This class is used within the California Department of Social Services for the statewide administration of the Foster Care Ombudsperson Office. The Foster Care Ombudsperson is the highest level independent advocate in the California Department of Social Services for the safety of children in foster care. This position develops strategic goals and policy direction for the Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson to ensure effective, efficient, and equitable management and application of complaint investigations on behalf of California's children in foster care.
Under general direction, the incumbent is responsible for the management and supervision of the Office of the Foster Care Ombudsperson, which includes developing and implementing program policies and procedures, and investigating and resolving complaints on behalf of children who are placed in foster care programs.
Plan, organize, direct, and evaluate the activities of the Foster Care Ombudsperson Office; disseminate information on the rights of children and youth in foster care and the services provided by the office; develop and implement foster care policies and procedures; investigate and resolve complaints on behalf of children who are placed in foster care programs; independently negotiate with high level program and policy managers within the department, other state agencies, county agencies, and private agencies to resolve system and case specific issues related to the safety and rights of children in foster care; ensure the development and dissemination of uniform statewide complaint investigations through the development of an ombudsperson handbook, All-County Information notices, issue memos, and other policy and procedural activities, including training for county staff, foster parents, group home, and foster family agency staff; develop complaint resolution protocols, forms, and tracking systems to support identified trends and patterns to show management the need for change; plan and provide informational seminars and organize workgroups for training purposes; ensure that all complaints, calls, and contacts are responded to timely, and that complainants are informed of the status of their complaint; develop and maintain effective working relationships with county welfare departments, community organizations, child advocacy groups including youth groups, foster care providers, and local law enforcement agencies; ensure the completion of all legislative-related activities which includes bill analyses, development of legislative proposals and reports, and testifying for legislative proceedings; provide advice and consultation to representatives of the Ombudsperson Office; establish procedures for training representatives of the Ombudsperson Office; and establish procedures for disclosure of information from the Ombudsperson's files while ensuring the protection of confidential information.
Experience: One year of experience in the California state service performing duties involving the operation or oversight of a child welfare system or the application of laws governing the foster care system comparable in level of responsibility to those of a Staff Services Manager II (Supervisory).
Experience: Two years of experience in the California state service performing duties involving the operation or oversight of a child welfare system or the application of laws governing the foster care system comparable in level of responsibility to those of a Staff Services Manager I.
Experience: Five years of increasingly responsible experience in a public agency or private organization performing duties involving the operation or oversight of a child welfare system or the application of laws governing the foster care system. At least two years of the required experience must have been in a supervisory or management capacity. and
Education: Equivalent to graduation from college. (Additional qualifying experience beyond that required to meet the minimum qualifications may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis.)
Knowledge of: Principles and techniques of public social work programs; problems and trends in public welfare administration; provisions of State laws relating to Foster Care; principles of personnel management, effective supervision, and staff development; the department's Equal Employment Opportunity objectives; a manager's responsibility for promoting equal employment opportunity in hiring, employee development and promotion, and for maintaining a work environment which is free of discrimination and/or harassment.
Ability to: Plan, organize, direct, and coordinate statewide social service programs; formulate policies and procedures to improve program operations; apply management principles to organization and staff development; establish and maintain effective working relationships with public and private officials including State and local administrators; communicate effectively; analyze situations accurately and take an effective course of action; be objective and make impartial decisions; resolve disputes and conflicts; effectively contribute to promoting equal opportunity in employment and maintaining a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment.