Social Worker (Child Protective Services & Permanency Planning)

Work Type
Child Support Enforcement, Family and Children’s Services

Position Number

$51,828 - $68,601

Closing Date
Continuous Recruitment
Posted January 7, 2022

Agency Name
New Hanover County Government

Work County
New Hanover

Job Location
1650 Greenfield Street
North Carolina
Job Description

New Hanover County is committed to making lives better through serving children and families with complex needs by…

 Doing what’s right:

By ongoing assessment and partnering with families to help strengthen them and work to maintain and/or reunite children with their families whenever possible by providing support and comprehensive family-centered, solution focused interventions that will support and build a parent’s capacity to protect and nurture their children.

Doing it together:

Working cohesively with families, children, community and in-agency partners, and other child welfare entities to support and strengthen families.  

Doing it well:

Striving for excellence in meeting all mandated standards in a fast-paced but rewarding environment that ultimately seeks to assure child safety, permanence and develop and reinforce protective family units.  
New Hanover County is accepting applications for Social Workers in both the Child Protective Services unit and the Permanency Planning unit.
  Duties in Child Protective Services (CPS) include receiving and screening reports from the public regarding suspected child abuse, neglect and dependency to see if they meet legal criteria for CPS assessments; providing direct services to children and their parents/caretakers through which a timely and comprehensive assessment is conducted to determine if abuse/neglect/dependency exists, and providing for ongoing intervention if warranted; providing protective services to help families keep children who have been maltreated safely at home whenever possible; applying crisis intervention techniques, assessing risk, and developing case plans to ensure children's safety; and ensuring all required documentation, forms and reports are completed and maintained in a timely and consistent manner in accordance with local, state and federal requirements.   Duties in Permanency Planning Services (PP) include determining the most appropriate plan of reunification, relative placement, or adoption; partnering with parents, relatives, kinship placements, foster parents to develop case plans ensuring all services are arranged and provided for children and families. This includes testifying in court hearings; documenting cases; and preparing reports along with working hard to develop a positive relationship with children and parents to help strengthen families and promote permanency for children in the custody of the Department.


90% of field work is done in homes, court, and the community.  Must be able to lift and carry a child.  This position holds the opportunity for telework on a partial basis, where the selected candidate will occasionally start his/her workday from home and report directly to job sites throughout the day.  Certain meetings or trainings will require the employee to come into the office. The ideal candidate for telework position  is a self-starter with strong written and verbal skills and solid proficiency in using modern office technology to perform work duties.  
Working for New Hanover County's Social Services Department: 
New Hanover County's Consolidated Human Services Agency is a single county agency that provides any combination of Public Health and Social Services throughout the county. The Social Services department is comprised of a team of dedicated professionals seeking to serve the citizens of our county through providing essential human services. The department is a part of a dynamic, professional county organization with a clear vision as a vibrant, prosperous, diverse coastal community, committed to building a sustainable future for generations to come. Ideal candidates for the department of social services have excellent customer service, organizational and computer skills, the ability to problem solve and make critical decisions and above all, an overwhelming desire to serve the citizens of our county. New Hanover County is dedicated to the recruitment and recognition of a talented and diverse workforce that is committed to public service. Our shared values of professionalism, innovation, integrity, stewardship and accountability guide the way we conduct ourselves and deliver services to our customers.  Supported by the work of our Office of Diversity and Equity, New Hanover County celebrates diversity in our employees’ backgrounds, beliefs, identities, and abilities, while supporting growth opportunities for all. Our talented team has a passion for providing care and services that effect change on the everyday lives of the citizens they encounter. The differences that unite us are a reflection of the community we serve.   If this sounds like an organization that models the values you uphold, we invite you to join our team at New Hanover County.
Salary Information: The hiring range for this position is $51,828 - $68,601. Salary will be determined based on qualifications, internal equity, budget, and market considerations. Bilingual candidates are eligible for a differential (5%) when performing Spanish language interpretation during the course of work.  Trainee Opportunities: Applicants who meet the required minimum education but lack the required social work experience may be considered, and if hired, will be paid at least the minimum trainee rate of $47,829 and will remain at a trainee rate until the minimum experience qualifications are met.  Priority consideration for trainee applicants will be given to those applicants who have completed the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative Program and to those possessing a BSW or MSW. The maximum period for an employee to remain in a trainee status is two (2) years.  All experience requirements must be met within two (2) years of employment.  New Hanover County offers:
  • Employer paid 401k contributions;
  • Retirement plan through the NC Retirement system;
  • Flex time and telework availability, depending on your position;
  • Paid sick and personal leave + 13 paid holidays per year;
  • Paid parental leave;
  • Paid community services leave to give back to our community;
  • Education leave to obtain a degree within your line of work;
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance + many other insurance options;
  • Onsite, employer-paid health and wellness center;
  • Professional development trainings & leadership initiatives;
  • Opportunities to make a difference in your community;
  • And so much more!
Please check out our careers page at for more information on why New Hanover County is a great place to work.
Minimum Qualifications
  • MSW from an accredited school and 1 year of related social work experience;
  • OR BSW from an accredited school of social work and 2 years of related social work experience;
  • OR a four-year degree in a human services field with at least 15 semester hours in courses related to social work and 3 years of related social work experience;
  • OR a four-year degree and 4 years of related social work experience.
Must have valid Driver's license, good driving record, and own transportation.   Bilingual in English and Spanish strongly preferred.     Licenses/Certifications Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:  
  • Ability to prioritize workload and maintain administrative duties while balancing field work
  • Identify and assess risk, address safety issues, & problem-solve with families to create solutions
  • Ability to make connections with families and support family-centered principles
  • Ability to make decisions without regard to that personal prejudices, biases, and experiences and respect the value of individual differences at all levels of the organization
  • Ability to think critically during conflict and high-stress situations and exercise sound judgement
  • Ability to build and maintain positive, productive relationships with peers, colleagues, managers, providers, the community and other professionals
  • Thorough knowledge of agency procedures and resources, community systems and resources, manual material, state and federal regulations, permanency planning philosophy, and laws governing protective services for children.
  • Knowledge of basic criminal justice procedures, elements of medical and mental disorders, personality theory, family systems dynamics, interpersonal relations, and cultural differences, values and lifestyles.
  • Firmly adhere to codes of conduct and ethical principles
  • Ability to navigate technology and quickly learn new and complex systems
Note:  Applicants who only have economic services caseworker or Probation/Parole Officer experience to count as social work experience, must have a minimum of two years of experience in order to be considered as a trainee. Experience counts as social work experience for one half the time up to one year maximum. For example, one year of  experience equals six months of social work experience; two years of experience equals one year of social work experience; and ten years of experience equals one year of social worker experience.     Other Information
North Carolina Child Welfare Work:
Watch a introduction into the daily life of a social worker and learn what it takes to make a profound impact on your community. This information is provided by the UNC School of Social Work, and the video can be found by clicking here.
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.   All position assignments must be available to work during emergency situations. External Candidates:  Full vaccination for COVID-19 is required within 30 days of employment. Vaccination status, to include documentation if fully vaccinated, is required by the first day of employment.  
Link to Agency Posting Job