Explore a Career with the South Dakota State Government

Explore a Career with the South Dakota State Government

Family Services Specialist (Children's Worker)

Hot Springs, SD

Job ID: 17503
Agency: Department of Social Services/Division of Child Protection
Location: Hot Springs, Deadwood, or Sturgis
Salary: $21.49 per hour
Pay Grade: GI
Closing Date: 10/26/21

This is a Full-Time 40 Hours Weekly position with the Department of Social Services. For more information on the Department of Social Services, please visit https://dss.sd.gov/ .

Our Culture: Family focused. Person centered.
At our organization it is the belief that every South Dakota family has the right to be safe and secure. We believe in respecting individuals and cultural differences by treating people with dignity, fairness and respect.

Our Department: Build Strong Families, South Dakota's Foundation and Our Future.
The Department of Social Services aims to strengthen and support individuals and families, connecting them with resources to foster independent and healthy lives.

Our Team: Dependable. Committed. Compassionate.
As a member of the Department of Social Services you will be part of a team of professionals who are dependable, committed, and compassionate. We believe collaborative communication, teamwork, partnerships, and trust are foundational to the delivery of essential family services.

This position develops and implements alternative placement plans for children when reunification efforts with their families are unsuccessful, including legal guardianship, adoption or transitioning older youth to adulthood.

The position supports families and children in dealing with separation and attachment issues in preparation for permanent placements, actively seeks placement options for specific children, and recommends placements. Coordinates adoptive placements through pre-adoptive visits and family preparation to ensure children's needs are met. Negotiates adoption/guardianship subsidies with permanent families.

Reviews children's psycho-social, medical, developmental, and educational histories; and ensures identified needs are being met. Provides training and consultation, or other services to adoptive or foster/kinship parents. Develops and monitors individual case plans for children with alternative care providers.

Maintains children in a variety of placements to include foster care, kinship care, pre-adoptive care and facilities.

Responds to emergency removal situations and placement disruptions.

Incumbent may be required to work a flexible schedule which may include evening, night, holiday, and weekend hours, emergency response duties are required. In and out-of-state travel may be required.

Who we want:

  • a highly motivated and experienced person with a passion for serving the public and displays a high level of effort and commitment towards completing assignments and goals;
  • a compassionate individual who listens attentively to others and clearly conveys information and ideas;
  • a dependable and organized individual who effectively plans and organizes work activities;
  • a person who is dedicated and who will represent the Department of Social Service with integrity and enthusiasm;
  • an individual who works cooperatively with others and promotes a friendly work climate in order to achieve shared goals.

What you will do:

  • gather detailed information from the public regarding reports of alleged child abuse and/or neglect;
  • complete assessments with families alleged to have maltreated their children including analysis of danger threats to children;
  • provide intervention services with families after a determination has occurred that conditions in the home threaten child safety;
  • work with the court system including testifying when children are placed in the custody of the state;
  • finding foster and adoptive families for children;
  • recruit foster and adoptive homes;
  • monitor and evaluate existing kinship, foster and adoptive homes;
  • respond to emergencies regarding reports of alleged child abuse and/or neglect on a 24-hour basis.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

A bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, sociology, public administration, or other human service-related fields may be considered as applicable to the entry-level knowledge, skills and abilities. A bachelor's degree and experience working with children will also be considered.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • communicate effectively and efficiently;
  • successfully plan and organize work activities, adjust to multiple demands, and prioritize tasks to complete assignments and meet schedules and deadlines;
  • demonstrate compassion, respect, courtesy and tact when interacting with others;
  • display confidence and innovation despite adversity;
  • establish and maintain effective and collaborative working relationships with stakeholders;
  • understand concepts related to client confidentiality;
  • comprehend, interpret and apply policies, procedures, laws and regulations;
  • prepare clear and concise documentation, reports and correspondence that reflect relevant facts;
  • conceptualize needed change and initiate appropriate activities to move from concepts to implementation.

Equally important will be a strong work ethic and the comprehension of critical thinking and problem-solving techniques. If you believe in strengthening and supporting strong families and investing in South Dakota's future, you may have found the dream job you've been waiting for!

To be considered, you must complete a DSS questionnaire, specific to this job, and attach it to your application.

*Adobe Reader is required. You can download the software for free from https://get.adobe.com/reader/ .


  • Click http://bhr.sd.gov/dss/QFSSGeneralist.pdf to access the questionnaire.
  • Save or download the questionnaire to your computer. *Do not complete the questionnaire online within your browser. You may lose entered information.
  • Open the saved questionnaire and complete.
  • Once complete, select File and then Save as. Save the questionnaire to include your last name in the file name. * To ensure your information is saving, complete a small section, save as, and open.
  • Attach the questionnaire to the attachments section of your application as the DSS Questionnaire document type.


    Successful applicant(s) will be required to undergo a background investigation. An arrest/conviction record will not necessarily bar employment. Successful applicant(s) will undergo an abuse and neglect screening.

    The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9. The State of South Dakota as an employer will be using E-Verify to complete employment eligibility verification upon hire.

    The State of South Dakota offers employer paid health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation and sick leave accrual, dental, vision, and other insurance options, and retirement benefits. You can view our benefits information at https://bhr.sd.gov/job-seekers/work-for-state-government/ . This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

    Must apply online: https://sodakprod-lm01.cloud.infor.com:1443/lmghr/xmlhttp/shorturl.do?key=FRB
    You must apply online, emailed resumes or submissions will not be accepted.

    South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
    Telephone: 605.773.3148 Email: careers@state.sd.us

    "An Equal Opportunity Employer"

    Family Services Specialist (Children's Worker)