Parent Support Specialist (Social Services Specialist II)

Fairfax County Government - Fairfax, VA4.2

Full-time
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As a member of the Department of Family Services' (DFS) Family Engagement Program (FEP), the Parent Support Specialist serves as a subject matter expert in recovery-focused approaches and best practices. Collaborates with Children Youth and Families (CYF) primary social services specialists to provide engagement, information, outreach, advocacy, and support services on the front end to fathers and mothers with substance use related challenges, and whose children are involved with the child welfare system. Coaches/models effective coping techniques and self-help strategies based on the Parent Support Specialist's professional training and experience. Works with parents, primary CYF specialists, treatment agencies and treatment teams to remove barriers, and empower clients to set recovery goals and achieve them. Educates parents, their families, kinship care providers and professionals about wellness, treatment and recovery and their direct link to effective parenting. Coordinates and facilitates empowerment groups for mothers and fathers. Participates in local and state workgroups and committees addressing substance use and addiction. Engages community partners to build collaborative relationships that promote systems level cooperation and service integration.

ILLUSTRATIVE DUTIES:
Conducts home visits to support engagement of parents with services and with their children;
Collaborates with Children Youth and Families (CYF) staff to advocate for and assist parents in obtaining and navigating needed substance use treatment related services and resources;
Demonstrates expertise in identifying community-based resources that address a broad array of parents and their families related needs.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Ability to observe client behavior/appearance and complete accurate clinical assessments;
Knowledge of the principles, process and components of recovery;
Knowledge of ethics and boundaries as they relate to child welfare practice;
Knowledge of human services available from public, private and volunteer organizations;
Ability to quickly establish rapport, develop trust, and maintain effective relationships and boundaries with clients, professionals, and the public;
Ability to maintain confidentiality of clinical, medical, and child welfare case records;
Ability to effectively deliver a substance use related educational group curriculum;
Strong group facilitation skills / ability to effectively manage group dynamics;
Effective presentation skills;
Ability to accurately collect and enter client related data.
Schedule: Flexible schedule is required to facilitate evening groups, attend home visits, and community events.

Employment Standards

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor's degree, plus two years of professional social work experience. A master's degree in a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience.

CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES REQUIRED:
Valid driver's license upon hire.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC), or Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC-A).
Experience in child welfare and family engagement practice.
Experience working directly with fathers and mothers or caretakers with substance use issues and their family members.
Bilingual in English and Spanish.
Ability to use one's lived personal experience of recovery and experience with assessing different levels of care.
Effective oral and written communication skills.
Effective presentation skills.

NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
Appointee must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check, a check of the Child Protective Services Registry, and a driver's record check to the satisfaction of the employer.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
Ability to use automated technology. Sufficiently mobile to travel throughout Fairfax County to attend meetings, home visits trainings, and community events. Able to transport 40 pounds (within a travel case containing supplies) for empowerment groups and training setup. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

SELECTION PROCEDURE:
Panel interview; may include exercise.

It is the policy of Fairfax County Government to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.