Child Protection Investigative Worker – Social Worker 3

US Government, 402 Health & Human Services - Community Services Area

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Department of Human Services (DHS) merged on July 1, 2022, to form one agency, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
HHS, Family Well-Being and Protection Division, is seeking Child Protective Investigative Workers (Social Worker 3) to conduct assessments of allegations of abuse or neglect of vulnerable children in the Des Moines Service area. These vital frontline positions require multi-tasking and the ability to gather physical and documentary evidence and analyze information with accuracy and efficiency to assist in protecting the most vulnerable Iowans.  

For team members beginning employment September 29th and after, this position is eligible for a $2,500 recruitment payment.  Speak to the Hiring Manager for more eligibility information.  

This is a full-time opportunity, Monday – Friday with typical hours being from 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM with overtime as needed including weekend on call rotation.  Upon successful completion of the training period, some telework may be an option for this position if requested by the employee and approved by leadership.  There will be travel on a regular basis to conduct assessments of allegations within the Des Moines Service Area.  Mileage is paid at $0.50/mile travelled according to the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) State Accounting Enterprise Procedures.  A valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle is required.
Core Essential Functions

  • Assess the ongoing risk to children, develop safety plans, assess the strengths, and needs of the child and family, and make recommendations to various county attorneys and courts.
  • Frequent interaction with law enforcement, medical/mental health community partners, schools, etc.
  • This position requires the ability to apply Iowa Code, agency policy, and sound professional judgment to highly complex situations involving crises and or chronic abuse or neglect. 
  • All cases assigned to persons in this position require home visits, detailed interviews, and thorough narrative documentation. 
  • Troubleshoots problematic situations to find innovative solutions to present to administration and the supervisor. Confronts crisis situations and high stress situations in a calm and orderly manner maintaining confidential information as required by the agency and assuring safety is a top priority for all in the office.
  • Obtain information from a wide variety of sources, including written materials, telephone conversations and through computer databases and to be able to read and interpret the data. 
  • Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain reasonable facts, data, or other information that analyzes information and correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
  • Interacts in a team environment to manage group processes, facilitates, and encourages cooperation pride, trust, and group identity, fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
  • Within an office environment, provides Division support to large segment of agency through managing internal and external requests for information and legislative reviews requiring comprehension of request, independent judgment to assign and adherence to agency formatting of timely response or communication.  Interact with employees and customers in a positive customer service manner to resolve problems and answer customer inquiries. Customer contacts may include correspondence, telephone, or walk-ins to the local office.
  • This position will be required to work or be on standby during nights and weekends on a rotational basis.

The ideal candidate will have

  • Strong observational and analytical skills, as well the ability to respectfully engage families as partners in planning for safety and establish a working relationship with families. 
  • Excellent judgment and communication skills and the ability to provide good written documentation in a timely manner.
  • The ability to use critical thinking skills, prioritize work, and work under pressure.
  • The ability to use independent judgement to make sound decisions, demonstrate integrity and confidentiality and a strong work ethic.
  • The ability to speak more than one language.  Please list any additional languages you speak in your application.

How to Apply
For help creating a profile or entering your information, please go to the online Employment Application Guide. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
We have a great total compensation package for all our full-time employees, including:

  • Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) (Employee contributes 6.29%/State of Iowa contributes 9.44%)
  • Retirement Investors Club (RIC) (Employer Sponsored Retirement Plan) (State of Iowa matches up to $75/month)
  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance (See below for more details
  • Vacation Leave (96 hours/year)
  • Sick Leave (144 hours/year)
  • Paid Holidays (9 days/year)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance ($20,000 paid for by the State of Iowa)
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance

For additional information on benefits click here.  Our Benefits at a Glance outlines the great benefits for this position.  
The State of Iowa is an EEO/AA Employer
HHS values those with “lived experience” and encourages foster youth, foster parents, and/or parents who were in the DHS (HHS) system to apply. Minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are also encouraged to apply (Hearing and Speech Impaired – Relay Iowa 1-800-735-2942 TDD).  
Our agency uses E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, please visit

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