Social Worker III

Work Type
Adult Services

Position Number


Closing Date
February 6, 2022
Posted January 27, 2022

Agency Name
Craven County Department of Social Services

Work County

Job Contact
Craven County Department of Social Services 252-636-4900

Job Location
2818 Neuse Blvd
New Bern
North Carolina
Job Description

Primary Purpose As a member of the Adult Protective Services Unit within the Adult Services Program Area, this worker serves as an Adult Protective Services Social Worker.  The primary purpose of Adult Protective Services is the amelioration and prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation of disabled adults living in Craven County. Essential Functions 95% Adult Protective Services
  • Clients served are adults, or legally emancipated minors, with disabilities which have incapacitated them so that they are unable to care for themselves, and who have no one able or willing to assist with the care they need.  Clients may be vulnerable to abuse, neglect or exploitation by a caretaker or they may be neglecting themselves.  They may live alone, with family members, or with non-related persons acting as caretakers.  They may live in private homes or local residential care facilities.  Referrals for services are received from within the agency, other human service agencies and from the general public.
  • The worker maintains an APS caseload size of 18 or less in order to allow for the more concentrated work required. The length of time a case is carried depends on the nature of the situation and the client's needs.  Often crisis situations requiring intense and concentrated services can be resolved in a relatively minimal amount of time.  Other cases with more complex problems require long-term efforts and may be carried by the worker for several months.
  • The potential for legal intervention is what distinguishes protective services from  other social work services.  (Responsibilities listed in Implementation).
Assessment & Evaluation
  • Receives screens and evaluates reports indicating the need for adult protective services, i.e., abuse, neglect and exploitation.
  • Initiates APS evaluations within legal time constraints.
  • Interviews clients, clients' families and, when applicable, residential care facilities' staff and other service provider staff to gather evidence and to identify factors that contribute to the clients' endangerments.
  • Identifies societal and cultural influences affecting the client and client's perception of his situation.
  • Measures the functional ability of the client to care for himself.
  • Assesses the extent to which client can mobilize family and community supports.
  • Determines client's capacity to consent to services.
  • Balances client's right to self-determination with the need for protective intervention.
  • Assesses the degree to which client's situation is life threatening in order to determine the need for emergency intervention.
  • Evaluates potential dangers that, if left unattended, could result in harm.
  • Works in conjunction with other Adult Services staff, supervisors, the agency attorney, guardian ad litem, client, family, court staff, medical and mental health professionals, director, etc., as needed to assess a client's need for protective services
Development / Treatment / Goal / Service Plans
  • Formulates and reviews with client strategies of intervention that would rectify the problems identified.
  • Identifies potential financial and social resources.
  • Creates innovative solutions to meet client's unique needs.
  • Develops with client specific, time oriented goals in efforts to maintain adequate levels of functioning and prevent further deterioration.
  • Engages medical, psychiatric and legal professionals, when appropriate, in forming plans to delay or prevent deterioration.
  • Engages client's family in planning process.
  • Documents goals, objectives and strategies.
  • Implements plan formulated to safeguard client's well-being.
  • Mediates between client and conflicting parties.
  • Coordinates essential services from other human service agencies in order to address client's immediate and changing needs.  These include but are not limited to arranging for proper medical care, securing adequate housing, arranging for legal services, and locating a payee or personal representative.
  • Utilizes alternative resources when traditional resources are not available or appropriate to meet client's needs.
  • Protects client's financial interests by managing monies when the agency is appointed payee for client's Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
  • Charts in service record significant progress or barriers that hinder progress.
  • Petitions the Court for guardianship or Protective Service Orders when appropriate.
  • Reports to District Attorney and law enforcement any evidence of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled adult by a caretaker.
  • Recommends to the District Attorney possible courses of action relative to perpetrators.  Recommendations are based on worker's assessment of continuing risk factors.
  • Prepares Court Summaries if court action is indicated.
  • Completes case recordings.
  • Facilitates placements in appropriate level of care.
  • Works in conjunction with other Adult Services staff, supervisors, the agency attorney, guardian ad litem, client, family, court staff, medical and mental health professionals, director, etc., as needed to implement services to meet a client's needs
Counseling / Therapy
  • Assists client in recognizing and coping with the hazardous factors that make protective services necessary.
  • Enhances client's problem-solving abilities through the use of role modeling, advising, educating and reinforcing.
  • Responds to crises by diluting or redirecting potential danger.
  • Analyzes situations independently and selects appropriate intervention strategy.
  • Advocates for client when barriers occur within the service delivery system.
  • Discusses sensitive issues with client in supportive atmosphere.
  • Encourages clients requiring long-term services, such as nursing home placement.
  • Encourages client to assume an active role in making decisions affecting his welfare.
  • Enhances client's perception of conditions that can and cannot be altered.
  • Assists client in recognizing vulnerabilities and potential dangers in order to prevent a crisis.
  • Maintains progress notes to better measure the effectiveness of intervention.
  • Promotes an understanding of Court processes through supportive counseling with client and family.
  • Educates client and family to differences in level of group care.
  • Assists client in coping with major changes in living conditions (home and congregate living).
Monitoring / Reviewing / Maintenance
  • Reviews all cases at least quarterly to determine progress, maintenance level, barriers, etc., and documents this information.
  • Advises supervisor on problematic cases.
  • Contacts appropriate service providers (e.g. nurses, rest home and nursing home staff) to assess progress.
  • Revises service plan as warranted by information received and ongoing assessments.
  • Determines when client can resolve problems independently and begins disengagement process.
  • Advises subcontracted in-home aide agencies in situations involving protective or preventive services for disabled adults.
  • Informs hospital, Health Department, rest home, nursing home staff and other human service staff relative to the Adult Protective Services law.
  • Consults with District Attorney, Clerk of Court, and other Court personnel regarding policies and procedures relating to Adult Protective Services.
  • Consults with human service professionals from other agencies.
Community Liaison
  • Presents information on Adult Protective Services and other social work services to community groups and organizations.
  • Disseminates to the general public materials on Adult Protective Services for the purpose of educating citizens on the importance of prompt reporting when abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled adult is suspected and on better understanding the needs of endangered adults.
  • Trains staff of local rest homes and nursing homes on ways of identifying abuse, neglect or exploitation of a disabled adult and encourages prompt reporting.
  • Responds to social work students requesting information on Adult Protective Services and other social work services as part of their education process.
  • Trains staff in other human service agencies on a shared approach to Adult Protective Services.
5% Miscellaneous
  • Performing shelter duty in time of a disaster
  • This position is subject to other duties as assigned by the Social Work Program Manager, Deputy Director and/or Director.
  Minimum Education and Experience Master's degree in social work from an accredited school of social work; Bachelor's degree in social work from an accredited school of social work and one year directly related experience; Master's degree in a human services field and one year of directly related experience; Bachelor's degree in a human services field from an accredited college or university and two years directly related experience; Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and three years of directly related experience
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