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Recruitment #23-002004-0004


As a State agency, Maryland Office of the Public Defender (MOPD) is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. MOPD is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status or genetic information.

All applicants must be able to effectively communicate with clients with different cultural and educational backgrounds and possess the ability to complete tasks in a fast-paced work environment.  MOPD is further committed to providing equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs and activities by modifying or adjusting the job application process or the job or work environment to make reasonable accommodations to the known applicant or employee to enable the applicant or employee be considered for the position they desire; to perform the essential functions of the position in question; or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment as are enjoyed by other similarly situated employees without disabilities, unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship.


Applicants must be able to operate a computer and other office equipment. Applicants must have access to a motor vehicle or be able to navigate public transportation. If a reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact Tawanda Jackson, Human Resources Supervisor, 410-767-8503 

The Office of the Public Defender is seeking a licensed social worker to serve as an essential team member on a grant-funded project to assist families in addressing poverty-related issues that often lead to family separation, improve family engagement, and reduce the number of Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) petitions filed in Juvenile Court.




217 E. Redwood Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Main Purpose of Job

The Grant Social Worker will be a key member of the team working to assist parents with concerns that place their family at risk of separation. The multidisciplinary team (composed of an attorney, a social worker and a parent advocate) will provide civil legal assistance, clinical assessments, individualized referrals, and ongoing support and case management. We are defense-based social workers who are client-centered, this position requires social workers with the core belief that all parents have strengths. This position and project is funded by grants from the Maryland Judiciary, Foster Care Court Improvement Program and Casey Family Programs. This position will be located in Baltimore City, Maryland.

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. An employee working in a criminal justice environment provides 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. The employee working in an indigent defense environment provides forensic social work services, including mitigation, to clients charged with crimes or delinquent offenses and creates a defense strategy with Assistant Public Defenders for the legal disposition of criminal or delinquent cases. Employees in this classification do not supervise.


A Social Worker II, Criminal Justice is the full performance level of professional social work providing clinical and forensic social work services in an indigent defense environment, including mitigation, to adult and juvenile clients charged with crimes or delinquent offenses and creates a defense strategy with Assistant Public Defenders for the legal disposition of criminal or delinquent cases. The chosen applicant will conduct psychosocial evaluations and testify regarding their clinical findings and recommendations. The applicant will work exclusively and extensively with adolescents, who are charged as adults and their families to provide linkage to resources that address structural barriers to success and will aid in reducing recidivism. The Social Worker II provides clinical and forensic services to clients that 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 these classifications do not supervise. Candidates must be willing to work with adults and juvenile clients.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities include:


· 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.

· Provide clinical expertise to attorneys in order for adequate preparation of legal strategy.

· Provide education to colleagues surrounding the impact of social and behavioral health factors on overall disposition.

· Advocate for clients in an interdisciplinary setting. 

· Ability to navigate community resources and bureaucratic agencies.

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


Social Worker I, Criminal Justice:

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

Experience: None.

Social Worker II, Criminal Justice

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

ExperienceTwo 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.

NoteCandidates 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 LCSW-C.

Background and experience in child welfare and/or forensic social work.

Experience conducting assessments and developing service plans.

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


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.


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.


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. 

Applicants can expect a background check to occur after a conditional offer of employment is made. As we see lived experience as an asset, we do not anticipate background checks playing a decisive role in the hiring process. Accordingly, we encourage all candidates to apply, regardless of criminal, credit, or driving history.

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.

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