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Contractual Grant Parental Defense Division Title IV-E

Recruitment #22-002004-0001


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. We are committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourage people historically underrepresented to apply.

The Office of the Public Defender is seeking a social worker to provide clinical services in our Parental Defense Division Baltimore County office supporting parents whose children have been placed in the custody of DSS.  Several positions will be filled statewide under Title IV-E matching funds.

OPD’s Parental Defense Division represents parents and guardians when the Department of Social Services has, or wants to, remove their children and place them in state custody. OPD is seeking a Social Worker for our Baltimore County trial office to serve as a member of the legal defense team alongside lawyers and social workers.  In addition to providing our clients with high-quality legal defense, the goals of the teams include keeping children out of foster care, shortening lengths of stay for children in foster care, promoting quality visiting arrangements, ensuring that families receive services that they feel they need to address the family’s social needs, and providing out of court advocacy on behalf of the parents. We are seeking Social Worker who utilize an anti-oppressive framework and possess a nuanced understanding of the harm perpetrated by the social work profession as a whole. These are grant-funded positions contingent on the renewal of matching grant funds. 


ASTD16 Step 11 $70,010-$86,450
ASTD17 Step 11 $74,705-$92,290


200 Washington Ave, Towson, MD 21204

Main Purpose of Job

The Parental Defense Social Workers will provide social work expertise and services as part of the family defense team.  In an interdisciplinary setting, Social Workers work as agents of the attorney to provide legal representation to parents when their children have been removed, or are in danger of being removed from them by the local department of social services. As “agents of the attorney,” Social Workers employed by the Parental Defense Division must adhere to client-attorney privilege and, as a result, are not mandated reports. Social Workers in this position are exempt from legal requirements to report suspected child abuse or neglect to state officials.

A Social Worker I is the intermediate level of professional social work providing clinical, therapeutic, and forensic social work services. A social worker in the Parental Defense Division provides clinical and therapeutic services and works alongside parents enmeshed in family policing/child welfare court proceedings. Social Workers in the Parental Defense Division should possess a general understanding of behavioral health, a strengths-based approach and the impact of social factors on overall well being. As a Social Worker 1, this practitioner will receive supervision under a Licensed Social Worker- Clinical to obtain hours toward the highest level of licensure.
A Social Worker II is the full performance level of professional social work providing clinical and forensic social work services in an indigent defense environment, including mitigation, and creates a strategy with Assistant Public Defenders for the legal disposition of abuse or neglect cases. A Social Worker II in the Parental Defense Division should possess a strong understanding of behavioral health, harm reduction and the impact of social factors on overall well being. Employees in these classifications do not supervise.


*Understanding of interdisciplinary work and the ability to work as members of the parent’s legal team as an agent of the public defender.
*Ability to understand and address personal biases surrounding parenting.  
*Provide clinical assessments, implement plans to identify and address mental health concerns, substance use disorder (SUD), the effects of trauma, and connect families to desired services and evidence-based services. *Provides field placement to social work interns
*Provides clinical expertise to attorneys in order for adequate preparation of legal strategy.
*Provides education to colleagues surrounding the impact of social and behavioral health factors on overall disposition.
*Advocates for clients in an interdisciplinary setting.
*Ability to navigate community resources and bureaucratic agencies. 
*Develops, maintains and closes client case files in accordance with Office of the Public Defender procedures and maintains client confidentiality. 
*Assist with data collection and reporting required for Title IV-E funding.


Social Worker I CJ
Education: Determined by the State Board of Social Work Examiners under the licensing requirements for Social Workers.
Experience: None.

Social Worker II CJ
Education:  Determined by the State Board of Social Work Examiners under the licensing requirements for Social Workers. 
Experience: Two years of experience providing clinical and therapeutic social work services through the application of the principles, methods and procedures of professional social work to clients requiring rehabilitative counseling.
Note: Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience at the rank of Corporal/Petty Officer or higher as a commissioned officer in Social Work classifications or Social Work specialty codes  in Social Science, Psychology or Welfare fields of work for the required experience.


Currently licensed as an LMSW or LCSW-CBackground and experience in child welfare/family policing and/or forensic social work and/or social justice-oriented work

Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Detail-oriented and able to meet internal and external deadlines. 

Ability to balance working as a team and working independently. 


1. Employees are required to be licensed as a 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 Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions.

5. In-state travel required.


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 for interview will be required to complete a writing sample onsite during the interview process.


Contractual employees who work for an agency covered under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program, have a current employment contract and work 30 or more hours a week (or on average 130 hours per month) may be eligible for subsidized health benefits coverage for themselves and their dependents. As a contractual employee, you will be responsible for paying 25% of the premiums for your medical and prescription coverage, including any eligible dependents you have enrolled. The State of Maryland will subsidize the remaining 75% of the cost for these benefits. You can also elect to enroll in dental coverage, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and life insurance, but will be responsible to pay the full premium for these benefits. Leave may be granted to a contractual employee who has worked 120 days in a 12-month period. This leave accrues at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, not to exceed 40 hours per calendar year.


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, and encourage them to apply.

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