County of Nevada, CA July, 2008
SOCIAL SERVICE WORKER I (Trainee)/II/III/IV
Classes in the Social Service Worker series describe non-supervisory Social Service Workers.
The classes are used in county social service agencies to determine the need for social
services, and to authorize the provision of and in some cases directly provide social services to
public assistance applicants, clients, and other persons eligible for services.
Factors that determine the class in the series to which a position is assigned include complexity
and sensitivity of work, independence of action, degree of judgment and expertise required.
Further distinguishing characteristics of classes in the series include:
Social Service Worker I: This is the entry level professional class for recruiting and training.
Incumbents work in a training capacity and under close supervision while carrying a limited non-
complex social service caseload.
Social Service Worker II: This is the first journeyperson level in the series. This class is
distinguished from the next lower class of SSW I by the fact that incumbents carry a caseload of
moderately difficult cases, make case studies to determine extent of social services needs of
clients and are expected to perform without close supervision. This class is further
distinguished from the next higher class of SSW III by the fact that incumbents do not deal with
the more difficult social services such as foster home licensing and placement and liaison with
Social Service Worker III: This is the advanced journeyperson level in the Social Service
Worker series. Incumbents provide the more difficult social services such as foster home
licensing, foster home placement, liaison with the juvenile court, or specialized functions
requiring a high level of perception and creativity. This class is distinguished from the next
lower class of SSW II by the difficulty of the caseload and the independence of judgment
exercised, although they are given supervisory consultation when needed. The class is further
distinguished from the next higher class of SSW IV by the fact that this class does not handle
the most difficult cases such as adoptions, protective services, and other areas requiring high
level and sophisticated social services' expertise and techniques.
Social Service Worker IV: This is the highest level in the series. Positions in this classification
perform casework of an advanced nature in the most difficult social services area. Casework is
in areas such as adoptions, protective services, and other areas requiring high level and
sophisticated social service expertise and technique.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES (Illustrative Only)
Social Service Worker I: Studies and applies the principles and techniques of social work to a
caseload which includes basic types of service problems; as a learner-trainee, interviews clients
to ascertain the nature of their problems and develop elementary service plans, carries out the
less difficult services plans under close supervision where the end result normally is a tangible
service; makes referral to other staff members when problems are beyond his level of
Social Service Worker I/II/III/IV - Page 2
competence; interprets service rules, regulations and policy to clients and the general public
when within the scope of his responsibility; attends training courses designed to further his
understanding of the social work processes and to increase his technical competence.
Social Service Worker II: Carries a caseload which includes cases with problems of moderate
difficulty; makes case studies to determine social service needs of clients; develops and carries
out basic social treatment plans for an assigned caseload; refers clients to other members of the
staff when the client's problems are beyond the incumbent's level of competence; makes social
studies and develops non-complex treatment plans; assists applicants and recipients in utilizing
available resources for individual needs; interprets the policies, rules and regulations of the
department to applicants, clients and others within the scope of responsibility; makes home calls
in connection with casework assignments; prepares and maintains case records; participates in
service training and other staff development activities to increase knowledge of social work
processes and achieve technical competence; receives casework consultation from
professionally trained staff members.
Social Service Worker III: Caries a caseload of the more difficult types of social service cases
requiring a high degree of technical competence, such as situations where environmental forces
effect family life (such as juvenile court liaison, in-home supportive services, foster home
placement and supervision); makes a diagnosis of client problems and follows through with the
less difficult social treatment plans with a high degree of independence; demonstrates a high
degree of knowledge and technical skill necessary to properly interpret policy, rules and
regulations to clients, applicants and others; may act as a leadman to a small group of social
service workers or service employees, such as aides and volunteers; prepares and maintains
case records, reports, and answers correspondence; takes part in staff development programs
to increase technical competence.
Social Service Worker IV: Performs casework of an advanced nature in the most difficult social
service areas which requires the application of high level and sophisticated social services'
expertise and techniques (such as the more difficult cases in children's and adult protective
services and adoption); acts in behalf of the service unit supervisor when the supervisor is not
available for professional, clerical and administrative tasks; utilizes principles and methods of
social service research, child psychology and family relationships in developing case treatment
plans and follows through in the most difficult social service areas; prepares the most sensitive
reports, correspondence and records; provides consultation to Social Service Workers with less
knowledge and/or competence; may participate and/or assist in staff and client training in social
The elementary principles and techniques of interviewing and recording social casework.
Socioeconomic conditions and trends.
The basic principles of individual and group behavior.
Current issues in the field of social welfare.
Principles of problem solving methodology.
Basic public welfare programs on the federal, state, and local level.
The general principles of public assistance policies and programs.
Social Service Worker I/II/III/IV - Page 3
Social problems calling for the use of public and private community resources.
Social Service Worker II: All of the above, plus:
The basic principles and techniques of interviewing and recording social casework.
The laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of the Department of Public
Community organization and the social problems calling for the use of public and private
The basic principles involved in the nature, growth, and development of personality and
Social Service Worker III: All of the above, plus:
The local socioeconomic conditions.
Current problems and methodology in the field of public social services.
Specialized aid programs.
Social Service Worker IV: All of the above, plus:
Social service research methods.
Physical and mental health and the impact of personality.
Principle sources of information necessary in completing investigations of applicants or
recipients for public assistance.
The principles of supervision, training and instructional methods and techniques.
Understand and learn the agency programs, policy and procedures.
Obtain facts and recognize the relevant and significant.
Organize and maintain work detail.
Relate and work with agency staff, clients and others.
Speak and write effectively.
Establish and maintain client rapport on an individual basis.
Social Service Worker II:
Analyze situations and adopt effective courses of action.
Apply existing laws, rules and regulations to welfare department operations.
Interpret to the applicant, recipient or others public social service programs.
Develop skill in interviewing, case recording and interpretation.
Work constructively within a community setting and effectively use appropriate resources
Social Service Worker III:
Demonstrate skill in the more difficult casework areas.
Accept and use consultative supervision in achieving agency and program goals.
Social Service Worker IV:
Social Service Worker I/II/III/IV - Page 4
Plan, assign, and supervise the work of others.
Provide consultative service to subordinate staff members.
Apply the principles of child psychology and family relationships. Evaluate personal and
psychological factors in the child and/or family's situation.
Act effectively under stressful situations.
Training and Experience:
Social Service Worker I:
Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university
Successful completion of 30 semester (15 quarter) units in social welfare, social/human
services, sociology or other behavioral sciences* from an accredited college or university
One year of full-time experience comparable to the Social Service Aide, Eligibility
Worker II or Employment and Training Worker II; or
Three years of full-time experience comparable to the Vocational Assistant or
Homemaker classification; or
Two years of full-time experience as a teacher or nurse, or as a counselor in a public or
private social service agency.
Social Service Worker II:
One year of full-time experience comparable to the Social Services Worker I
One year of full-time social work casework experience and thirty (30) college semester
units from an accredited college or university, including fifteen (15) units in social
welfare, social/human services, sociology, or other social or behavioral science**.
Social Service Worker III:
One year of full-time experience comparable to the Social Services Worker II
Two (2) years of full-time experience as a Social Worker in a public or private agency
and thirty (30) college semester units from an accredited college or university, including
Social Service Worker I/II/III/IV - Page 5
fifteen (15) units in social welfare, social/human services, sociology, or other social or
Social Service Worker IV:
Possession of a Master's degree in social work (MSW) or a Master's degree from a two
year graduate counseling program from an accredited college or university.
[Qualifying master's degrees from a two-year counseling program are those that
included an internship or supervised fieldwork (minimum of 900 hours) and completion of
approximately 45 semester or 67 quarter units of graduate level courses with emphasis
in vocational rehabilitation, family or marriage counseling, gerontology, or a closely
related field. Completion of all of the requirements for a Marriage and Family Therapy
(MFT) license program may be substituted upon submission of verifying proof.]
**Examples of social or behavioral science courses include: anthropology, criminal
justice, economics, education, ethnic studies, history, human development, law, nursing,
nutrition, philosophy, political science, psychology, public health, religion, social welfare,
sociology, welfare, women's studies.
Valid drivers’ license within 30 days of hire (required for each level).
All County of Nevada employees are designated as Disaster Service Workers during a
proclaimed emergency and may be required to perform certain emergency services at
the direction of their supervisor.
Some positions may require possession of special language and culture skills as a bona
fide qualifications standard. In these cases, candidates must demonstrate that they
possess the required skills.
This class description lists the major duties and requirements of the job and is not all-
inclusive. Not all duties are necessarily performed by each incumbent. Incumbents may
be expected to perform job-related duties other than those contained in this document
and may be required to have specific job-related knowledge and skills.