Job descriptionA Child Protective Services Caseworker - SAO CPS Spec I.
Whenever a child must be removed from their home, Texas courts appoint Child Protective Services (CPS) to serve as a "Conservator" of the child. Conservatorship Specialists are a specific type of caseworker legally responsible for a child's welfare whenever they are removed from their home and monitors children's care while in CPS conservatorship. They work closely with parents, extended family, and legal parties to help children find a permanent, safe place to live.
To explore more of what Conservatorship Specialists do, click here.
To view a realistic online video about Child Protective Services workers and clients, please click here.
You will also have access to a self-assessment that will help you determine if this type of work is something that is a good fit for you.
WHY WORK FOR DFPS?
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is responsible for protecting the unprotected — children, elderly, and people with disabilities — from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. DFPS accomplishes this responsibility by employing over 12,000 workers who live up to the agency's Mission, Vision, & Values in service to the 27 million citizens of Texas.
DFPS is not only a qualifying organization for the Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance on college student Direct Loans after making 120 qualifying monthly payments, but also offers excellent health benefits, special discounts on many products and services through the Discount Purchase Program, a lifetime monthly retirement annuity as well as Texa$aver 401(k) and 457 Programs under the Employees Retirement System of Texas. An additional benefit you will receive is 12 days of paid annual leave, 12 sick days, and the potential to earn up to four days of administrative leave each year. Your annual paid leave accrual increases as your tenure increases.
Newly hired employees holding a Master's Degree in Social Work may qualify for an increase at the point of hire.
Essential Job Functions:
Knowledge Skills Abilities:
Registration or Licensure Requirements:
This position requires use of the applicant's personal motor vehicle to complete job functions. Applicants for positions must have a reliable motor vehicle, and acceptable driving record for the past five years, and a current, valid Texas driver's license appropriate for the vehicle and passenger or cargo load. Applicants must provide
proof of driving record, insurance and license.
Initial Selection Criteria:
Child Protective Services Specialist I: An accredited Bachelor's degree OR accredited Associate's degree plus two (2) years of relevant work experience OR 60 accredited college credit hours plus two (2) years relevant work experience OR 90 accredited college credit hours plus one (1) year of relevant work experience.
Examples of relevant work experience in social, human, or protective services include paid or volunteer work within social service agencies or communities providing services to families or other at-risk populations.
Child Protective Services Specialist II: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist I for 9 months AND have received Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Child Protective Services Specialist III: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist II for 9 months AND have received Advanced Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Child Protective Services Specialist IV: Employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist III for 24 months AND have received Senior Advanced Child Protective Services Specialist Certification OR currently employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist IV in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services OR previously employed as a Child Protective Services Specialist IV in Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
This position may be filled at any level from a CPS Specialist I to CPS Specialist IV. Factors such as education and experience may be considered when establishing the starting salary.
Applicants considered for placement in this position will be required to pass a drug screening. At the point of offer, candidates will be referred to a testing site. Note that it is important to maintain current contact information in the event you are referred for testing. A final offer of employment will not be extended until the agency receives confirmation of successful test results.
During the 83rd Legislature (2013), the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 427 which requires prospective and current child placing agency (CPA) employees to complete a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) fingerprint check. Child Protective Services functions as a CPA therefore a fingerprint check will be required for each Conservatorship (CVS) and Foster/Adoption home (FAD) direct delivery staff or applicant being considered for employment.
This position will be in a mobile unit which means the majority of the work will be conducted using mobile technology, such as a tablet, while away from the office. Being mobile requires working independently yet still being responsive to supervision and your assigned unit.
Newly hired DFPS employees in eligible positions will be assigned a DFPS cellular phone.
COMPETENCIES REQUIRED/ACQUIRED DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT:
A process competency refers to a general approach to practice that can be observed in a newly hired CPS Specialists' interactions with children, families, and safety networks.
A content competency refers to a specialized domain of knowledge that should be integrated into process competencies.
Demonstrates a basic understanding of the following
Establishes Effective Relationships with Colleagues
Follows policy and procedures
These requirements are not exhaustive, and additional job related physical requirements may be added to these by individual agencies on an as needed basis. Corrective devices may be used to meet physical requirements. These are typical requirements; however, reasonable accommodations are possible.
Physical Activities: He/she is frequently asked to stand, hear and talk; he/she is occasionally asked to climb.
Physical Demands: The incumbent typically performs work that requires him/her to exert up to 20 pounds occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects.
Visual Requirements: The incumbent must be able to see objects clearly at 20 inches or less, and at 20 or more feet. In addition, he/she must be able to adjust his/her eyes to bring objects into focus, distinguish colors, see objects in his/her peripheral vision, and see objects in three dimensions.
Working Conditions: He/she typically works in a mobile environment (the majority of work is performed outside of the office environment) and is exposed occasionally to adverse environmental conditions including, but not necessarily limited to, extreme heat, wetness and humidity, chemicals, close quarters, gases and heights.
Any candidate who is called to an agency for an interview must notify the interviewing agency in writing of any reasonable accommodation needed prior to the date of the interview.
Note: There are no direct military occupation(s) that relate to the initial selection criteria and registration or licensure requirements for this position. All active duty, reservists, guardsmen, and veterans are encouraged to apply. For more information, see the Texas State Auditor's Military Crosswalk here.
As a state agency, DFPS is required Texas Administrative Code (TAC 206 and 213) to ensure all Electronic Information Resources (EIR) follow accessibility standards. The staff must be familiar with the WCAG 2.1 AA and Section 508 to create accessible content including but not limited to; Microsoft Office documents, Adobe PDFs, webpages, software, training guides, video, and audio files.
HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), HHS agencies will provide reasonable accommodation during the hiring and selection process for qualified individuals with a disability. If you need assistance completing the on-line application, contact the HHS Employee Service Center at 1-888-894-4747. If you are contacted for an interview and need accommodation to participate in the interview process, please notify the person scheduling the interview.