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Job Specification Details

Family Services Worker

Job Code 502500
Pay Plan Classified
Pay Grade 24
Occupational Category Human Services
Effective Date 03/31/2021
Class Definition

Professional level social services casework for the Department for Children and Families (DCF) of the Agency of Human Services (AHS) involving the management and delivery of services to children and families. Incumbents may be assigned to participate in intake/investigation, child protective services, juvenile services, adoption services, and/or residential licensing. All employees of the AHS perform their respective functions adhering to four key practices: customer service, holistic service, strengths-based relationships and results orientation. Work is performed in a district office under the supervision of an administrative superior, but with significant opportunity for individual discretion and judgment.

Examples of Work

Receives reports of abuse or neglect of children. Ensures that all relevant information is gathered from reporter. Investigates accepted reports through interviews with family members, school officials, police, medical practitioners and others as needed. Recommends substantiation or un-substantiation. Assesses situation of child and family to determination potential for improvement, stability, or continued deterioration. Develops case plan designed to protect the child, within the current family situation if possible. Coordinates with treatment teams for effective implementation of case plans and arranges for periodic case plan reviews. Assists youth to develop social skills, educational objectives, and vocational goals as appropriate. Helps families to address issues affecting wellbeing of children. Evaluates potential adoptive parents and facilitates adoption procedures. Promotes permanency for children through coordination and delivery of services. May initiate emergency procedures to remove children from current living arrangements and to provide shelter or treatment in appropriate settings. May review foster homes and other residential care situations to determine appropriateness of licensure and restrictions or to investigate complaints. Develops court reports and recommendations for transfer of custody. Testifies in court hearings relative to findings and recommendations. Provides case management, counseling and supportive casework services to birth, foster, and adoptive parents, children, guardians, and others. Maintains case records and monitors assigned cases. May monitor success of children in foster or adoptive placements. Refers clients and families to additional supportive services as necessary. Provides transportation for clients as needed. Performs related duties as required.

Environmental Factors

Duties are performed in a variety of setting ranging from departmental offices to client homes to courtrooms. Considerable field travel is required, for which private means of transportation must be available. Crisis situations may arise at any hour and may require evening or weekend responses. Incumbents predictably encounter high levels of stress and emotional situations, strong differences of opinion, and potentially exposure to physical danger. Class incumbents may be required to be on available or standby status during night, weekend, and holiday hours.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Considerable knowledge of the principles and practices of social services casework.

Considerable knowledge of child welfare theory and practice.

Working knowledge of child development theory and of the cultural, economic, social and psychological factors that influence behavior.

Ability to develop and implement effective casework plans which are appropriate to the individual and the circumstances.

Ability to maintain casework information in a prescribed manner.

Ability to provide leadership and accountability within the framework of the four key practices of the AHS: customer service, holistic service, strengths-based relationships and results orientation.

Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with co-workers, clients, and staff of cooperating agencies.

Minimum Qualifications

Master's degree in social work.


Bachelor's degree AND eighteen (18) months of human services casework, including at least six months with a child or youth services caseload where duties included direct responsibility for client intake, assessment, plan development, monitoring, service procurement, and case closure in a formal human services delivery system.


Satisfactory completion of 12 to 18 months experience as a Family Services Worker trainee in DCF.

Preferred Qualifications
Special Requirements

Candidates must pass any level of background investigation applicable to the position. In accordance with AHS Policy 4.02, Hiring Standards, Vermont and/or national criminal record checks, as well as DMV and adult and child abuse registry checks, as appropriate to the position under recruitment, will be conducted on candidates, with the exception of those who are current classified state employees seeking transfer, promotion or demotion into an AHS classified position or are persons exercising re-employment (RIF) rights.