Forensic Social Worker/Forensic Professional Counselor

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Open Date: Nov 29, 2022
Close Date: Dec 19, 2022
Position Type: Permanent Full-time
Job Vacancy #: # PDS-2022-34
Location: 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 110 Washington, DC 20004

About The Job

PDS Overview:

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization governed by an eleven-member board of trustees. PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 214 employees, comprised of attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff, collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment.

Employment at the Public Defender Service (PDS) is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

Division Overview:

The Office of Rehabilitation and Development (ORD) provides the social work component of the defense in the representation of adult and/or juvenile clients. ORD assists staff attorneys and attorneys practicing under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) develop least restrictive, individualized sentencing and rehabilitation plans for clients, in-depth mitigation reports, case-based counseling, case management, and collaboration with criminal and/or juvenile justice agencies and other parties working with our clients

Major Duties:

This position is located in the Office of Rehabilitation and Development and provides services to adult and limited juvenile clients arrested for serious violations in the District of Columbia. Under the general supervision of the chief of the division, incumbent will evaluate clients and devise, recommend, and implement individualized service/treatment options in the least restrictive settings as well as memoranda in aid of sentencing and in-depth mitigation reports. Incumbent will perform the following duties: Work in concert with legal counsel on behalf of PDS clients and, at times, appointed counsel clients through the Criminal Justice Act (CJA). Visit clients, family, and other collateral contacts to establish personal background and history summaries. Visit clients at their residence, jails, group homes/halfway houses, and other similar locations. Develop dispositional plans geared to the specific and individual needs of each client, evaluate and recommend treatment options and prison programs (where appropriate). Identify and make referrals for mental health and medical services, substance abuse treatment, education, and other services. Work with local social service agencies to identify programs and resources for clients and their families, and keep abreast of and develop cooperative relationships with service organizations and legal agencies to assist clients with matters related to their rehabilitation and develop dispositional strategies.

Required Qualifications:

A master’s degree or higher in social work, counseling, or related degree, a clinical license, three years of post-graduate professional, advanced experience as social worker/case manager or other comparable experience, or advanced year graduate school internship placement at a social work department of a public defender office that handles major felonies.

Preferred Qualifications:

Professional mental health experienced applicants are highly desired and encouraged to apply.

Other Requirements: Incumbent must have no convictions as defined in DC Code Section 14.305 (b) (1) (Impeachment by evidence of conviction of crime). Reliable transportation is necessary as travel is required in and around the DC area.

Application Evaluation:

How you will be evaluated: Your application package includes your letter of interest, résumé and requested supporting documents. Please ensure your application package includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position. Failure to provide sufficient evidence in your application package and requested supporting documents can result in rejection of your application package.

Rating: Your application package will be rated and ranked among other applicants based on your experience, education, training, performance appraisals, and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating can be lowered if your application package is not supported by the requested documents.

Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application package will be referred to a hiring manager for consideration at which time you may be invited to participate in a selection interview.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) Required: In addition to a traditional resume, candidates should submit a separate narrative statement addressing the following quality ranking factors. These factors will be used to distinguish the best-qualified applicants from a group of persons basically qualified for the position. Failure to submit your narrative response for this position will negatively affect your eligibility and/or rating for this position.

  1. Experience working with arrested adults and understanding of the plight of persons from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  2. Direct defense experience working with adult clients on rehabilitation and dispositional issues.
  3. Knowledge of social work concepts and concepts related to rehabilitation and alternatives to confinement.
  4. Demonstrated excellent writing and oral persuasion skills and ability to communicate effectively to broad spectrum of people.
  5. Demonstrated computer skills.
  6. Familiarity with treatment and rehabilitation resources available in the D.C. metro area.
  7.  Knowledge of the court system.

 

Number of vacancies:

1

Pay Series:

AD-0101-11/12/13 (GS-11/12/13 Equivalent)

Compensation:

Starting Salary: AD-11 $74,950 - $97,430 (equivalent to GS-11)

Promotion Potential: AD-13 (equivalent to GS-13)

The incumbent may be promoted without further competition upon completion of one year of exemplary performance, subject to approval of the PDS Director.

 

 

Benefits:

PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and employees are entitled to participate in federal benefits plans, federal retirement systems, and the workers compensation program. Transferring federal employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes (if applicable)

Please click on the link below for a full list of benefits: 

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare 

 

Who May Apply:

US Citizens or persons authorized to work in the United States. PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and an e-Verify Participating Agency

How to Apply:

Applicants must submit the following (Materials should be consolidated as a single PDF and submitted through the PDS employment application portal).
Explanation why leaving current, or left most recent, employment (include in resume or cover letter)
a traditional résumé with day telephone and email contact information;
graduate school transcripts;
a narrative statement addressing above KSAs;
a writing sample;
a list of three references; and
your most recent performance appraisal (if applicable

Please submit your application package through PDS’s online application portal found through the following link:  https://pdsdc.jobs.net/en-US/search. PDS will not accept application packages by email, mail, fax or personal delivery. Materials should be consolidated as a single PDF and submitted through the PDS employment application portal.


COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: The PDS COVID-19 vaccination policy requires as a condition of employment that all employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive from PDS a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or sincere religious belief. If you are offered a position and decide to join PDS, then before starting work at PDS you will be required either (A) to submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to your initial HR representative or (B) to request and receive an accommodation due to disability of sincere religious belief


If you have any questions about the position, application, hiring process or require a reasonable accommodation during any part of the application process, please contact Anisha Trice, HR Specialist at (202) 824-2227 or email to: [email protected]

 

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Disclaimer

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization; governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees, PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 235 attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. PDS’s main office is located at 633 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment. PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and all employees are entitled to participate in the federal health and life insurance plans, the federal retirement plans (FERS, FERS-RAE, FERS-FRAE, CSRS, CSRS-Offset), and the Thrift Savings Plan. Transferring employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement purposes. Employment at PDS is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

PDS is an E-Verify participating agency. Please see the Right to Work Poster and the E-Verify Participation Poster for more information.

 

PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participant.