Child Protective Services Investigator (SSS3) – Aberdeen

US Government, Dept of Children, Youth, and Families

Our vision is to ensure that “Washington state’s children and youth grow up safe and healthy—thriving physically, emotionally and academically, nurtured by family and community.”
**This recruitment has been reopened to attract a larger applicant pool.
Applicants that have previously applied do not need to reapply**

Job Title: Child Protective Services Investigator (SSS3)  
Location: Aberdeen, WA – This position is full-time
Closes: Monday, December 4, 2023
Salary: $5,214-$7,016 Monthly

Do you want to help families and communities safely care for their children? We’re looking for a Child Protective Services (CPS) Investigator who can look out for the best interest of child safety, working toward the common goal of eliminating child and youth outcome disparities based on race and ethnicity. Our vision is that “All Washington’s children and youth grow up safe and healthy-thriving physically, emotionally, and educationally, nurtured by family and community.”

Click here to learn more about DCYF.  
The Opportunity:
We are seeking a dynamic and motivated professional to join our hardworking Child Protective Services (CPS) team at our Aberdeen office. You would be joining a strong team of social service specialists who are committed to the work as well as to each other.

As a CPS Investigator, you will perform advanced-level work in the investigation of child abuse and neglect allegations, and specialized case management in the CPS unit.  This position investigates allegations, assesses complex family situations, develops plans to protect children either in their own homes or in out-of-home care through the intervention of the court system, and makes findings of abuse or neglect based on the results of the investigation.  In performing all duties, the CPS Investigator adheres to the tenets of the Solutions-Based Casework (SBC) model with a focus on understanding and respecting the strengths of the clients including their heritage, cultural beliefs and values, communication, and learning styles.

If you are passionate about caring for children and providing them the support they desperately need, ensuring they are being provided the comfort that their best interests are at heart, our Social Service Specialist 3 position may be your next career.  This position is responsible for assessing and intervening on assigned intakes to protect children from abuse and neglect.  As such, these types of positions can be highly stressful as you are responsible for protecting children from risk and harm whenever indicated with little supervision.
Some of what you will get to do:

  • Investigate/assess and evaluate reports of child abuse and/or neglect in compliance with RCW. WAC and DCYF policy. Provide ongoing safety and risk assessment of the family throughout the life of the case and take appropriate action to protect children, correct parental deficits through services, and provide support to the family.
  • Provide comprehensive and ongoing assessment of casework needs for child,
    parent(s)/guardian, and foster parent(s) with a focus and priority on child safety.
  • Assess the need for out-of-home placement, and work with the family to find the most
    appropriate placement to nurture the child’s cultural and family ties.
  • Provide psychosocial summaries, home assessments, and other appropriate
    correspondence with outside agencies.
  • Refer to clients for psychological, psychiatric, and/or medical evaluations and treatment with other community resources, and monitors progress and effectiveness of care.
  • Monitor the health and safety of the child by regular visitation in the placement facility and other settings re-assessing the needs and ensuring continued safety and well-being of the child.
  • Develop and implement individual safety, service, and voluntary service plans with families designed to appropriately address safety threats and/or ameliorate risk to children and support the integrity of the family unit.
  • Utilize FamLink to document case activities and maintain case records per program
  • Initiate payments and service referrals within FamLink for child placement and child/family services, as appropriate, in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Write letters, prepare court petitions and court reports, social summaries, case notes, safety assessments/plans, investigative assessments utilizing the structured decision-making tool, reunification assessments/transition plans, re-assessments, family action plans: manage and close cases in a professional manner within timeframes set by DCYF policy.
  • Provide case management services to facilitate out-of-home placements: reviews the need for continued out-of-home care.
  • Supervise and place as necessary, dependent children (abused neglected, and abandoned) in foster or other approved placements.
  • Monitor all out-of-home placements to ensure quality care. Meet monthly requirements for health and safety visits.
  • Provide permanency planning case management for children in an out-of-home placement which may include guardianship, adoption, long-term foster care, or other arrangements as indicated.
  • Develop a plan to meet the child’s needs including short and long-range goals.
  • Develop and implement appropriate service plans including service agreements with clients which are goal-directed, have specific behavioral objectives, and are measurable and time limited.
  • Prepare and document cases for court proceedings.
  • File petitions for dependency, terminations, and guardianships when necessary.
  • Prepare and present written and oral testimony for court proceedings.
  • Complete all required legal documents for court, placement, and service delivery.
  • Actively maintain current knowledge of applicable laws, rules, and policies on the delivery of child protection and child welfare services within Washington State and deliver services accordingly.
  • Monitor and review all court matter to ensure compliance with RCW and federal mandates.
  • Maintain client confidentiality.
  • Prepare and advise adults and children regarding the need for placement, separation of family members and loss trauma, and the steps for reunification.
  • Prepare the child for and support visitation with birth parents and siblings.
  • Participate in internal case staffings multidisciplinary and/or multi-agency case staffings. 
  • Develop permanent plans.
  • Utilize shared decision-making appropriately through consistent staffing with supervisory staff, prognostic/permanency staffing, CPT, LICWAC, and unit staffing as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with law enforcement, the CAC, and other community partners to provide the highest level of investigation/assessment, interviewing, and service provision to children and families.

What we are looking for:
Professionals with one (1) year of experience as a Social Service Specialist 2.
*Bachelor’s degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, or an allied field, and three (3) years of paid social service experience performing functions equivalent to a Social Service Specialist 2.
*Master’s degree in social services, human services, behavioral sciences, or an allied field and two (2) years of paid social service experience equivalent to a Social Service Specialist 2.

NOTE: A two-year Master’s degree in one of the above fields that include a practicum will be substituted for one year of paid social service experience.

NOTE: Degree must be obtained from an accredited college or university whose accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or foreign equivalent verified by a NACES-approved organization at

**Foreign Equivalency certification must be attached to the application for degrees obtained outside the U.S. Incomplete applications may be screened out of the

NOTE: Employees must successfully complete the formal training course sponsored by their division within one year of their appointment.

In addition to those required qualifications, our ideal applicant will also have some or all of the following:

  • At least one-year assessing risk and safety with regards to child abuse and neglect concerns or developing safety or service plans with families.
  • Previous demonstrated familiarity with community resources and learn local community.
  • Previous demonstrated ability to work independently with little supervision as well as working as part of a team.
  • Previous demonstrated ability to speak and interact with clients, community partners, and the general public in a professional and courteous manner.
  • Previous demonstrated ability to multi-task and organize information to meet FamLink documentation requirements.
  • Previous demonstrated ability to utilize computer software programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel.

How do I apply? 
Complete your full applicant profile with your work history and highest education details, and include a copy of your college transcripts. Resume’s and cover letters are not required but recommended.

To take advantage of Veteran’s preference please attach your DD-214, member 4 long-form, or your NGB-22.  Please black out your social security number prior to attaching.
Supplemental Information:
The Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) was created to be a comprehensive agency exclusively dedicated to the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children, youth, and families regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other socioeconomic factors. We believe our workforce should reflect the communities we serve and are actively searching for candidates that reflect that diversity.

This recruitment may be used to fill multiple vacancies.

Prior to a new hire, a background check including criminal history will 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 position. 

Note: A valid unrestricted (other than corrective lenses) driver’s license is required.

This position is included in the supervisory bargaining unit represented by the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).  For more information:
If you need an accommodation throughout the application/interview process, contact the Recruitment team at If you’re experiencing technical difficulties creating, accessing or completing your application, call NEOGOV toll-free at (855) 524-5627 or email  


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