Overview

This position will be filled at either the I or II level depending on the applicant’s qualifications and job experience.
It is recommended that you apply for all levels if you are qualified.

The Department of Health & Social Services, Office of Children’s Services (OCS) is recruiting for a full-time Protective Service Specialist I/II located in the Ketchikan Field Office.

The incumbent in this position acts in a generalist role (Initial Assessments and Family Services work). This position occasionally may travel to Metlakatla or Prince of Wales. Maintaining strong working relationships with community partners is essential in this role.

The Alaska Office of Children’s Services is contributing every day to the protection, health and wellbeing of Alaskans and their families. If you are interested in joining us in our mission, take a moment to view our recruitment video and also visit our website. Then review the Key Responsibilities, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for the position and apply today!

OCS practice is based on the following Guiding Principles:
A child’s safety is paramount.
A determination that safety threats are present with a family does not equate with removal. It directs staff to make informed decisions about safety planning that will control the threats. These actions may be in-home, out-of-home, or a combination of the two.
Collaboration with Alaska Native tribes is fundamental to best practice.
Families are treated respectfully, thoughtfully and as genuine partners.
A person’s right to self-determination should be valued and supported.
A safety intervention system is congruent with strengths based and family centered practice. Safety is what we do; family centered practice is how we do it.
Needed interventions are based on family engagement, using the family’s perspective about what their needs and strengths are.
By engaging in a collaborative problem solving process with the family, case plans will be specific to the uniqueness of each family served.
Building parent/caregiver protective capacities are essential for the ability of families to protect their children.
Relevant services will be sought with respect for and understanding of the families’ culture.
OCS needs partnerships within the community and stakeholders to achieve strong outcomes for children and families.

This position requires the incumbent to travel to remote areas in small aircraft and have occasional overnight stays in rustic conditions with some exposure to extreme weather conditions in the winter. You may also have the opportunity to assist other field offices within the Southeastern Region for a few days on an as-needed basis.

Initial Assessment:
A Protective Services Specialist in the Initial Assessments Unit will investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. They are tasked with determining what happened, assessing future risk within the family, and taking appropriate action in order to ensure safety. An Initial Assessment caseworker will rotate with other staff to provide after-hours, emergency, and on-call responses to alleged child abuse and neglect situations.

Essential Job Functions
Determining if a child can live safely with his or her family.
Responding to reports of harm to children within designated timeframes, including immediately in crisis situations.
Investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect and taking the necessary steps to protect children.
Assessing children for signs of abuse or neglect both physically and non-physically. This may involve serious injuries or exposure to extreme circumstances.
Interviewing and gathering information from family members, community members, law enforcement, and others who have knowledge of the family in order to determine if abuse or neglect happened and if further intervention is necessary.
Develop a plan, if needed, to keep the child or children safe. Recommend services for the child and family to reduce the risk of further abuse or neglect.

Family Services
A Protective Services Specialist in Family Services will work with families whose children remain in their home as well as families whose children have been placed in out-of-home care. In collaboration with families, plans are developed to work on the underlying issues that resulted in the children being unsafe or at high risk of abuse or neglect. Family services workers continually assess child safety and family functioning to determine progress toward the child and family’s goals. OCS initially works to reunify children with their parents or caregivers; when that is not possible, other permanency goals such as guardianship, adoption, or other permanent living arrangements are considered in an effort to meet the needs of the child.

Family engagement is critical to laying the foundation to build trust and solid working relationships with family, community partners, and service providers. The engagement process must take into account the culture of the family and help the family to identify all potential support systems to better assist them to be active participants in their family’s problem solving.

Essential Job Functions
Engage with families to identify their protective capacities through the development of a case plan, which will aide in the mitigation of safety concerns.
Evaluate and recommend appropriate actions necessary to resolve family dynamics that may have led to situations of abuse or neglect.
Refer families to community resources and services identified to strengthen families while maintaining child safety.
Conduct home visits to assess the safety and well-being of children, while identifying any needs or concerns.
Compose professionally written and timely court reports, prepare and provide testimony, and attend all required court hearings for families.
Work to identify permanent living situations for children/youth who have been unable to safety reunify with the caregivers they were removed from.

The work we perform is critical and significantly impacts the communities we serve. Our regular office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 5:00PM; these hours necessitate the need for staggered work hours, as well as evening, weekends, holidays, overtime and on-call work, as needed.

The Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) to be successful as a Protective Services Specialist include but are not limited to the following:
Ability


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