Child Protective Worker-Trainee (Spanish Speaking)

Modified: May 2, 2018 10:23am

invites applications for the position of:

Child Protective Worker-Trainee (Spanish Speaking)

#42-192 - Open Competitive (open to the public)

Salary: $35,922 - $45,390 Annually
Opening Date: May 2, 2018
Closing Date: June 6, 2018
Application fee: $15.00

Residence Requirements:

CANDIDATES MUST HAVE BEEN LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY FOR AT LEAST ONE MONTH IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF THE WRITTEN TEST AND MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF ERIE COUNTY AT THE TIME OF APPOINTMENT.  The eligible list resulting from this examination will be used to fill future vacancies within the Erie County Department of Social Services.

List certification- Candidates who are successful in this examination will be certified at the trainee level (Job Group VII). Persons appointed at the trainee level will be advanced to Child Protective Worker-Spanish Speaking (Job Group VIII) without further examination upon satisfactory completion of the applicable traineeship period.

Examples of Duties:

This is a trainee position in the competitive class. The term of training is one year, during which time the incumbent is required to satisfactorily complete the training program of the Erie County Department of Social Services that will enable them to be promoted without further examination to the position of Child Protective Worker. Relevant experience or possession of a Master's Degree in Social Work, may be substituted for all or part of the training term.

Child Protective Worker/Trainee (Spanish Speaking) receives on-the-job training by participating under direct supervision in:

Making field visits at direction of Intake Supervisor to gather preliminary information in cases which seem inappropriate for Child Protective Services Investigation;

Organizing and reporting information from field visit for Supervisor's determination of further investigation and investigating reported cases of child abuse and neglect, for approval by supervisor;

Investigation of reports of child abuse/neglect within twenty-four hours, including: contacting relatives, neighbors, collateral service agencies, home visits, and/or interviewing the child, parents and others;

Assessing needs for protection and safety of affected child; assists with emergency actions to protect safety of child, and arranges for alternative placement and medical examination/treatment and transport child to placement/hospital, for immediate review by Team Leader;

Formulating goal-oriented treatment plan, including objectives to be met, services to be provided, involvement of family and other individuals and agencies, and plan for reviewing treatment progress;

Providing case management under the direction of higher level staff;

Providing concrete services and supportive counseling to child and family to assist in resolving economic and social problems affecting the safety and development of the child;

Initiating court interventions and participating in the Family Court process under the direction of higher level staff;

Referring and linking families to other appropriate service agencies, such as mental health counseling, health and foster care;

Receiving local and out-of-area classroom training to develop job-related knowledge and skills;

Maintaining all required service and administrative records, forms, documents and correspondence for assigned cases, for approval by Team Leader; may translate written and verbal communications between Child Protective Staff and others; responding to inquiries from the local Hispanic community regarding general issues of the Department of Social Services;

Providing community education about child abuse and neglect.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates must meet the following requirements on or before the date of the written test:
Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered four year college or university with a Bachelor's degree.

SPECIAL LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Must be able to converse fluently in Spanish as spoken in the Buffalo Metropolitan area. If you are considered for appointment to this position, you will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the Spanish language. Proficiency must be at a level which will permit you to perform the duties of the position satisfactorily.

Must be able to converse fluently in Spanish as spoken in the Buffalo Metropolitan area.

Eligibility for a New York State driver’s license at the time of application. Possession of the license and use of a private automobile required at time of appointment and throughout period of employment.

Applicants for designated positions in the Department of Social Services that may have regular and substantial unsupervised or unrestricted contact with children shall be subject to background checks according to the New York State Justice Center’s Staff Exclusion List (SEL) and New York State Office of Children and Family Services Statewide Central Register of Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR). Inquiries on current employees shall be made annually and prior to promotion but no more often than once in any six month period (N.Y. Social Services Law 424-A.) Candidates/applicants with conditional offers of employment may be required to submit the necessary fee(s) for background screening and inquiries shall be completed prior to employment hiring/start date. Refusal to sign the necessary clearance forms, submit the required associated fees and/or participate in the review process shall be cause for an automatic non-selection. In addition, inquiry responses are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law.

Applicants for designated positions in the Department of Social Services that may have access to federal tax information to perform his/her job duties shall be subject to a suitability background check investigation, including FBI fingerprinting, local law enforcement check, and verification check of citizenship/residency. A criminal record does not necessarily disqualify applicants from employment, rather an individualized determination will be made. The cost of the background check will be assumed by the Department of Social Services.



1. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience will be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements. 

2. Your degree and/or college credit must have been awarded by a regionally accredited college or university or one recognized by the New York State Education Department as following acceptable educational practices. A grade of "D" or better is necessary for a course to be credited as successfully completed. If your degree and/or college credit was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States and its territories, you must provide independent verification of equivalency. You can write to this Department for a list of acceptable companies providing this service; you must pay the required evaluation fee.

Notice to Candidates:
Transcripts will now be accepted by the Department of Personnel ONLY at time of application.
All subsequent transcripts must be submitted at time of Interview.


A medical examination may be required before appointment.



Examination date:

July 14, 2018

Applications Must Be Postmarked By:

June 6, 2018

A copy of A Guide to the Written Test For The Caseworker Series may be viewed and/or downloaded at the New York State Civil Service web site located at If you do not have Internet access, you may obtain a copy by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope (size required to accommodate the guide – manila 10" x 13") to the Erie County Personnel Department,95 Franklin Street,Buffalo,New York 14202 or by picking one up in person at Room 604.


Subjects of Examination:

SUBJECTS OF EXAMINATION: This examination includes: 1. A weighted multiple-choice written test; and 2. A qualifying Spanish Language Oral Proficiency Test.

THE WRITTEN TEST is designed to evaluate knowledge, skills and /or abilities in the following areas:

  1. ESTABLISHING & MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE HELPING RELATIONSHIPS IN A SOCIAL CASEWORK SETTING – These questions test for an understanding of the factors contributing to the development and maintenance of positive and productive client-worker relationships. You will be provided with descriptions of specific client-worker interactions and asked to select the appropriate responses. The questions cover such topics as confidentiality, time management, professional ethics and referral techniques.
  2. INTERVIEWING (CASEWORKER): These questions test for an understanding of the principles and techniques of interviewing and their application to specific client-worker situations. You will be provided with a series of concrete interviewing situations for which you will be required to select an appropriate course of action based on an analysis of the situation, the application of the information provided and the ramifications of various interviewing principles and strategies. You will also be asked questions about the interviewing process and various interviewing techniques.
  3. PREPARING WRITTEN MATERIAL: These questions test for the ability to present information clearly and accurately, and to organize paragraphs logically and comprehensibly. For some questions, you will be given information in two or three sentences followed by four restatements of the information. You must then choose the best version. For other questions, you will be given paragraphs with their sentences out of order. You must then choose, from four suggestions, the best order for the sentences.

NOTICE TO CANDIDATES: Unless otherwise noted, candidates are permitted to use quiet, hand held, solar or battery powered calculators. Devices with typewriter keyboards, "Spell Checkers", "Personal Digital Assistants", "Address Books", "Language Translators", "Dictionaries", or any similar devices are prohibited. You may not bring books or other reference materials.

THE SPANISH LANGUAGE ORAL PROFICIENCY TEST is designed to evaluate the candidate's proficiency in the Spanish language, at the level appropriate for the title being filled. A Level 2 proficiency in the above language is required to pass this qualifying test for this title. This is equivalent to having a working oral language proficiency with understandable, smooth expression at a conversational level of communication. Based on the ranking on the written test, only a sufficient number of candidates needed to fill the present vacancies will be called to take part in the qualifying language oral proficiency test. As additional vacancies occur, other candidates who were successful on the written test portion of the examination will be invited to take the qualifying language oral proficiency test. The language oral proficiency test will be rated on a pass-fail basis.Candidates must pass both the written test and the qualifying foreign language oral proficiency test in order to be eligible for appointment.


APPLICATION FORMS: You may obtain these forms in person at the Erie County Personnel Department, Rath County Office Building, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo. Forms are also available in the libraries and at Town, Village and School District administrative offices.

Mail your application form when completed to the Erie County Department of Personnel, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202.

Candidates who submit incomplete applications and documentation may be disqualified. The Erie County Department of Personnel reserves the right to reject for lateness or to accept applications filed after the advertised filing period.

MILITARY STATUS: Active duty military personnel may file an application for this exam. A special military make-up examination will be conducted for any member of the armed forces of the United States who has duly filed a timely application but who was deprived of the opportunity to compete in the scheduled exam due to active military duty. Special conditions apply to these requests and may be reviewed at the Erie County Department of Personnel.

VETERANS: Disabled and non-disabled veterans as defined in Section 85, New York State Civil Service Law, will have 10 and 5 points, respectively added to their earned scores if successful in the examination. You must claim these credits when you file application but you have an option to waive them any time prior to appointment. If you have already used these credits for a permanent position in NYS, you may not claim them again.

In conformance with section 85-a of the Civil Service Law, CHILDREN OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY shall be entitled to receive an additional ten points in a competitive examination for original appointment in the same municipality in which his or her parent has served. If you are qualified to participate in this examination and are a child of a firefighter or police officer killed in the line of duty in this municipality, please inform this office of this matter when you submit your application for examination. A candidate claiming such credit has a minimum of two months from the application deadline to provide the necessary documentation to verify additional credit eligibility. However, no credit may be added after the eligible list has been established.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS: Applicants whose religious beliefs prevent their taking examinations before sundown on Saturday and physically handicapped candidates who require special examination facilities should so inform the Erie County Department of Personnel, by a separately mailed letter at the earliest possible date before the test.

MORE THAN ONE EXAM ON THE SAME DAY: If you have applied for more than one exam on the same day you MUST make arrangements to take ALL of the examinations at ONE examination test site. If you have applied for both STATE and LOCAL government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the STATE examination center. If you have applied for both COUNTY and CITY government examinations taking place on the same day, you must take all of your examinations at the COUNTY examination center. You are responsible to notify EACH Civil Service Agency no later than TWO WEEKS before the examination date on which you are taking multiple examinations by submitting a Cross-Filer form; EACH Civil Service Agency has their own Cross-Filer form. The Erie County Cross-Filer form can be found at If you are taking multiple exams on the same date with Erie County only, you do not have to file a Cross-Filer form.

Candidates taking more than one exam in DIFFERENT exam series will be allowed the specified length of time for each exam, up to a maximum of eight hours. Example: If you are taking one exam which allows six hours and another exam in a different series which allows four hours, you must complete both tests in eight hours, but no more time can be spent on each exam than the time allotted for that exam. Candidates taking more than one exam in the SAME exam series will be allowed up to the specified length of time for each exam. Example: If you are taking two exams in the same series with a maximum time of five hours for each exam, you can spend no more than five hours to complete both exams.

ADMISSION TO EXAMINATION: Notice to appear for the test will be conditional as review of application for minimum requirements may not be made until after the written test. Call or write this Department if you have not received your notice 3 days before the date of the test. You may not be admitted to the examination room without official notice.

RATINGS REQUIRED: Tests are rated on a scale of 100 with a passing mark at 70. Unless the announcement states otherwise, you must pass the written test and the oral test, if any. Test instructions may further divide the tests into parts and set minimum standards for each part.

TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE: If a subject of the examination, training and experience may not be rated if all passing candidates are expected to be immediately reachable for appointment. If rated, training and experience will be based on the statements in your application subject to verification. If this examination includes a qualifying written test, candidates admitted to the test will have conditional approval only. Final decision regarding the qualifications of candidates rests with the New York State Department of Civil Service.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION: You may be required to take a medical examination to determine if you are medically and physically capable of performing the duties of the position. In accordance with State Law, Governor’s Executive Order 6, and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended the County of Erie does not discriminate against handicapped persons in access to employment, during employment, or in any of its programs and activities.

VERIFICATION OF QUALIFICATIONS: Candidates may be investigated or called for an interview to verify information contained on the application. Verifiable part-time and/or volunteer experience may be pro-rated toward meeting full-time experience requirements.

ELIGIBLE LIST: The eligible list resulting from an examination may also be used for appointment to the same title or to any other title deemed to be similar and appropriate. Eligible lists are active for a minimum of one year and a maximum of four years from the date established.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION (*including psychological evaluation when required by position): Candidates may be subject to a thorough background investigation or psychological evaluation when required to determine eligibility for appointment. Applicants may be required to authorize access to educational, employment, criminal history and other records check as part of such investigation or participate in related tests or interviews. Criminal convictions or other offense are subject to evaluation and may result in disqualification pursuant to Section 50 of the New York State Civil Service Law. Applicant will be required to submit the necessary fees for the fingerprint processing, where required. (*If a psychological evaluation is required, it shall be specified in the minimum qualifications or special requirements for the position.)


A $15.00 filing fee is required for this exam. The required fee must accompany your application. Send or bring check or money order made payable to Erie County Personnel Department and write the examination number(s) on your check or money order. Do not send or bring cash, as the County cannot be responsible for cash payment. As no refund will be made, you are urged to compare your qualifications carefully with the requirements for admission and file only for those examinations for which you are clearly qualified.

APPLICATION FEE WAIVER: A waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are unemployed and primarily responsible for the support of a household. In addition, a waiver of application fee will be allowed if you are determined eligible for Medicaid, or receiving Supplemental Security Income payments, or Public Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/Family Assistance or Safety Net Assistance) or are certified Job Training Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act eligible through a State or local social service agency.

All claims for application fee waiver are subject to verification. If you can verify eligibility for application fee waiver, complete a “Request for Application Fee Waiver and Certification: form and submit it with your application by the close of business on the Application Deadline as listed on the Examination Announcement. The form is available at the Erie County Personnel Department, 95 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY (Room 604) or can be downloaded from the County’s website at Click on “County Departments and Agencies”, then “Erie County Civil Service.”

This examination is prepared and rated by the New York State Department of Civil Service,
and held in compliance with the New York State Civil Service Law
and the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Civil Service.

Frequently Requested Information


Phone: (716) 858-8484
Erie County Civil Service Exam Line: (716) 858-8729

Edward A. Rath County Office Building
95 Franklin Street, 6th Floor
Buffalo, New York 14202