Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, CPS Conservatorship Worker, Application Deadline, BTT Gateway Job ID 11699

Sat, April 23, 2016

Job Description: 
The position is responsible for providing Child Protective Services to children in the custody (or conservatorship) of DFPS. This position is responsible for developing strategies and arranging services for children and families so children can achieve positive permanency. Additionally, this position is responsible for ensuring that children are safe while in DFPS custody, that their well-being needs are met, and that their experiences while in DFPS custody are similar to children outside of state custody. The position interacts routinely with children and families, caregivers the judicial system, representatives from various organizations, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and the general public. 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.  
Essential Job Functions: 
•Receives cases from investigators after children are removed from their homes, placed in CPS conservatorship, and placed in care outside their homes. •Determines each child’s needs and ensuring that appropriate referrals for testing, evaluations, records, or further assessments are made. Ensures all services are focused on achieving positive permanency. •Working with children, families, and communities to plan for a child's permanency. •Identifying potential permanency resources for the child through ongoing contact with parents, family members, and other individuals the child and family identify as important to them. •Searching for potential kinship providers throughout the case. Completing home studies of a child's family members or family friends (kinship providers) who might care for the child. •Meets with the parents to assess risk and safety issues, identify behavior changes necessary to achieve child safety, referring parents to appropriate services to address the identified needs to move towards positive permanency. Discusses with parents their progress towards making changes to behaviors that pose dangers to their child(ren). •Meets with children, parents, family friends, or foster homes in public as well as in their own homes. •Collaborates with a Placement Team, including Kinship staff, for placements, as needed. •Participates in meetings and conferences at times and places convenient for the family members as well as everyone involved in the case. •Visits children monthly to assess the child’s feeling of safety in their current home, to plan for permanency, and to discuss their needs, wishes, and progress while in care •Attends and participates in court hearings about the child and family. This includes contacting the parties in the case before hearings, preparing court reports, and testifying in court on the child’s needs, the family’s progress, and the department’s efforts to achieve permanency for the child. •Keeps the child’s, parents, caregivers, court-appointed attorney and guardian ad litem(s) informed about the child’s circumstances and significant events. Works with the department's attorney to prepare for contested-court hearings and trials. •Works with kinship caregivers and foster parents to ensure that they have what they need to care for the child or youth placed with them i.e., keeping them informed about developments in the case, returning phone calls, and in some areas of the state being available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at certain times. •Transitions children home during reunification services and provides support to the family until the legal case is closed. •Supervises adoptive placements until the adoption is final or until the case is transferred to an adoption caseworker. •Using effective time-management skills to make sure all key tasks are done. •Documents case records by completing forms, narratives, and reports to form a written record for each client. •Develops and maintains effective working relationships between Child Protective Services staff and law enforcement officials, judicial officials, legal resources, medical professionals, and other community resources. •Performs other duties as assigned and required to maintain unit operations. •Promotes and demonstrates appropriate respect for cultural diversity among coworkers, clients, and all work-related contacts. •Attends work regularly in accordance with agency leave policy.  
Knowledge Skills Abilities: 
•Knowledge of child development •Knowledge of family dynamics •Skill in effective verbal and written communication. Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships. Skill in problem solving techniques •Ability to operate a personal computer. •Ability to travel and attend child and family visits as well as other work related appointments and meetings after 5pm. •Ability to be on call on a rotating basis and work irregular hours. •Ability to work in an emotion-filled environment and which may require conducting home visits in isolated or high crime areas and may involve exposure to substandard and unsanitary living conditions.  
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: 
Successful completion of any associated on-line assessment. Child Protective Services Specialist I: Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university. 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.  
Additional Information: 
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; however, the starting salary for this position may not exceed the maximum of the pay group. Working for the State of Texas offers attractive benefits in addition to the salary. Employment may qualify you for the student loan forgiveness program. You will also receive great benefits such as Health and dental insurance, and retirement plan . Applicants for this position who are screened and selected for further consideration are required to complete on-line assessments as part of the hiring process. Applicants must complete the on-line assessments to be eligible to progress through the process and possibly receive an interview. If the applicant is not deemed a match for the position, the applicant will not be invited for an interview. Applicants must wait 6 months to re-take any assessment. As part of the assessments process, applicants receive an e-mail providing instructions on how to complete the assessments. The subject of the email is "DFPS Assessments Process Update". The assessments are web based and may be completed from any computer with internet access. The assessments are confidential and take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours to complete. Please note, credentials for the assessments may expire after five (5) days and candidates with incomplete assessments may not be moved forward in the process. 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. Newly hired DFPS employees in eligible positions will be assigned a DFPS cellular phone. BILINGUAL APPLICANTS (SPANISH/ENGLISH) ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. BILINGUAL APPLICANTS SELECTED FOR THIS POSITION ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL 6.8% INCREASE TO THE BASE SALARY AFTER SUCCESSFULLY PASSING A BILINGUAL TEST 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. COMPETENCIES REQUIRED/ACQUIRED DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT: PROCESS COMPETENCIES 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. Engaging • Understands and is able to articulate how family engagement is critical to achieving safety, permanency, and well-being. • Can identify basic strategies for engaging children and families. • Understands and appreciates the different views, expertise and experience of others; takes into account the perspectives of other individuals Teaming • Understands the need to expand the child's safety network beyond caregivers and to other adults who care about the child and can participate in day to day safety of the child. • Interviews caregivers to identify individuals who may be supportive of the caregiver and/or child. • Interviews children to identify individuals who may be supportive of the child and/or caregiver. Assessing • Understands and is able to articulate the concept of child safety. • Is able to identify one's own biases and is willing to challenge one's own thinking. • Regularly seeks information from a variety of sources to make and revise assessments. • Understands the importance of and is able to make judgments based on factual information vs. assumptions. Planning • Considers ways to ensure personal safety in addition to safety of children and families during interviews and other meetings Intervening • Understands and is able to articulate what an intervention is and the variety of interventions CPS might use under which circumstances. Evaluating • Understands and is able to articulate personal responsibility for outcomes in a case. CONTENT COMPETENCY A content competency refers to a specialized domain of knowledge that should be integrated into process competencies. Domestic Violence • Understands and is able to identify power and control. • Distinguishes domestic violence from other types of violence • Is able to identify and refer both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence to appropriate services. Mental Health • Can articulate symptoms of broad mental health diagnostic categories. • Is able to make appropriate referrals for crisis intervention, psychological and psychiatric evaluations. • Can articulate mental health resilience factors and recovery process. Substance Abuse • Distinguishes between substance use, abuse, and chemical dependency. • Can articulate physical and behavioral warning signs of substance use and abuse. • Administers and/or makes referrals for drug testing as appropriate. • Makes referrals to community and contracted services available to treat substance abuse. • Can articulate substance abuse resiliency factors and recovery process. PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES Demonstrates a basic understanding of the following • Federal and state law, regulations and rules for the operation of child protection programs. • The statutory responsibility for reporting suspected abuse and neglect • Roles and responsibilities of participants in the global child welfare system, including children, families, child protection, various courts, and other child/family serving agencies • Legal definitions and concepts, including ethics, and is able to apply them within the law to casework and judicial process Establishes Effective Relationships with Colleagues • Is willing to accept and provide support and assistance from/to co-workers, supervisors and other child protective services employees • Is able to build and maintain effective working relationships with external stakeholders Follows policy and procedures • Is able to learn and understand the specific policies and procedures for child protective services • Understands the policy requirements of ethical practice and the ramifications to staff and clients when this does not occur. • Demonstrates adherence to policy and best practice Documenting • Records observations accurately as part of case documentation, using specific quotes and precise behavioral descriptions of the danger and its impact on the child • Prepares clear, accurate, and appropriate written communications or documents • Prepares court documents such as petitions, affidavits and court reports Managing Time • Acts quickly to solve problems and to get things done • Uses technology, "to-do" lists or other tools to manage time, keep track of what needs to be done, and manage multiple, pressing job demands • Regularly re-assesses and re-prioritizes in order to focus attention on the most important tasks PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: 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. Interview Requirements: 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.  

HHS agencies use E-Verify. You must bring your I-9 documentation with you on your first day of work. 

I-9 Form - Click here to download the I-9 form. 

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.

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    University of Texas at Austin
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