Social Service Specialist- Belonging House/vancouver

State of Washington
Full Time, Permanent State of Washington Dept of Children, Youth, and Families United States


Our vision is to ensure that “Washington state’s children and youth grow up safe and healthy— thriving physically, emotionally, and academically, nurtured by family and community." 

Job Title: Social Service Specialist 5 (SSS5)
Location: Vancouver, WA (Belonging House) We currently have openings for day, swing, and graveyard shifts.   
Closes: 5/22/24
Salary: $6,046 - $8133.

We are looking for a Social Service Specialist 5 (SSS5) to join our Belonging House team, located in Vancouver. The Belonging House may serve up to seven youths, with a staff ratio of one social service specialist or support specialist to three youths.  If you have a passion for leadership and making a difference in your community, apply today.    

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The Opportunity:
The Social Service Specialist 5 functions as the first-line supervisor of a unit of social service specialists and is responsible for managing the day-to-day functioning of Belonging House, including on-call duties, supervision of direct care staff, and responding to emergent situations as needed. This position will utilize cultural competency to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with youth, peers, community partners, and other individuals across cultures focusing on understanding and respecting the strengths of the youth including their heritage, cultural beliefs and values, communication, and learning style.
Some of what you will get to do:
  • Supervise a unit of social service specialists.
  • Model positive pro-social behavior with youth and staff in Belonging House.
  • Ensure that the youth at Belonging House receive access to education, nutrition, and youth enrichment activities.
  • Coordinate with the youths' primary assigned social service specialist to manage case plans and ensure proper coordination of services.
  • Support youth with complex mental health, developmental, and behavioral needs.
  • Coordinate with other supervisors to ensure appropriate supervisory coverage for the office.
  • Participate in supervisory, administrative, and individual meetings and conferences.
  • Perform quality assurance on staff documentation, assessments, reports, case management, and payment initiation.
  • Ensure that Social Service Specialists document all case activities and information gathered within the case file and FAMLINK electronic record.
  • Lead staff through coaching, counseling, and feedback as necessary.
  • Prepare written performance evaluations for staff utilizing the current Performance Evaluation system.
  • Hire and train new and existing professional staff in the law, policies, and procedures governing their job assignments.   
  • Keep staff informed of policies, rules, and regulations affecting their jobs and the clients they serve.
  • Provide consultation and oversight to ensure accurate application of child safety framework.
Required Qualifications: 
One year of experience as a Social Service Specialist 4.

Two years of experience as a Social Service Specialist 3.
A Master's degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, or Master’s degree which includes 30 semester or 45 quarter credits in a Social Services discipline AND three years of paid social service experience*.
A Bachelor's degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences OR any Bachelor’s degree which includes 30 semester or 45 quarter credits in a Social Services discipline AND four years of paid social service experience*.
NOTE: A two-year Master's degree in one of the above fields that includes a practicum may be substituted for one year of paid social service experience.
*Paid social service experience must include assessing risk and safety to children and providing direct family-centered practice services.
In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following:
  • Working understanding of state and federal laws and agency policies and regulations.
  • Experience assessing risk and safety concerning child abuse and neglect or developing safety and service plans with families. 
  • Demonstrated experience providing direct care to youth in a community environment.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with community resources.
  • Ability to use de-escalation techniques approved for intervention by DCYF with verbally and/or physically aggressive youth.
  • Demonstrated understanding of adolescent development and complex trauma.
  • Experience using FamLink to maintain documentation.

How do I apply?Complete your applicant profile and attach the following: 

  •  Transcripts (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for application purposes)
  •  Cover Letter 
  •  Current resume