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Contractual Parental Defense

Recruitment #21-002003-0001


The Office of the Public Defender is a statewide independent agency charged with providing superior legal representation to indigent defendants. The agency’s vision is Justice, Fairness and Dignity for All. Employees are committed to the core values of culture of excellence, client centered representation, tenacious advocacy, and are united in achieving the agency’s mission.


The Office of the Public Defender is seeking social workers to provide a wide array of social work services in our Parental Defense Division, supporting parents whose children have been separated from them by the DSS.  Position will be filled under Title IV-E matching funds in our Harford and Cecil county offices.




2 South Bond Street, Suite 203, Bel Air, MD 21014

Main Purpose of Job

A Social Worker I, Criminal Justice is the intermediate level of professional social work providing clinical and therapeutic or forensic social work services in either a criminal justice or indigent defense environment. Employees in this classification that work in a criminal justice environment provide clinical and therapeutic services to clients who have demonstrated a need for rehabilitative intervention because of behavioral factors or personality disorders and co-existing mental health, health, substance abuse or other social adjustment factors. Employees in this classification that work in an indigent defense environment provides forensic social work services, including mitigation, to clients charged with crimes or delinquent offenses and create defense strategies with Assistant Public Defenders for the legal disposition of criminal or delinquent cases. Employees in this classification do not supervise other positions.


Social Workers working in the Parental Defense Division will be an important part of a high-quality, multidisciplinary legal defense team. Assistant Public Defenders and Social Workers will work together to provide legal representation to a parent involved in a child welfare case.   Social Workers will be regarded as Parent Care Coordinators.  Social Workers working as part of a multidisciplinary team will be dedicated to and promote parent engagement, and understanding of the child welfare process.  This position requires knowledge about the child welfare court process, and offers a unique opportunity in child welfare and forensic social work.  We are defense-based social workers who are client-centered, and this position requires social workers with the core belief that all parents have strengths. 


A Social Worker I is the intermediate level of professional social work providing social work services. A social worker in the Parental Defense Division provides an independent assessment of the parent and family needs, makes recommendations toward court-ordered treatment plans, and provides clinical case management support and advocacy to the parent throughout the family-separation case. Travel between the Harford and Cecil County offices will be required. 



Primary Duties and Responsibilities include:


      Conduct clinical assessment that includes a needs and strengths assessment of parent; 

      Develop Ecomap, Timeline and/or Genogram, when needed;

      Assess parent and family for collateral issues that present barriers to parent participation in services;

      Establish recommendations for court-ordered treatment plans; 

      Act as a parent advocate by attending all Family Involvement Meetings and court hearings; 

      Ensure that parents are matched and referred to evidence-based treatment when applicable; 

      Develop, maintain and close client case files in accordance with Office of the Public Defender procedures, and maintain client confidentiality.

      Assist with data collection and reporting required for Title IV-E funding.


Education: Determined by the State Board of Social Work Examiners under the licensing requirements for Social Workers.

Experience: None


Currently licensed as an LMSW.
Background and experience in child welfare and/or forensic social work.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Detail-oriented and able to meet internal and external deadlines. 


1. Employees are required to be licensed as a Graduate Social Worker (on or by June 30, 2018), Master Social Worker (on or after July 1,2018, Certified Social Worker or Certified Social Worker-Clinical by the State Board of Social Work Examiners prior to appointment to a position in State service. Applicants who do not have a license may also apply pending receipt of the required license. When the license is obtained, submit a copy to the hiring department.

2. Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.


1. Employees are required to meet mandatory standards for continuing education as determined by the hiring department. Employees who fail to obtain the required continuing education credits shall be subject to disciplinary action including demotion, suspension and dismissal.

2.Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services must complete an approved training program in group counseling techniques.

3. Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services may be required to complete the Level I Counseling course certified by the Maryland AIDS Professional Education Center.

4. Employees of the Department of Juvenile Services are required to qualify for and successfully complete the Entry Level Training Academy operated by the Police and Correctional Training Commissions.

5. In State Travel.


Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment.  All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date. We will not consider information submitted after this date. Successful candidates will be ranked as Best Qualified, Better Qualified, or Qualified and placed on the employment (eligible) list for at least one year.


The examination will consist of a rating of your education, training and experience related to the requirements of the position. You may be required to complete a qualifications supplement, or the rating may be based on your application. Therefore, it is important that you provide complete and accurate information on your application. Report all experience and education that is related to this position. Applicants selected to interview will be required to complete a writing sample onsite during the interview process.


Online applications preferred.  Please fax all paper applications and questionnaires to (410) 333-2260. Inquiries regarding applications and submitting paper applications can be directed to: Office of the Public Defender, Human Resources Division, 6 Saint Paul Street, Suite 1304, Baltimore, MD 21202; or by calling (410) 767-8500, toll free: 877-430-5187; TTY users call Maryland Relay Service 800-735-2258. Please be sure to include your name, identification number (Easy ID#) and job announcement number on any documentation to ensure timely processing. A paper copy of the MD State application form and questionnaire can be downloaded from the link below.

As an equal opportunity employer, Maryland is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting employees who are reflective of the State’s diversity. People with disabilities and bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply. We thank our Veterans for their service to our country.