Flexible spending accounts

  • Option to enroll in the Oregon Savings Growth Plan, a deferred compensation program offering a wide variety of investment options.

The following information describes typical benefits available for employees. Actual benefits received may differ by position or branch of government or be prorated for other than full time work.