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Series established July 28, 1971
The classes in this series are used primarily in the Community Services Division of the State Department of Developmental Services or in a special program within the Department of Mental Health, such as the drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs, to identify and meet the needs of social service clients. In such positions the incumbents carry out a wide variety of tasks including using community resources to benefit clients; arranging and supervising group outings; providing guidance, companionship and moral support to clients; and working to improve social services in the community.
The incumbents are expected to provide remedial and social services to mentally or emotionally handicapped persons; to provide liaison between professional staff, clients in need of service, and groups in the community; and to participate with staff members in case planning.
Factors affecting position allocation include level of work, amount of independent action, and knowledge of the community and its resources.
Incumbents in this class perform their duties under close supervision. The duties may include assisting with the arrangement and supervision of group outings and with the operation of arts and crafts activity groups. The incumbents may assist in leading group sessions. They may also assist in the diagnostic process and the development of appropriate treatment strategies for the mentally or emotionally handicapped individual. The services provided are generally of a remedial, short-term nature. Such services include giving advice to clients on their immediate problems, referral of clients to public or private agencies or other community resources, and assisting clients in dealings with health and welfare agencies. The incumbents may also provide transportation to medical appointments, and homemaking, housekeeping, and child care services when needed.
Incumbents in this class perform their duties under supervision. These may include responsibility for arranging and supervising group outings and conducting arts and crafts groups. In addition, the incumbents may be responsible for conducting formal and informal educational groups, e.g., in child care or hygiene. The incumbents also may serve as leader of group sessions, and may assist a professional worker in planning the entire range of actions needed to deal with a complete case. The incumbents may provide direct long-term social services to the clients. Such services may include counseling, on a scheduled basis, in dealing with continuing problems. The incumbents at this level can act as an advocate for the client in his/her dealings with various health and welfare agencies and in making community resources available to the client. This level is characterized by an independence of action within the scope of assigned duties and an expectation of the ability to use his/her judgment, based on program and community experience, to recognize problems of the client and of the community and take steps to correct them.
Completion of a work experience and/or training program of at least six months' duration in a program providing remedial services to the mentally or emotionally handicapped. (Persons within 2 months of completion of experience and/or training will be admitted to the examination but must furnish evidence of satisfactory completion of the required training before they will be considered eligible for appointment.) and Paid or unpaid experience within the last ten years which has provided personal and firsthand knowledge of the problems and resources of the specific client community served and which has developed the ability to relate to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and groups, and to the staff of public and private agencies providing services.
One year of experience performing the duties of a Social Service Assistant I (Mental Health).
Two years of experience in a program providing social services to the socially, emotionally or mentally handicapped comparable to a Social Service Assistant I (Mental Health) in California state service. or
Completion of the equivalent of two years of college. and
Paid or unpaid experience within the last ten years which has provided personal and firsthand knowledge of the problems and resources of the specific client community served and which has developed the ability to relate to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and groups, and to the staff of public and private agencies providing services.
Knowledge of: Needs, problems, attitudes and behavior patterns of mentally or emotionally handicapped, socially and economically disadvantaged persons and of the total community.
Ability to: Establish and maintain confidence and cooperation of persons contacted in the work; communicate effectively; accept and benefit from training.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and community organization principles; characteristics of social, mental, and emotional disturbances and mental deficiency.
Ability to: All of the above, and utilize and apply effectively the required knowledge; prepare clear, accurate and concise reports; find homes for and place patients; locate jobs for patients; analyze situations accurately and take effective action.
An objective and sympathetic understanding of the socially, mentally or emotionally handicapped; willingness to follow directions; willingness to participate in job-related training activities; tolerance, tact and emotional stability.