Social Worker/Release Planner

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Social Service
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Posted on April 30, 2021

Public Health – Seattle and King County values diverse perspectives and life experiences. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans.
The Jail Health Services Division of Public Health | Seattle & King County is seeking a full time, Term Limited Temporary (TLT), Social Worker (Release Planner)  to join our team!

Term-Limited Temporary positions are "at-will" positions but are eligible for benefits. This TLT is currently anticipated to last for two (2) years.  However, funding sources for this work remain uncertain and dependent upon decisions actively being made at both the federal and local levels. As a result, the end date of this position may be adjusted based on those decisions.  The County and the Department continue to work to secure long term funding sources.  

This vacancy can also be filled as a Special Duty opportunity.
For Special Duty Assignment interest, you must be a Career Service, Career Service Exempt or other regular (non-temporary) employees in King County who have completed their initial County probation. You must have supervisor approval prior to taking a Special Duty Assignment.

The primary responsibilities of this position include the provision of comprehensive release planning services for inmate-patients within the King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) and the Regional Justice Center (RJC). The candidate chosen for this position will work as part of the Release Planning Team, and will be responsible for intensive case management of an assigned panel of inmate-patients. Jail Health Release Planners work to identify and collaborate with key external/internal medical, mental health and social services providers to ensure continuity of care and to facilitate the inmate-patients successful transition to and engagement with services outside of jail. Additionally the Jail Health Release Planner will closely monitor an inmate-patient's legal case(s) and collaborate with outside legal entities when appropriate to establish a release date to ensure successful transition into care at release. Priority is given to inmate-patients with one or several of the following presenting problems: substance use disorder; terminal, acute, and/or chronic disease; medically fragile patients with poor engagement with external medical care; chronic/acute mental health condition; physical and developmental disabilities; elderly patients; women incarcerated while pregnant; and inmate-patients uniquely vulnerable within the corrections environment. 
Who May Apply:
This full time, Term Limited Temporary (TLT) position is open to all qualified applicants.
Work Location:
King County Correctional Facility (Seattle) and the Maleng Regional Justice Center (Kent).

Some of the work associated with this position may be performed remotely, at least through July 5, 2021 in compliance with King County’s telecommuting mandate. Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.  Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.  There will be situations where the employee is required to report to a County worksite.  Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer.
To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.  
Work Schedule:
Release Planning provides coverage Monday through Friday and on weekends as needed. Alternative work schedules are considered on a case by case basis and based on the need of the team. This position is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and is overtime eligible.

Job Duties

  • Conduct comprehensive, culturally sensitive psycho-social assessments to identify salient concerns and to inform the development of a comprehensive Release Plan.
  • Collaborate with the inmate-patient to develop, document and execute individualized release plans that effectively address the inmate-patient's critical concerns during incarceration and engagement with mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, medical care, and other key services following release.
  • Coordinate internal services through close collaboration with medical, psychiatric, nursing, dental, and pharmacy staff at KCCF/MRJC employees and the staff of other King County departments (including the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and the Department of Community and Human Services). Assist external care and service providers to maintain or re-establish services for their incarcerated patients.
  • Provide forensic case management by closely monitoring an inmate-patients legal context to be able to anticipate release. Collaborate closely with defense attorneys; city/county prosecutors; probation and corrections staff; as authorized by the inmate-patient in order to support the effective implementation of the patient's Release Plan.
  • Maintain a broad working knowledge and good professional relationship with key community substance abuse treatment facilities, social and health/mental health care providers, and criminal justice and corrections personnel. Identify and foster new possibilities for effective collaboration with outside providers.
  • Provide emotional support, counseling, and/or assessment for suicidal ideation to patients in crisis.
  • Provide individual motivational and supportive counseling to improve the potential for treatment adherence.
  • Provide group counseling and assessment for services to those inmate-patients with less complex medical/psychological condition.
  • Serve on workgroups and committees working to assure appropriate standards of patient care in order to represent patient interests and the programmatic concerns of the Release Planning Department.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • Masters' Degree in Social Work, Psychology, Behavioral Health, or Counseling from an accredited university.
  • Ability to successfully obtain agency affiliated counselor status within probationary period.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct comprehensive, psycho-social assessments for complex inmate-patients.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundamental social work principles, methodology and ethics.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform effective assessment and treatment planning utilizing brief interviewing techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and trans-theoretical model.
  • Skill in fostering client self-determination and empowerment within the therapeutic alliance. Demonstrated skills in effective strategies to increase client motivation to change high-risk behavior.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a full caseload of complex patients by coordinating comprehensive services for identified needs at release.
  • Demonstrated ability in Medical Social Work within a hospital or clinical setting, especially in working with patients who are HIV+, which demonstrates knowledge of basic medical and drug terminology.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide recovery or recovery-related services for persons with substance use disorder, including the provision of treatment and/or work to secure placement with inpatient or outpatient treatment providers. Working knowledge of opioid-substitution treatment modalities such as methadone.
  • Working knowledge of crisis intervention techniques, including assessment for risk of suicide or harm to self or others.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide social work services for individuals with current or historical involvement with the criminal justice system; or providing services described herein to a relevant population.
  • Working knowledge of medical, mental health, and substance abuse conditions, related terminology, and their treatment.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead multi-disciplinary team with internal treatment planning and execution of treatment plan.
  • Ability to work effectively with non-medical or social services personnel, including members of the Corrections staff.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of community social/health care services and entitlement systems, including HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse resources.
  • Ability to manage volatile patients through the use of effective de-escalation strategies and by the consistent observance of personal safety protocols.
  • Ability to set and maintain appropriate professional and therapeutic boundaries.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks, while remaining organized and detail-oriented in an often changing environment.
  • Ability to learn and effectively use electronic health record systems.
Desired Qualifications:
  • Social Work or Mental Health licensure (LICSW, LASW, LMHC, or recognized equivalent).
  • Proficiency in a language other than English.
  • Chemical Dependency Professional certification desired.
  • Demonstrated extensive direct clinical experience providing social work services for a justice involved population with complex medical, mental health and/or substance use issues.

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers. 

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play. 

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.
King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer 

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.
To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.

Application Process (submit electronically):
  • Job Application with completed supplemental questions.
  • Resume.
You can attach multiple documents if necessary or required, such as your cover letter or resume to your application. Your options are:
  • Copy and paste one or more documents into the text resume section of the application.
  • Attach multiple documents/files in the resume attachment section.
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the online application and include the information only on the resume. Applications and/or Supplemental Questionnaires that state "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted. Cover letters and/or optional resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed application.
Your application materials must validate your answers to the supplemental questions. If your answers cannot be validated, you will not proceed to the next steps of the process.

The selected candidate will be required to pass a thorough background investigation.

This selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, testing and interviewing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to 

Public Health relies on office automation (Microsoft Office) and web-based enabled tools, therefore candidates must be proficient and comfortable with computer use to perform functions associated with on-going work.

Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing their mandatory trainings on time and obtaining required immunizations.

Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.

Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.

Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities and working hours.

If you need a disability accommodation in the application or testing process, please call the contact number listed on the job announcement.

Applicants from this job posting may be used to fill temporary or other positions in this classification for a period of up to a year.
Additional Information:
Public Health - Jail Health Services follows and maintains federal and state requirements standards including, but not limited to, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards which apply to all public and private institutions that house adult or juvenile offenders. PREA standards preclude the department from hiring or promoting anyone who has engaged in, or been convicted of any conduct which would violate PREA standards related to sexual assault including:
  • Sexual abuse in a prison, jail, lockup, community confinement facility, juvenile facility, or other institution;
  • Convicted of engaging or attempting to engage in sexual activity in the community facilitated by force, overt or implied threats of force, or coercion, or if the victim did not consent or was unable to consent or refuse; or,
  • Has been civilly or administratively adjudicated to have engaged in the activity described above.
Additionally, PREA standards require that the department consider any incidents of sexual harassment involving an inmate or detainee in determining whether or not to hire or promote anyone.

The above is in compliance with PREA and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 115, Subpart A, Section 115.17, Hiring and Promotion Decisions.
Union Affiliation:
Positions in this classification are represented by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local #17.
For more information about the application process please contact Mark Lacy at

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Do you have a Master's degree in social work, psychology, behavioral health or counseling from an accredited university?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered no to question #2, please indicate other credential or license you possess. If you do not possess any credential or license then type N/A.
Do you have experience providing social work services for individuals with current or historical involvement with the criminal justice system?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #4, please describe your experience providing social work services for individuals with current or historical involvement with the criminal justice system. If you answered no, please indicate experience which you believe to be transferable. If you do not have any experience then type N/A.
Do you have experience providing recovery or recovery-related services for persons with substance use disorders?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #6, please describe your experience providing recovery or recovery-related services for chemically dependent persons. If you answered no then please describe experience which you think is transferable. If you do not have any experience then type N/A.
Do you have experience coordinating services for complex patient needs such as medical, mental health, substance use disorders and/or co-occurring conditions for patients with behavioral and/or legal histories that pose challenges and barriers to placement?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #8, please describe your experience coordinating services and the type of services you have coordinated. If you answered no then please describe experience which you think is transferable. If you do not have any experience then type N/A.
Are you applying to this position as a Priority Placement Program Participant And Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff AND Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County AND I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. AND The position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question