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Social Work Associate (Safety) (9874)

Social Work Associate (Safety)

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: XP41
  • Class Code: 9874
  • Established: 08/01/2000
  • Revised: --
  • Title Changed: --


Under direct supervision at a State-operated developmental center, hospital, or correctional facility contracting with the Department of Mental Health for diagnostic and treatment services, provide assistance in all phases of the social work program; collect data and prepare applications and reports necessary to obtain benefits and community resources for developmentally or mentally disordered offenders; assist in performing casework duties and group activities; and perform other related work.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This class is distinguished from the Social Work Associate by the custody requirements imposed by the criminal nature of the forensic client, patient, or inmate population and the security features of the facility.

Typical Tasks

Provides orientation to new forensic clients, patients, or inmates about developmental center, hospital, or community programs; interviews forensic clients, patients, inmates, relatives, and others to obtain social information to be used in planning the treatment programs; identifies potential applicants for public assistance and processes their applications; assists with problems such as housing, child care, employment, and finances; assists Social Workers in group resocialization programs; coordinates release preparation from State developmental centers or hospitals by giving factual information regarding leave planning to forensic clients, patients, or inmates and others; accompanies forensic clients, patients, or inmates on short preplacement visits; works with other social agencies regarding services to forensic clients, patients, or inmates and monitors the status of referrals to them for service; participates in meetings, committees, and conferences concerned with administrative and treatment planning; prepares reports; collects and collates data from files; and observes and intervenes in instances of disruptive or assaultive behavior. Assists staff in the counting, distribution, and accounting for all utensils to prevent their use as weapons; inspecting facility to identify security breaches that could lead to forensic client, patient, or inmate escape; observing and intervening in forensic client, patient, or inmate behavior that may signal an impending escape attempt; and escorting forensic clients, patients, or inmates to other areas of the facility or the community.

Minimum Qualifications

Education: Equivalent to graduation from college, preferably with major work in social science and humanities. Registration as a senior in a recognized institution will admit applicants to the examination, but they must produce evidence of graduation or its equivalent before they can be considered eligible for appointment.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Developments and trends in the field of health and welfare.


Ability to: Gather and analyze data; write clear, accurate, and concise reports; interpret statistical data; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; communicate effectively; establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships with forensic clients, patients, inmates, fellow employees, and the general public; participate effectively in interviews.

Special Personal Characteristics

Willingness to work at developmental centers, State hospitals, or correctional facilities contracting with the Department of Mental Health for diagnostic and treatment services; sympathetic and objective understanding of the problems of developmentally or mentally disordered offenders; potential for becoming a professional Social Worker; willingness as a learner to do routine or detailed work in order to learn the practical application of social work principles; demonstrated capacity for development as evidenced by academic attainment or other activities; tact; patience; and emotional stability.

Special Physical Characteristics

Incumbents must possess and maintain sufficient strength, agility, and endurance to perform during physically, mentally, and emotionally stressful and emergency situations encountered on the job without endangering their own health and well-being or that of their fellow employees, forensic clients, patients, inmates, or the public.

Drug Testing Requirement

Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug- screening test. (The drug-screening test will be waived for employees who are currently in a designated "sensitive" class for which drug testing is required under State Personnel Board Rule 213.)

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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