This is a Licensed Social Worker (LSW), which requires the application of fundamental theories of psychosocial variables to assist in identifying the presence of physical or mental health impairments, substance abuse issues, family or other social history patterns affecting the client’s behavior and development.
The Licensed Social Worker is the first level within the SW series wherein employees learn and apply policies, procedures, rules and regulations specific to the organization and relevant techniques, methods and/or theories of the profession. Positions work under direct supervision, to include regular guidance, review and oversight by supervisors and more experienced staff, while learning fundamental skills and technical aspects of the work.
Public Defender Social Workers serve as part of the defense team, and as such, are bound by the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct including rules regarding the attorney-client privilege and client confidentiality. Public Defender Social Workers perform duties and assume responsibility for case assignments under the specific direction, instruction and guidance of a defense attorney.
Typical duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Conduct assessments and compile psychosocial histories to develop recommendations concerning pretrial release, detention, case preparation, alternative placements, treatment options, conditions of probation or diversion, and sentencing and post-sentencing options, as appropriate.
Conduct assessments to identify physical or mental health issues, substance abuse or other patterns potentially influencing the client’s development, personality or behavior. Document and interpret symptoms of mental and behavioral impairment to assist the defense in developing case strategies.
Collect social and family history information through interviews and review of documentary materials, including highly sensitive and confidential information, to identify psychosocial influences and patterns in the client’s development and behavior including, but not limited to, socio/cultural/economic status and behavioral health issues
Participate in pretrial, adjudication and sentencing hearings as requested by the defense attorney. Prepare reports and provide additional information and support, as required.
Assist in obtaining and reviewing relevant records, evaluations or reports; and, analyze the significance of information relevant to the client’s circumstances and case. Where appropriate, assist the defense team in documenting and organizing digital and physical files of information collected.
Assist the defense team in identifying medical or mental health experts to further examine, evaluate and testify regarding the client’s physical or mental health issues. Assist in interpreting evaluation findings.
Serve as a collaborative member of the defense team: Consult with attorneys on the appropriate approach to the case; maintain regular and timely communications with attorneys and other members of the defense team; provide support to the client; and, identify and advocate for appropriate options for the client.
Keep current on statewide resources available and relevant to the individual needs of clients including, but not limited to, treatment programs and alternative placements. Conduct research necessary to ensure resources are current for providing appropriate recommendations.
Attend multi-agency and multi-disciplinary staffing meetings regarding the client.
May supervise and mentor student interns enrolled in a graduate-level social work education program, which may include training, guidance and formal feedback within the scope of the school’s academic program.
For a summary of employee benefits (health, dental, life and disability) please visit: https://stateofcoloradobenefits.com/. Other benefits include retirement plan options through Colorado PERA www.copera.org, ten paid holidays a year, and paid-time-off for personal and sick leave.
Additional information about the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender can be found at:
The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability or other protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Consistent with this commitment, our agency will assist individuals who have a disability with any reasonable accommodation requests related to employment, including the application and selection process. If you have a disability and require reasonable accommodation, please contact Laura Darrow at, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How To Apply:
Qualified individuals must e-mail a resume and cover letterto Kristi Rudy atKristi.Rudy@coloradodefenders.us by11:59pm Mountain time on Monday, October 5, 2020. Please address how your skills and experience meet the qualifications for the position and your interest in working for the Office of the State Public Defender.
Required Education and Experience:
Master’s degree from an accredited college or university educational program in social work;
Licensure to practice social work (LSW) in the State of Colorado within 90 days of employment.
Training or experience in a criminal defense system;
Bilingual, Spanish-speaking skills may be preferred in some assignments.
Frequent travel within the State of Colorado. The areas covered by this assignment include the central Front Range, primarily Arapahoe, Denver and Douglas and other counties within the 2nd and 18th Judicial Districts.
Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance and access to a reliable vehicle.
About Office of the Colorado State Public Defender
Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender (OSPD) maintains a reputation as one of the top organizations in the nation specializing in the delivery of indigent criminal defense representation. It operates as an independent agency within the Judicial Branch of Colorado State Government with nearly 900 dedicated employees assigned to twenty-one Regional Trial Offices, a centralized Appellate Division, and a centralized Administrative Office. The mission of OSPD is to defend and protect the rights, liberties and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. We do so by providing constitutionally and statutorily mandated representation that is effective, zealous, inspired and compassionate.
We seek to hire professionals who are dedicated to public service and committed to serving our clients. We are a fast paced, team-oriented environment, where self-motivation and a personal commitment to high performance are important attributes for success.