DSHS ESA Social Service Specialist

Company Details

State of Washington Dept. of Social and Health Services


DSHS ESA Social Service Specialist 2

Do you enjoy working collaboratively to coordinate services and reach goals? We are seeking a full-time non-permanent Social Service Specialist to provide professional-level social services to individuals and/or families who have barriers to self-sufficiency to join us in the downtown Seattle area located in the neighborhood of Belltown. In this role, you will complete in-depth assessments, and employability plans to provide case management for clients with varying degrees of vocational, social, cultural, educational, psychological, and/or physical impairments hindering economic independence.

This is an opportunity to join us in our mission of Transforming Lives!

Some of what you’ll do:

  • Provide case management for clients with social, cultural, vocational, and medical impairments of varying degrees
  • Complete program assessments and eligibility determination for Aged, Blind, and Disabled/Housing & Essential Needs
  • Conduct assessments and create case plans for participants in the WorkFirst program
  • Create, implement, monitor, and modify case plans for customers to help achieve self-sufficiency
  • Review and examine cases on a periodic basis to assess client progress and determine continuing compliance with social services programs;
  • Coordinate services with other agencies such as mental health, Employment Security, substance abuse programs, vocational rehabilitation, and developmental disabilities;
  • Apply medical diagnostic terminology and categories to assess and determine client employability or incapacity
  • Provide services collaboratively and with empathy and respect
  • Interview clients and provide a comprehensive assessment of vocational. educational, social, and health history
  • Authorize referrals to medical specialists and referrals to other agencies

We’re looking for:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills when interviewing clients and interacting with coworkers, community partners, medical providers, attorneys, and stakeholders
  • Consistent ability to serve the public with respect, concern, courtesy, and responsiveness
  • Successful diffusion of hostile situations
  • Willingness and ability to work with hard-to-serve, chronically homeless, mentally ill, and chemically dependent clients
  • Ability to use automated software applications

Professionals with one of the following should apply:

  • Twelve months of experience as a Social Service Specialist 1 AND completion of the agency’s Social Service Specialist training program. (A two-year master’s degree in one of the above fields that included a practicum will be substituted for one year of paid social service experience.)
  • A master’s degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, criminal law/justice or an allied field, AND one year as a Social Service Specialist 1 or equivalent paid social service experience
  • A bachelor’s degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, criminal law/justice or an allied field, AND two years of paid social service experience performing functions equivalent to a Social Service Specialist 1


  • Current chronological resume
  • Cover letter explaining why you are interested in the job
  • Three professional references with current contact information

Note: Employees must successfully complete the formal training course within one year of their appointment.


Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation, 21-14 (Download PDF reader)
state employees must be fully vaccinated. Your vaccine status will be verified. Please note that medical or religious accommodation may be available, once an offer of employment is made.

Our Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) mission to
Transform Lives requires that we come together with a sense of belonging, common purpose, shared values, and meaningful work. It is crucial to our agency’s mission that you bring equity, anti-racism, and social justice commitment to your work with DSHS. We strive to create greater access and affirming representation of the communities we serve, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with physical, behavioral health, and intellectual disabilities, elders, LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants and refugees, and families building financial security.

If you have questions email DSHS Recruiter and reference #08563.

Supplemental Information

Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal record history may be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment but will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the job. This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies. Employees driving on state business must have a valid driver’s license. Employees driving a privately owned vehicle on state business must have liability insurance on the privately owned vehicle.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in any area of employment, its programs or services on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, religion or beliefs, political affiliation, military status, honorably discharged veteran, Vietnam Era, recently separated or other protected veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental, physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, equal pay or genetic information. Persons requiring accommodation in the application process or this job announcement in an alternative format may contact the Recruiter at (360) 725-5810. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6384.

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