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Social Worker - MSW

Job Description

Central State Hospital manages the Payton B. Cook Forensic Hospital in Milledgeville, which serves individuals who are referred by the criminal justice system for pre-trial psychiatric evaluation and/or inpatient treatment; those who have been found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) at the time of commission of a crime or mentally incompetent to stand trial (IST); those who are admitted with hold orders from jails for psychiatric evaluation, treatment and stabilization; and those who are referred from Georgia Department of Corrections prisons for inpatient psychiatric treatment. 

The facility is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Social Worker, sometimes referred to as Social Service Providers or Behavior Health Provider.  Regardless the name, please see qualifications below.   

Job Responsibilities & Performance Standards:

Acts as client advocate in order to coordinate required services or to resolve crisis

1. Interviews patients/family/significant others in a timely manner, to gather background, determine their perception of problem and precipitating events, and to involve them in the treatment and discharge process.
2. Consults with other health care professionals within or outside the organization to obtain necessary background information on patient.
3. Completes a clear and concise Admission Note in the patient's chart within the time frame specified by hospital policy.
4. Reviews any previous treatment records (which includes contacting other agencies/inpatient facilities) in order to assess previous treatment services.
5. Compiles information and completes a written assessment or update which is placed on patient's chart within the time frame specified by hospital policy.
6. Assesses patient's past, current, and future potential psychosocial functioning in order to provide applicable social services and to determine community-based discharge needed.
7. Effectively elicits information from the patient about his/her own knowledge, skill and resources and encourages the patient to participate in the identification and selection of the needed services.
8. Maintains confidentiality of patient information as specified by hospital policy.

Counsels clients in individual and group sessions to help them overcome dependencies, recover from illness, and adjust to life

1. Contributes ideas based on a thorough understanding of theoretical social services concepts. Provides a high level of social services expertise in development of plans, e.g., as assessed by NASW standards.
2. Attends treatment team meetings when scheduled. As member of interdisciplinary team, participates in the development of treatment plan and in treatment plan review as required by hospital policy.
3. Participates in treatment plan development with patient and family, outlining goals, objectives, and who will take what steps, to assure mutual understanding of sequence of activities to be performed by all involved persons.
4. Writes concise, accurate, clear progress/treatment/transfer notes in the patient's chart as required by hospital policy.
5. Makes treatment members aware of the psychosocial stressors and level of global functioning identified in the patient's Assessment and/or Admission Note.

Identify environmental impediments to client of patient progress through interviews and review of patient records

1. Arranges follow-up appointment at patient's local mental health or mental retardation center prior to discharge. Coordinates with mental health centers or mental retardation and other social service resources pertaining to specific problems and needs.
2. Develops collaborative aftercare plan with community/other hospital-based staff and resources.
3. Meets with patient's Continuity of Care Representative when scheduled.
4. Coordinates completion of required forms within prescribed timeframe of discharge according to established guidelines.
5. Advocates on patient's/significant other's behalf regarding information and referral, continuity of care, and human rights protection according to all applicable guidelines, such as division and hospital policies, NASW Code of Ethics/Standards.
6. Identifies and links patient and family to appropriate resources, which includes giving sufficient information to all involved parties; and insures that discharge packets are ready for community agencies at agreed-upon time.

Monitors, evaluates, and records client progress according to measurable goals described in treatment and care plan

1. Develops and maintains a network of community contacts.
2. Participates in strategy or review sessions, committees, and task force work to facilitate linkages and communication.
3. Represent the hospital in planned community meetings.
4. Attends meetings pertaining to case management, case collaboration, and discharge planning.
5. Effectively initiates and/or participates in hospital-wide unit staffings such as ICM, PCM, Focus Reviews to identify deficits and develop therapeutic plans of intervention.

Organizes support groups or counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting the client

1. Defines goals and/or required results at beginning of performance period and gains acceptance of ideas creating a shared vision.
2. Communicates regularly with staff on progress toward defined goals and/or required results, providing specific feedback and initiating corrective action when defined goals and/or required results are met.
3. Confers regularly with staff to review employee relations climate, specific problem areas and actions necessary for improvement.
4. Evaluates employees as scheduled intervals, obtains and considers all relevant information in evaluations and supports staff by giving praise and constructive criticism.
5. Recognizes contributions and celebrates accomplishments.
6. Motivates staff to improve quantity and quality of work performed and provides training and development opportunities as appropriate.

Performs clinical assessments of the behavioral health needs of consumers presenting for services

1. Conducts individual sessions to provide guidance and direction pertaining to personal and social development.
2. Conducts family sessions that address interpersonal relationships and conflict management.
3. Conducts group sessions to implement goals addressed in individual treatment plan.
4. Provides social and psychological support to patients and their families.
5. Provides family education to convey information and knowledge for enhancement of social competence.
6. Performs crisis interventions as required, applicable to the acute needs of the patient/family, in order to return patient/family to the previous state of well-being.

 Provides case management services related to identified treatment needs

1. Helps to prepare quality improvement report for Social Work Department or other authority on a regularly scheduled basis.
2. Prepares cross audit for social services records on a regular basis.
3. Prepares continuity of care report on a regularly scheduled basis.
4. Prepares other reports as requested.

Provides training to direct care staff in implementing behavior modification techniques and treatment plans

1. Attends seminars and professional meetings when available.
2. Maintains a continuing education program by attending in-service training when scheduled.
3. Maintains professional knowledge by reading up-to-date articles, books, etc.
4. Participates in on-going professional development related to emerging trends in social work practice as well as clinical issues, according to NASW standards and/or other applicable professional standards.

Refers client or family to community resources to assist in recovery from mental or physical illness and to provide access to services such as financial assistance, legal aid, housing, job placement or education

1. Effectively contributes to the family/patient education program of the facility.
2. Provides clinical training to social work students according to established guidelines.
3. Develops and presents educational programs to hospital employees and the community on social work topics, as requested.

Performs key role in assessment, coordination of legal matters, and specialized conditional release planning for patients who are found by the courts to be Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. (Performed by some incumbents)

1. Completes social services portion of the Comprehensive Review of NGRI clients.
2. Participates in comprehensive review meetings and makes recommendations for release of NGRI's.
3. Participates in the completion and implementation of conditional release plans.
4. Contacts lawyers and key personnel within the judicial system to coordinate inpatient care, resolution of legal issues, and outpatient care.

Coordinates the provision of services for patients who are found by the court to be incompetent to stand trial and for patients who are in need of pre-trial competency evaluations. (Performed by some incumbents)

1. Ensures that the Outpatient Forensic Service Director is aware of the admission of patients who require evaluations of competency.
2. Provides assessment data to the inpatient forensic medical director as it relates to patient's progress towards increased competency.
3. Involves hospital and community legal personnel in planning for the dispositions of patient's legal charges.

 Technical Competencies:

  • Knowledge of diagnostic impressions or criteria
  • Knowledge of how client advocacy system operates
  • Knowledge of crisis intervention techniques
  • Knowledge of individual and group therapy techniques
  • Knowledge of various therapeutic models and intervention as directly related to area of assignment
We have three (3) Full Time 8 AM - 5 PM Positions Approved


Master's degree and eligibility to be licensed Or Bachelor's degree in a related field and two years of experience in social service delivery.

*Must obtain SAFETY CARE certification by completion of new employee, and must maintain this certification as a term and condition of employment.


SPECIAL NOTE:  Applicants must provide an official copy of their educational credentials prior to employment.

Preferred Qualifications

Only individuals with an MSW, LMSW, or LCSW will be considered for this position.

MSW, LMSW, LCSW with mental health experience in the area of psychosocial assessments, counseling, group facilitation, crisis intervention, case management and transition planning.  Forensic experience desired.


In addition to a competitive salary (Based on Education and Experience - See Statewide Salary Pay at this link: http://dbhddjobs.com/files/StatewideSalaryPlanAnnual2009.pdf), we offer a generous benefits package that includes a flexible schedule, training opportunities, employee retirement plan, deferred compensation, 12 paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, dental, vision, long term care, and life insurance.

This position is a pay grade 13 on the statewide salary plan.

Employment Information

This position is located at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Central State Hospital was founded in 1842 and was Georgia's first psychiatric hospital. Its purpose was to provide a safe and humane place for those with mental health challenges.

The medical complex encompasses about 1,000 acres. The hospital, a middle Georgia mental health/developmental disabilities/ substance abuse facility, serves 23 counties in middle Georgia and has specialty programs serving citizens from the entire state of Georgia. Central State Hospital is accredited by JCAHO and certified by Medicare.

Milledgeville is located in historic central Georgia only 95 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

Milledgeville, the 4th capital of Georgia, is one of only two planned capital cities in the United States - the other being Washington, DC.

Applying for this job

Please email your cover letter and resume in Microsoft Word format to: CSHJobs@dhr.state.ga.us

To ensure proper routing/handling of your credentials, copy/paste or type the following title in the subject line of your email: Social Worker - MSW If you are currently employed by DBHDD, please include "Internal Employee" in the subject line as well.

You may be subject to a Drug Screen. You may be required to submit fingerprints to check for the existence of Criminal History Record Information through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You do have the right to challenge the contents of any Criminal History that is located, should you choose to do so.

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities provides services to ensure the health and welfare of Georgians. As an employee of DBHDD, in the event of an identified emergency you may be required, as a term and condition of employment, to assist in meeting the emergency responsibilities of the department.